Deontay Wilder needs hand surgery, will fight in April or May
By Matt Lieberman: Deontay Wilder will be having right-hand surgery next week to repair a broken bone he suffered during his 11th round knockout loss to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last Saturday night in Las Vegas.
In addition to his broken right hand, Wilder also suffered a finger and knuckle injury.
Moving forward, Wilder might need to look at the type of gloves he’s using to prevent him from suffering similar injuries. Wilder went with a pair of puncher’s gloves for the Fury fight.
Given Wilder’s knockout loss, he’s reportedly been given a six-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until April 8th. The former WBC champion Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) will need to be cleared for him to return to the ring.
Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel says he’ll likely be returning to the ring in April or May. He’s not saying who Deontay will be fighting, but it’ll probably be a non-contender.
With the stamina and defensive flaws that Wilder exhibited last Saturday night against Fury, these things must get addressed for his next fight.
For that purpose, a warm-up fight or two will be helpful for Wilder to show that he can improve his conditioning and defense before taking on top-tier opposition once again.
“Deontay broke his right hand behind the third knuckle, and he has to have that fixed next week,” Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel said to The Sun.
“He has to have surgery; the knuckle is OK; it’s the bone behind the knuckle that broke. He’s sore, but he was OK; he was home yesterday.”
“He’s healing, and at this point, if everything is OK, after the hand surgery, he’ll probably look to enter the ring mid next year, like April or May.”
In the aftermath of the loss to Fury, much of the focus has been on Wilder’s broken right hand, but surprisingly nothing is being said by his team about his abysmal conditioning for the fight.
Although Wilder looked impressive physically with his chiseled 238-lb physique, he couldn’t fight at a fast pace with that weight without tiring.
Wilder looked gassed out after three rounds last Saturday, and it was shocking how exhausted he was so early in the fight.
When you compare how Wilder performed in his fights in 2019 and earlier, it’s like two different fighters to how he looked last Saturday against Fury and in his previous fight with him in 2020.
In both of Wilder’s last two fights, he’s fought with his weight in the 230s, and he hasn’t performed at a high level.
Deontay looked exhausted by the third round in both fights, and neither of them was fought at a super-fast pace.
After Wilder’s loss last year, he replaced his long-time trainer Mark Breland with Malik Scott, an ex-fighter with zero coaching experience.
It was a questionable move on Wilder’s part in firing Breland and hiring a rookie trainer. The wiser move for Wilder would have been to replace Breland with an experienced coach and hire a conditioning trainer to work on the stamina problems that he showed in his fight with Fury in 2020.
“I’m not sure that Usyk, even with his great skills, will be able to deal with the size of Fury,” said Finkel added.
It’s not Finkel or Wilder’s problem whether Usyk can handle Fury’s size, and they need to be putting their energy into fixing the flaws that Fury exposed in the last two fights.
If Usyk loses to Fury, it’s all the better for Wilder, as long as he’s able to turn his career around to start winning again.
- Eddie Hearn expects Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte to be ordered at WBC’s next convention in November
- Oleksandr Usyk could beat Fury says Malik Scott
- Bob Arum says Tyson Fury to decide April opponent, Joyce & Whyte options
- Dillian Whyte says Fury “slowing down,” expects to fight him next