Deontay Wilder made headlines after his second fight with Tyson Fury when he blamed his defeat on the elaborate costume he donned on his ring walk.
After a draw in their first bout, Tyson Fury returned to Las Vegas with a new trainer and punishing style. He knocked down Wilder twice and forced the champion’s corner to retire their fighter in the seventh. Fury walked away with the WBC Heavyweight belt.
It was the first loss of Wilder’s career, and, by all accounts, he didn’t take it well. Speaking to Yahoo Sports, he blamed the ’40lb uniform’ for leaving him with no energy by the time the first bell rang.
“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.”
It is worth noting that the ring walk was impressive – but Wilder’s excuse at the time was widely mocked by fans and fighters.
Many saw it as an inability to accept defeat, and the fighter hardly helped himself following on from this as he reeled off a number of other reasons he lost – none of which gave credit to Fury as an elite operator.
His current trainer, Malik Scott, thinks that the theory of the costume sapping ‘The Bronze Bomber’s energy does, for want a better phrase, hold weight. He spoke to IFL TV.
“It was a heavy costume. Deontay had it on for a bit [longer] than he had any other attire on before a fight – in the dressing room, long walk. During that high level of a fight, you’re already dealing with nerves, you’re dealing with wanting to do well.
So, yeah, that time the costume probably did cause some kind of issues for him. At that time, is that something he addressed right then and there? No because he’s a warrior. He’s going to go and fight and do what he has to do.”
Scott was also asked about the firing of Mark Breland – a highly-respected trainer who threw in the towel on that night to save Wilder from taking more punishment than was necessary.
At the time, Wilder said he had defied the principles they had previously discussed.
“I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield.”
Scott chose to not speak on the situation, branding Breland a ‘legend in the game’ and believing it to be one for the fighter to address himself.
As far as their own relationship goes, Wilder and Scott seem to be on the same level with a bond that looks unlikely to break anytime soon. After a 2022 knockout of Robert Helenius, the pair are ready to get back into big fights.