Deontay Wilder: ‘I don’t see Tyson Fury as a champion’
By Scott Gilfoid: Deontay Wilder says he still doesn’t view Tyson Fury as a world champion yet despite losing his WBC heavyweight title to him last February. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) states that their third fight will answer all the questions about who the better fighter is of the two.
According to Wilder, “it wasn’t me” in there with Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) on the night. He says he was a “zombie,” and he had something that kept him from being the fighter that he usually is.
Wilder says he’ll reveal what the problem was at a later time, but he doesn’t want to talk about it now. He doesn’t want to come across like he’s just making excuses for his 7th round knockout loss to Fury.
It seems pretty obvious what went wrong for Wilder on the night. He was too heavy to start with at 231 lbs, which was almost 20 pounds heavier than the weight he came in for the first fight with Fury in 2018.
Secondly, Fury nailed Wilder with some rabbit punches in the first two rounds that had him looking in bad shape. It’s hard to come back once you get knocked silly from a blow to the back of the head. Wilder looked like he didn’t know how to adjust to the tactics that Fury was using in the fight, and things quickly unraveled for him.
Wilder wasn’t ready for that type of fight. When your opponent is roughing you up, you have to make a snap decision whether to get in the gutter with them or continue to fight cleanly.
Wilder: Fury isn’t a champion yet
“There were a lot of things that went on, and a lot of things I don’t want to talk about at this moment in time,” said Deontay Wilder to PBC Podcast on his loss to Fury. “I can’t believe the things that happened were happening to me. I’m still reflecting on it and trying to figure some things out.
“People that know boxing know that wasn’t Deontay Wilder that night. I was a zombie that night. I can’t talk about a lot of things, but it wasn’t Deontay Wilder. You can tell from the mask and my reaction to certain things that I was doing in the ring. And you can look at the first fight from the second fight, and you can tell it was two different people.
“You don’t go backward. You go on the hunt. That night, I wasn’t myself. I felt like a zombie. There’s a lot of things I really can’t say. I can only get stronger and learn from the situation to get better. It’s not over. In my eyes, I don’t see Fury as a champion. It’s still going. He ain’t the champion yet,” said Wilder.
“We still got one more fight left. I’m looking forward to showing the world the best of Deontay Wilder.”
You can argue that Wilder and Fury are 1-1 at this point after two fights. In the first clash, Wilder had Fury knocked out in the 12th, but the referee shockingly gave him a count to him. Many fans believe the fight should have been stopped on the spot for safety reasons. Fury won the rematch, so now they’re pretty much even going into the third clash.
Deontay Wilder: It wasn’t me in there that night
“I’m not bothered with losing because it allows me to come back and overcome [the difficulties],” said Wilder. “I know this is going to be the most significant time of my life. I’m not done yet. No, I wasn’t surprised [by Fury’s aggressiveness]. At the first sound of the bell, I was more in the retreat mode.
“I wasn’t there. That’s all I can tell you. From the first start, I wasn’t there. But everything is going to be alright, trust me. I’m just looking forward to going in there and doing what I got to do. I don’t want to say too much and sound like I’m making excuses. I’m happy and in full health, and I’m coming back stronger than ever.
“I think some people are just looking for publicity,” said Wilder about different trainers wanting to give advice to him to turn his career around. “Boxing is a really crooked business and a corrupt sport as well. You got to be careful with people you bring in to help, especially if they never reached out before and want to see an opportunity,” said Wilder.
You hate to say it, but it didn’t look like the same Wilder that fans had known from his previous fights. Wilder looked all wrong the moment the fight started. He threw a right hand to the head of Fury and then retreated to the ropes. That was an odd move for Deontay because he NEVER retreats.
Fury likely would have fought the same game plan as the first fight if Wilder had come forward all night, but he was in a continuous retreat mode. When Gilfoid saw that, he knew something was wrong with Wilder.
These are the problems Wilder had in the second fight:
- Weight too heavy
- Hurt by rabbit punches
- Retreating too much
- Fighting with back against the ropes
- Not using movement
- Letting Fury maul him with clubbing punches
- Failing to use his right hand
Wilder adding two trainers to his team
“I am looking to bring in someone for sure,” said Wilder. “We don’t have it down yet. I’ve got two people I’m bringing in. One of them, he always comes to camp and is always around and is in and out anyway. We’ll see what happens. I think we’ve got a great team. When things get back to normal, we can move forward with our game plan for the third fight.
“He dropped a couple of gems to me,” said Wilder about George Foreman giving him advice. “When I get some time, I’m going to go see George and get some of that good old knowledge that he has up there,” said Wilder.
It’s a smart move for Wilder to add a couple of trainers to his team. At this point, Wilder needs as much help as he can get. It’s a good idea for him to bring some new blood in there that can help him.
What he should arguably do is get a big broom and sweep out his existing training team, and start from scratch with a new group. When it comes to your career, you can’t be loyal, especially if things aren’t working, and you’re being criticized the way he is.
The third Fury vs. Wilder fight WILL happen
“No, I’m not surprised,” said Wilder when told that Fury was surprised that he’s taking the third fight with him. “I am what I am. I’m Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder, and nothing is going to change with that. Why wouldn’t I want it?
“There’s going to be a time and place where I come out, and when I say what I need to say. But looking at the fight, he knows that wasn’t me. People in boxing know that wasn’t the real Deontay Wilder. Something was wrong with him. Like I said, there’s a time and place for it all, and I’ll reveal a lot of things.
“I’m looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to give people what they want to see. It’s more fuel to the fire. The third fight is set up to be even bigger. This is going to be it, the last final straw right here. That’s the way I see it. I’m channeling everything in that happened, and everything that happened to me. I’m cutting my grass and getting all the snakes out of my grass.
“It’s a lot of time for me to see what’s really going on. You can have a lot of people around you, but certainly jealousy you can’t control. He [Fury] should look forward to it. Don’t worry if I’m going to take it or not. He should just look forward to seeing me when it’s time.
“I know I’m a king, and I know I’ve led you [the boxing fans] so far, and I know I motivate so many,” said Wilder.
Fury needs to realize that Deontay is going to fight him a third time, and that’s not something that will change. If Fury is holding out hope that Wilder will change his mind about wanting to fight him again, then he’s wasting his time. Wilder has already made it clear that he’s forcing the trilogy match, and Fury needs to step hoping for an alternative reality.
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