Tyson Fury has responded publicly for the first time since Deontay Wilder blamed his heavyweight title defeat in the weight of his ring-walk outfit, with the newly-crowned champion believing that his excuse was a clear sign of the American’s failure to deal with losing for the first time.
Wilder raised many an eyebrow by claiming the “40-45-pound” outfit that he wore ahead of the 22 February rematch drained him of his energy, with the dethroned WBC heavyweight champion attempting to pay tribute to Black History Month with an extravagant costume that featured a mask, lights and batteries.
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder said. “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through.
“I was only able to put it on (for the first time) the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 45-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything.”
Fury’s camp laughed off the claims in the week after his Las Vegas win, but the Briton addressed Wilder’s comments himself for the first time after his return home, striking an understanding-yet-dismissive tone with the unheard of excuse and referencing a previous interview where Wilder bragged in 2018 of training with added weight attached to him.
"He said he trains in a 45lbs weighted vest every day,” Fury said on ITV’s This Morning. “I can understand where he’s coming from because in every fighter’s mind there’s always got to be a reason why they’ve lost. It can never be the simple fact of 'I wasn’t good enough on the night, I lost to the better guy.'
“It's always gotta be 'the camp was wrong, it was the trainer's fault, it was my suit, it was my toe’. It’s always something was a problem. With me if I’m injured or whatever the problem is, it’s like ‘ok the performance wasn’t great, I’m going to move on and crack on’.”
Fury is set to face Wilder in a trilogy rematch that according to promoter Bob Arum will take place in Las Vegas on 18 July, though confirmation is yet to come of what would prove another blockbuster bout.
Having appeared to have done enough to win their first encounter – only for the judges to rule the Los Angeles encounter a split-decision draw – before delivering an emphatic performance to triumph in Vegas, Fury believes it will be a case of same again if and when they meet for a third time.
“I beat him the first time, I beat him the second time and I surely will beat him the third time,” Fury added. “The one thing I will say about Deontay Wilder is he’s a very worthy opponent and a very dangerous opponent. He has that eraser power of 43 knockouts, only the one defeat, so you can never write a guy off like that and it’s always one punch away from disaster with Deontay Wilder, because like he famously says they have to be correct for 36 minutes, he only has to be correct for one second, and that’s so true.”
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