In Depth

Deontay Wilder blames costume for loss to Tyson Fury - how boxing fans reacted to the excuse

American intends to exercise the clause for a third fight against Fury

Deontay Wilder has revealed the reason for his crushing TKO defeat to Tyson Fury in last weekend’s WBC heavyweight title rematch.

Was it the heavy blows that rained down on the American as his British opponent secured a seventh-round stoppage in Las Vegas? Or maybe it was his team throwing in the towel?

It’s neither of those... in fact the 34-year-old has blamed his elaborate ring-walk costume for being too heavy and affecting his legs during the bout. 

Weighing in at around 40 pounds (18.1kg), the outfit saw Wilder wear a mask, a crown and armour as he made his way to the ring for the title contest. The costume was a tribute to Black History Month. 

In an interview with Yahoo Sports, the former champion said: “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. 

“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.”

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Wilder to exercise clause for third fight 

As Fury celebrates being crowned the WBC champion a lot of talk in the boxing world is about the possibility of him facing Anthony Joshua is an all-British heavyweight unification contest

However, Fury and Wilder also have a clause in their fight contract for a third battle. Wilder has 30 days to invoke the clause and Yahoo says that he intends to exercise his right for another rematch.  

Yahoo journalist Kevin Iole reports: “He said he will go to Africa at the end of March on vacation and plans to exercise his rematch clause for a third fight with Fury. He said he’ll get back to boxing once he returns from Africa.”

Promoters want Fury vs. Joshua

It’s also reported in the UK papers today that the Fury and Joshua camps do want to see the Brits go to battle to decide who is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. 

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Sky Sports that both parties would be “clowns” and “idiots” if they did not make the fight happen. 

Although Hearn didn’t put a timeframe on what is already being billed as the “Fight of the Century”, he did say: “Everybody wants this fight… there are some hurdles to overcome on the broadcasting, but nothing too much. I promise you this fight will happen.”

Speaking to the BBC Fury’s promoter Frank Warren added: “Of course we want to see the fight. We’ve been trying to make it for two years.”

Today’s back pages: ‘Fight of the Century’ will happen

‘A hilarious, dorky excuse’

How boxing fans on Twitter reacted to Wilder’s costume claims...

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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