The last undisputed heavyweight in the world Lennox Lewis was watching on when Deontay Wilder took his most recent loss and has now given his verdict on what he saw.
Wilder struggled to pull the trigger on his famously potent right hand in the fight with Joseph Parker out in Saudi Arabia on December 23.
He moved backward for the full 12 rounds and eventually lost a wide and unanimous points decision then gave a strange post-fight interview in which he seemed perfectly content and even hinted at retirement.
Speaking to The Ring Magazine, Lewis thinks Wilder lacked focus in the fight.
“I don’t know what he was focused on, (but) mentally he said it was the money. ‘They paid me, I wasn’t really ready but I came out and gave them this for a little money. It doesn’t matter what way it goes, I’m prepared for a loss, I’m prepared for a win. Let God decide.’ He lost his spark.”
He then pointed out that there are certain things Wilder hasn’t had to learn in his career because he has always been able to knock people out, so advised him to get a new coach.
“Get with someone who can make those powerful punches even more lethal by working on other stuff like a great uppercut, a great hook. Surprise them, they’re looking for the right hand, hit them with an uppercut, a hook.”
Citing Wilder’s below-par punching stats, Lewis then claimed Wilder ‘didn’t take the fight that seriously’.
“I think his business mind took it because he was in no way prepared for Parker, not even with a warm-up fight. He said he’s not going to be rusty, he’s not Houdini, everybody gets rusty. What he’s saying didn’t really compute to me.”
Where Wilder goes from here is anyone’s guess, but the man himself has vowed to return despite dropping way down the heavyweight rankings following this loss and now being out of the frame for a fight with Anthon Joshua.