Tyson Fury went into his world heavyweight title triumph over Deontay Wilder with ankles that were “all messed up” according to trainer SugarHill Steward, who gave the American’s excuse of being hindered by his ring walk costume short shrift.
Wilder blamed his poor performance in last Sunday’s WBC heavyweight title contest on wearing a 40-pound costume to the ring to celebrate Black History Month, which he claimed drained his legs of all energy after wearing it for close to an hour.
The additional three stone of attire, lights and batteries took its toll on Wilder, and he claimed his performance was heavily hindered by the outfit after only trying it on the night before the Las Vegas bout.
But Fury’s camp have laughed off the excuse after watching their man stop Wilder in the seventh round when the towel was thrown in from his corner, and trainer Steward – son of the legendary Manny Steward – claimed that Fury had far bigger issues to overcome in the bout after suffering injuries in the build up to Sunday’s bout.
“We had injuries in camp,” Steward told ESPN. “Tyson hurt his ankles, they were all messed up – they have pictures of that – he suffered a cut in training camp.”
Fury also had to worry about reopening the brutal cut above his eye that he suffered in his victory over Otto Wallin, which resulted in the Briton recruiting renowned cut man Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran to look after the scar tissue during the Wilder rematch.
“Tyson Fury wasn't even getting hit to the head in training camp,” added Steward. “I think in the beginning of training camp, his elbow or shoulder was hurt. He was spotted limping at the UFC (event) so Tyson Fury's the one with all the injuries."
Fury drafted Steward alongside Andy Lee in to replace Ben Davison for the Wilder rematch, having left the first bout in Los Angeles with a split-decision draw that convinced him he needed a new approach to stop the American.
The change of tactic paid off for 31-year-old Fury, with Wilder hitting the canvas twice before co-trainer Mark Breland pulled him out of the fight by throwing in the towel against his wishes.
But Fury may be on the lookout for a new trainer once again, with Steward hinting after Sunday’s bout that he is considering retirement from the professional game.
“I think I am going to retire after this fight, there is nothing else for me to do,” Steward told BT Sport. “I am going to go home and train amateurs after this fight. Bring up some more champions.”