It’s been a while since the second heavyweight boxing contest between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder took place, and the world has changed a lot since then. If your memory of their February 2020 encounter has faded, allow us to refresh it for you. The big British fighter annihilated Deontay Wilder that night. Wilder was sent to the canvas twice and then pulled from the fight by his own corner as he took a merciless beating in the seventh round. Fury walked away with Wilder’s WBC World Heavyweight Championship in his kit bag. Wilder walked away with hurt pride and a badly dented reputation.
Neither fighter has stepped back into the ring since that might, although that’s not for want of trying. The original plan was for the two boxers to meet for a third time on July 18th this year, although that had to be postponed for obvious reasons. The fight was pushed to early October, but that had to be canceled again when it became clear that crowds wouldn’t be allowed inside arenas by that time. More recently, a date of December 19th was penciled in. That date now also appears to have been canceled, and it isn’t immediately clear why. The boxing world believes that it’s Wilder’s camp who have requested another postponement, but they’re staying tight-lipped on the matter. Because of that postponement, the trilogy battle may now never happen at all.
If Wilder has lost his chance to get even with Fury after suffering one draw and one loss in his quest to slay the giant, it won’t sit well in the mind of a man who has been making excuses for his performance ever since the night it happened. While the rest of the world saw the Bronze Bomber get taken apart by a superior boxer, Wilder believes that a great injustice was done to him. In the initial stages of his denial, he blamed his sluggish effort on the fact that the special costume he wore for his ring walk was too heavy and had sapped his strength. That was met with a mixture of amusement and disbelief by others in the boxing profession. Undeterred, he’s now come up with another excuse, and this one is more troubling. He’s directly accused Tyson Fury of ‘putting something in his gloves‘ before the fight and cheating to win.
The allegation is the most eye-catching in a series of excuses offered up by Wilder recently. On the same day he said that Fury had used illegal gloves, he also suggested that Mark Breland, his former trainer, might have deliberately drugged his water with a muscle relaxant or another substance that would have caused him to be lethargic. No reason was given as to why Breland, who had worked with Wilder for many years, would suddenly turn on his own fighter in such a manner. Not content with that, Wilder went a step further by suggesting that referee Kenny Bayless wanted “to do something to a black man” despite the fact that Bayless is himself black.
This latest outburst takes the number of implausible excuses offered by Wilder up to six. So far, he’s blamed spiked water, loaded gloves, a heavy costume, biased refereeing, a previously undisclosed bicep injury, and a premature decision to throw the towel in for his defeat. He has the demeanor of an online slots player desperately hitting the ‘spin’ button again and again in the hope that something will turn good for him eventually.
The irony is that in a boxing-themed slot – let’s say “Mike Tyson’s Knockout,” for example, the statistics suggest that eventually, something will come good for you if you carry on playing. Every experienced player who’s spent time at an online slots website like Kong Casino has at least one good ‘against the odds’ success story. There’s nothing to be gained by Wilder continuing to spin excuses like this. The fight was lost, the decision can’t be changed, and he’s no closer to getting his world heavyweight crown back than he was when he was helped out of the ring in February.
Wilder’s claims are so outrageous that they’ve prompted concern for his well-being in some corners and ridicule from others. Dillian Whyte, a British heavyweight who has his own aspirations to challenge Fury for his world titles, has called Wilder a “joke” and a “coward” and said that he doesn’t believe Wilder will ever set foot in a boxing ring again. Others have noted that Wilder hasn’t produced any evidence to support a single one of his claims and that his constant complaining makes him sound like a sore loser.
In the process of making these extraordinary statements, Wilder has also accidentally admitted something that he’s previously denied. In a video posted to his social media accounts, he said that he turned down a big-money offer to fight Anthony Joshua because he preferred to fight Fury. That goes against his previous claims that Joshua was ‘running scared’ of him and wouldn’t agree on a deal for a fight.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the former world champion, his next move in boxing isn’t apparent. Tyson Fury still intends to fight on December 19th, but it now looks all-but-impossible that his opponent that night will be Deontay Wilder. Dillian Whyte has been suggested as an opponent, but Whyte’s shock knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin in August is thought to have damaged his chances of being given such a platform.
Oscar Rivas, Efe Ajagba, and Agit Kabayel are all thought to be possibilities, but none of them are ‘known names’ from a box office perspective and wouldn’t draw the size of audience that would typically be expected of a Tyson Fury contest. Wilder will likely be looking on from the outside and hoping that he gets his chance to set the record straight against the Englishman early in 2021.
Anything can happen in heavyweight boxing, and every fighter is always one big punch away from a shock loss or victory. Boxers who make successful comebacks tend to stay silent after a loss and make a big impression in their next fight. Wilder’s frequent outbursts don’t portray himself or his sport in a positive light and might come back to haunt him if Fury does eventually put him down a second time.