Wilder making weak excuse for Fury flop
DEONTAY Wilder is clinging to his belief that his outrageous 20kg walk-out costume ultimately cost him victory in his re-match with new heavyweight king Tyson Fury.
Wilder's five-year reign as heavyweight champion was ended in brutal fashion before his own corner threw in the towel during the seventh round of their heavyweight championship showdown in Las Vegas on Sunday (AEDT).
Now, the former baddest man on the planet says he was brought undone by his over-the-top costume.
Wilder stunned the world as he walked out to the ring with his fearsome garments eventually revealed to be inspired by the fighter's connection to Black History Month.
The dark threads were mocked across the internet as knock-offs of Lord of the Rings villain Sauron and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles baddie Shredder - but it turns out the heavy ensemble was no laughing matter.
The 34-year-old knockout artist reportedly said on Tuesday (AEDT) that the costume had left his legs fatigued before the first round even began - especially after his walk-out was criticised for being far too long a distance from his dressing room to the centre ring.
The body armour costume reportedly set Wilder back more than $US60,000.
He has made a habit of over-the-top, walk-out costumes, regularly spending more than $20,000 on them and masks, believing it helps him transform into his aggressive alter-ego, who he calls The Bronze Bomber.
The strange excuse was one of several big revelations from Wilder's camp on Tuesday, including:
- He will execute his trilogy re-match clause, triggering a third fight before the end of July; and
- He is threatening to sack members of his training staff and corner team for throwing in the towel as Fury battered him on the ropes in the seventh round.
However, it was his outlandish costume claims that have caused the most heated response from the boxing world after he was entirely outclassed at the hands of the Gypsy King.
"He didn't hurt me at all, but the simple fact is... that my uniform was way too heavy for me," Wilder told Yahoo Sports.
"I didn't have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I'm a warrior and people know that I'm a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn't have legs or anything.
"A lot of people were telling me, 'It looked like something was wrong with you.' Something was, but when you're in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn't have the legs because of my uniform.
"I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before but I didn't think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything."
According to The Sun, Wilder's trainer also claims the heavy costume was the boxer's undoing.
Wilder's legs looked to have gone early on in the fight and trainer Jay Deas hinted the weight of his jewellery-encrusted costume could have slowed him down during the contest.
Speaking to Boxing Social, he said: "His legs didn't look great to me early on. I didn't think his legs look like they normally look.
"I know he came to the ring in the outfit, which was very heavy. I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
"Tyson's a lot of weight to be putting on you as well.
"I don't know all the answers yet but once I see the film, I'll know more."
While Wilder continues to make excuses, Fury continues to earn admiration for the respect he has shown his opponent following the fight.
Fury took the microphone inside the ring to pay respects to Wilder and he has repeatedly shared his admiration for Wilder's fighting spirit since stepping out of the ring on Sunday.
According to The Athletic, Wilder is still angry about the way the fight unfolded - and is taking aim at his own corner and referee Kenny Bayless.
Wilder reportedly claims Fury was able to get away with a series of outlawed punches to the back of his head and neck - while he himself, he says, was warned before the fight of being disqualified if he attempted any punches to the back of Fury's head.
The 42-1 fighter saved his most scathing criticism for his own corner, however, suggesting some members of his team will lose their jobs for throwing in the towel.
Deas insisted he was not responsible for the towel being tossed in - pointing the finger at assistant trainer Mark Breland.
"I've told them many times that if anyone throws the towel in on me, there will be consequences," he told The Athletic's Lance Pugmire.
The report claims Wilder is "re-evaluating retaining Breland" after the fighter claims to have told his team: "I'd rather die in the ring than have the towel thrown in".
Full story coming to @TheAthleticBOX shortly: Deontay Wilder @BronzeBomber tells me he is definitely exercising his rematch clause for a summer trilogy against @Tyson_Fury, that his legs were weakened by his 45-pound costume he wore to the ring to honor Black History Month.— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) February 24, 2020
He told Yahoo Sports: "I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we've talked about this many times and it's not emotional.
"It is not an emotional thing, it's a principle thing. We've talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened. I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield. If I'm talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principle of receiving.
"So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me."
Wilder has also confirmed he intends to execute his re-match clause - a decision that could gift boxing fans a salivating trilogy fight in the next four months.
According to Sports Illustrated, the third Fury-Wilder fight would be held before the end of July.