By Mark Elezaj
Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder wants to get back into the ring with Tyson Fury, telling ESPN on Monday that he will “definitely” exercise his right to a third fight with the lineal champion.
“We’re definitely going to exercise it,” said Wilder.
“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, who suffered his first career loss Saturday night, said he knew right away that there was an issue with his legs. He believes the issue was a direct result from the weight of the costume he wore into the ring.
“There were a lot of things that went wrong leading up to 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.”
Wilder told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that Fury was not the problem at all during the fight.
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is that my uniform was way too heavy for me,”
“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.”
Fury, who was clearly the better boxer that night, was the aggressor from the opening bell, up until Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round, a decision Wilder was clearly not happy with.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” Wilder said. “It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principal 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 principal of receiving.
Wilder said that he knew he was losing the fight, but he still had enough to continue on in the seventh round.
“I still had my thoughts in my mind. I had to lean against the ropes to get support because of my legs.” Wilder said.
“So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind. I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”
“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes,” Wilder said.
“I’d rather die in the ring than have the towel thrown in, I’m a warrior” he said, while revealing he will re-evaluate what he will do regarding trainer Mark Breland.
After the fight, at the postfight news conference, Jay Deas, Wilder’s co-trainer, said that he did not agree with Breland’s decision to end the fight.
“Mark threw the towel. I didn’t think he should have,” Deas said. “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.”
When asked if Breland would return to Wilder’s corner for his next fight, Wilder said that was not sure what the decision will be.
“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.
Wilder was stated that he was very critical when it came to the officiating of the fight.
“I don’t understand certain things that Bayless was doing because he came in the back room 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.”
When it was all said and done, Wilder praised Tyson Fury on his victory Saturday night, saying that he respects Fury tremendously and that he is looking forward to step inside the ring with him again in a third fight.
“I’m super happy for Tyson Fury and I really want to give him my complete congratulations,” Wilder said. “He’s had a lot of great accomplishments in his career and this is right there with all of them. I’m very excited about his career and what he has done. He deserves a lot of credit.”
Wilder vs Fury 2 combined to sell the biggest live gate ($16.9 million) in Nevada heavyweight fight history. The fight is also expected to have done very well on pay-per-view, although the results have not yet been announced.
~ The Fighting Voice ~