Deontay Wilder to exercise rematch, opens up about loss

Former heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder will exercise his option for an immediate rematch against newly crowned WBC and lineal champion Tyson Fury.

Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) knocked Wilder down twice, cut his ear open and pressured him so much so that Wilder’s co-trainer, Mark Breland, was forced to throw in the towel in the middle of the seventh round.

“We’re definitely going to exercise it,” said Wilder, who spoke to ESPN days after the fight in Las Vegas. “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.”

It was Wilder’s first career loss, one that sent shockwaves through the entire sport. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s) was dominated from the start.

Wilder got backed up to the ropes on several occasions, trapped in the corner and suffered a two centimeter cut in his ear, which required seven stitches. He was outboxed and outclassed. The boxer who relies heavily on his devastating right hand, couldn’t land it. Fury defeated Wilder doing what so many are afraid to do, stand in front of him and fight.

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“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 about the outcome of the fight. “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.”

Wilder, who wore a 45-pound costume to honor Black History Month, said the weight of the outfit affected his legs, saying from the third round on, his legs were shot.

He also voiced his opinion on Kenny Bayless–one of boxings most respected referees–for his lack of protection.

“The referee told me specifically that if I hit him in the back of the head or hit him on the break, he’d disqualify me,” Wilder said to Yahoo Sports. “But I guess that was only directed toward me because he allowed Fury to do those things. That’s the one thing that bothered me of everything.”

Bayless did take a point from Fury in the fifth. However, that didn’t matter to Wilder, who was significantly behind on the scorecards.

Wilder was very upset with Breland that he threw in the towel, instead of letting him go out on “his shield.” Breland, who won an Olympic gold medal and was a two-time professional world titlist before becoming a trainer, did the right thing saving his fighter even more damage. Though, right now, Wilder may not see it that way.

“I’d rather die in the ring than have the towel thrown in,” Wilder told The Athletic. “I’m a warrior.”

Despite the fight having to take place by July 18, per the contractual agreement between Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions, Fury’s promoter Bob Arum said it could be delayed until the fall in hopes of having the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium as a host.


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