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Arum: Wilder hid from the tough questions

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum says he is not surprised that Deontay Wilder wore headphones and took a vow of silence at last month’s press conference to announce his trilogy fight with WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury in Las Vegas on July 24.

Following a controversial draw in December 2018, Fury demolished Wilder in seven rounds in February 2020, but rather than take his first defeat on the chin the ‘Bronze Bomber’ blamed a host of often outlandish excuses including a heavy ring walk outfit, tampered gloves and spiked water, resulting in his dismissal of long-time trainer Mark Breland.

After an arbitrator ruled that Fury must fulfil a previously contracted third fight with Wilder, rather than a more lucrative, undisputed title clash with rival champion Anthony Joshua, one might have expected the American to back up or defend his allegations at the press conference to announce their trilogy. Instead, Wilder refused to answer questions and wore headphones to drown out the background noise.

Fury’s US promoter Arum believes Wilder didn’t want to face any difficult questions through something close to embarrassment.

“What can he say? After shooting his mouth off and throwing his trainer under a bus. Everybody knows [Wilder’s former trainer] Mark Breland is one of the nicest people in the world,” Arum told Sky Sports.

“He didn’t say Breland trained him wrong which fighters always say. He said Breland doped his water so he couldn’t perform! That is insanity.

“He said the referee Kenny Bayless was drunk! Insanity.

“The gloves that Fury had were somehow not correct! Crazy. The gloves don’t go to anybody except the [Nevada State Athletic] Commission, they are locked up. They are put on, with all the cameras there, in the dressing room. So what is he talking about?

“If I said something like that, I’d also put headphones on so nobody could ask me questions about it.”