Deontay Wilder sacks trainer who threw the towel in during Tyson Fury fight

Jack de Menezes
The Independent
The towel was thrown in by Mark Breland during Tyson Fury's win over Deontay Wilder: EPA
The towel was thrown in by Mark Breland during Tyson Fury's win over Deontay Wilder: EPA

Deontay Wilder plans to sack his trainer Mark Breland after he threw the towel in during his heavyweight title defeat against Tyson Fury, claiming that if he wants to “talk about killing man” in the ring, he has to be willing to receive the same treatment.

Breland was praised for saving Wilder from further punishment after a bloody contest ended at 1:39 minutes in the seventh round, with Fury well ahead on the three judges’ scorecards and having knocked the defending champion down twice.

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Wilder was visibly upset by the decision as referee Kenny Bayliss waved the fight off, and he bellowed “Why’d you do that?!” at his corner in the immediate seconds after Fury’s victory was confirmed, and questioned whether there was a conspiracy against him due to rumours that voices from outside of his corner had an influence in the decision.

With Wilder announcing his intention to activate an immediate rematch clause, the American is set to fight Fury in a third contest before the end of July, but he is unlikely to have former Olympic champion Breland in his corner.

"We had many discussions for years about this situation and for him to still do it after Jay (Deas, Wilder's main trainer) told him not to do it really hurt me,” Wilder told the Associated Press.

“And then I heard he was influenced by another fighter in the audience and it makes a lot of conspiracy theories in your head why he did it. It didn't make sense."

He added to Yahoo Sports: “I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional.

“It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principal thing. We’ve talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened. I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield. If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principal of receiving.

“So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind. I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”

“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes.”

Under the terms of their pre-fight contract, Wilder has 30 days to activate his rematch clause from the night of the bout, and a third fight between the pair must be organised before the end of July, ensuring they will collide three times in the space of 19 months.

"This summer with no fights in between," Wilder told the Associated Press. "I'm a warrior and I'm ready to go again, but we're going to change a lot of things in camp."

Deontay Wilder was furious with his team's decision to wave off his fight with Tyson Fury (Reuters)
Deontay Wilder was furious with his team's decision to wave off his fight with Tyson Fury (Reuters)

Wilder also confirmed that he did not suffer a broken jaw or perforated ear drum as many had suspected, and blamed his three-stone outfit that he wore to the ring in recognition of Black History Month as the cause of his loss for sapping the energy from his legs.

“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is ... that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder told Yahoo Sports. “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. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.

“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, 40-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.”

He added to AP: "Going up the stairs (into the ring) I knew immediately it was a different change in my body condition," he said. "After the second round I had no legs, period."

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