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Wilder says costume contributed to defeat

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-27 09:09
Deontay Wilder during the ring walk before the fight in Las Vegas, United States, Feb 22, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Deontay Wilder says an elaborate outfit he wore on his ring walk wore him down so much that he didn't have the legs to withstand Tyson Fury in their heavyweight title fight on Saturday night.

Wilder also said he would execute a clause in his contract for a third fight with Fury, hopefully sometime this summer.

"This summer with no fights in between," Wilder told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Monday. "I'm a warrior and I'm ready to go again, but we're going to change a lot of things in camp."

Wilder claimed the outfit - which he said was a tribute to Black History Month - weighed him down and that his legs weren't right by the time the fight started. Wilder said the entire getup, including a mask, weighed about 20 kilograms, and he knew by the end of the second round that his legs were gone.

Wilder also said his assistant trainer, Mark Breland, was acting against previously agreed-upon instructions when he threw in the towel to end the fight at 1:39 of the seventh round and would not likely be in the corner in a third fight.

"We had many discussions for years about this situation and for him to still do it after Jay (Deas, Wilder's main trainer) told him not to do it really hurt me. And then I heard he was influenced by another fighter in the audience and it makes a lot of conspiracy theories in your head why he did it. It didn't make sense."

The former heavyweight champion was knocked down twice by Fury before his corner threw in the towel in the seventh round. It was his first loss in 44 fights and came after 10 successful title defenses.

Wilder, who has always worn elaborate outfits into the ring, said he tried on the one he used in the fight the night before to make sure he could get it on and off. He said it was weighed down by sequins and ornamentation and also included batteries for his mask to light up when he got in the ring.

"Going up the stairs (into the ring) I knew immediately it was a different change in my body condition," he said. "After the second round I had no legs, period."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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