Deontay Wilder is already making it known that a third fight with Tyson Fury, who defeated Wilder on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in brutal and dominating fashion, will certain take place as he will “definitely” exercise his right to an immediate rematch with Fury, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
Fury left no question as to who was the better fighter in his TKO victory over Wilder on Saturday night, but Wilder contends that a 40-pound costume he wore to the ring was to blame for the fatigue in his legs early in the fight, which he believes factored into how things played out, resulting in the first loss of his career.
Fury and Wilder fought to a disputed draw 14 months ago, in their first clash.
“We’re definitely going to exercise it,” Wilder proclaimed. “We’re looking forward to it. I’m a warrior and a true champion, and I fight like that every bit of the way. We’re definitely going on with it. That’s for sure. By the summertime.”
Wilder spoke about the elaborate costume he wore to the ring.
“There were a lot of things that went wrong leading up to the fight, in the last minutes before the fight, but I accept full responsibility,” Wilder said. “I paid a severe price because my legs were how they were because of my uniform. My uniform was way too heavy. It was 40-plus pounds. We had it on 10 or 15 minutes before we even walked out and then put the helmet on. That was extra weight, then the ring walk, then going up the stairs. It was like a real workout for my legs. When I took it off, I knew immediately that game has changed.”
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, spoke on the costume, saying that he was rather surprised that Wilder chose to wear during the long walk to the ring.
“Well, I don’t know about the legs affecting his performance, but he had to be very, very negligent coming in with that head covering because that choked off his oxygen, and I’m sure that had an effect,” Arum said. “Coach [Jon] Gruden [of the Las Vegas Raiders, who was at the fight] said that: ‘What is he, crazy?’ And it wasn’t covering him for two seconds. That was a long [ring] walk.”
Wilder was also critical of referee Kenny Bayless and how he officiated the fight.
“I don’t understand certain things that Bayless was doing because he came in the back room [for the final instructions], and he looked me in my eyes, and he said that he would disqualify me or take two points from me if I threw rabbit punches or punched after the break,” Wilder said. “But I guess that rule only applies to me because my opponent did it all night long. I got knots all on the back of my head down to my neck. [Fury] was elbowing. [Bayless] took a point, but it was too late. At that point, Fury didn’t care about that point being taken. I don’t know what was going on with Bayless. I’m at a loss for words. I thought he was there to protect us.”
“I congratulate Fury on his accomplishment,” Wilder said. “I’m very excited for him, and I am not bitter toward no one.”
Fury’s trainer, Javan “SugarHill” Steward chimed in on Wilder’s comments.
“I’ve heard a lot of crazy stuff, this doesn’t even rank, this is really nothing to me,” Steward said. “But if that’s what they really believe is true, that’s what they believe is true. Everybody has their own truth, so you start thinking about it, hearing about it and you’ll start believing certain things. That’s the power of the mind, we know that.”
Wilder wasn’t done, and he aired out his issues with his trainer, Olympic gold medalist Mark Breland, threw in the towel.
“For Mark to do it, I was very heartbroken,” Wilder said. “If I say statements like I want to kill a man [in the ring], then I have to abide by those same principles in the ring of him doing the same thing to me. I’d rather die than go out with someone throwing the towel in.
“He knows these things. It’s been premeditated. I’ve said this for many years. I told all my trainers, no matter how it may look on the outside, no matter how you may love me or have that emotional feeling, don’t make an emotional decision, and do not ever throw that towel in because my pride is everything. I understand what it looks like, but when you have power like me, I am never out of a fight, no matter what the circumstances. I’m never out of a fight.”
Wilder maintains that despite how things may have looked, he was fine late in the fight.
“I still had my thoughts in my mind. I had to lean against the ropes to get support because of my legs. It really hurt me,” Wilder said.
Wilder’s corner also disagreed with Breland’s decision to throw in the towel.
“Mark threw the towel. I didn’t think he should have,” Wilder’s co-trainer Jay Deas said after the fight during the post fight news conference. “Deontay is the kind of the guy that goes out on his shield. He will tell you straight-up: Don’t throw the towel in.”
Whether or not Breland will be in Wilder’s corner for the next fight remains to be seen.
We haven’t decided yet. I’m about ready to go to Africa. Once I come home from Africa, we gonna get a group decision on what changes that should or need to be done as far as my camp is concerned,” Wilder said. “No matter what the decision is, I love Mark. The whole team loves Mark dearly. He’s been with me from the start. We haven’t made any type of decision of what we are going to do.
“I’m in great spirits, man. Things happen, and you can always correct them and move forward. I’m an optimistic person. I can correct things, be optimistic and move forward.”
“Let’s see how this all plays out, and just know that whatever decision the Wilder camp makes, Top Rank and Tyson Fury will respect it,” Arum said. “There’s no hurry. If they say yes, then we’re off to the races. But again, I want to be clear about it, that the ball’s in their court, and they don’t have to decide this right away. They probably should check on his physical condition and so forth.”
“We may all decide to punt it to the fall, September or October,” Arum said.
“We would certainly pick the right date, even if it wasn’t in the window that we have in the contract,” Arum said. “We would look for the best possible date in 2020. Even though we have the champion, we have a partner in PBC, and we would consult with them. We’ve been so collegial. I’m not going to upset the apple cart and shoot off my mouth. I want to hear what PBC has to say before I talk to you about dates and sites. We’ll sit and talk and come to an understanding just like we did when we made [Saturday’s] fight.”