Deontay Wilder’s pre-fight costume was elaborate.
It also might be the reason he looked out of whack Saturday night.
That’s the picture Wilder painted Monday in explaining his poor performance against Tyson Fury in the fighters’ much-anticipated rematch at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Fury defeated Wilder via seventh-round TKO after knocking down his unbalanced opponent twice.
“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’ Kevin Iole. “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.”
The entrances lived up to the hype 🔥
— ESPN (@espn) February 23, 2020
According to Iole, Wilder also acknowledged he isn’t happy with assistant trainer Mark Breland, who stopped the fight as the previously undefeated champion sought to battle through a sizable gash in his ear. But it was clear from the beginning Wilder was overmatched, and he really has no one to blame but himself, regardless of whether or not you buy his excuse about the costume.
Maybe for the trilogy fight, Wilder should take a page out of Fury’s book and be carried down to the ring.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images