Deontay Wilder to exercise Tyson Fury rematch clause, cites costume for weakened legs in TKO loss

It was well-known heading into this past Saturday’s rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder for the WBC and lineal heavyweight championships that the loser reserved the right to initiate a third fight, should they desire. Now, just days after suffering a seventh-round TKO loss to Fury, the first defeat of his career, Wilder says he will do exactly that.

According to Lance Pugmire at The Athletic, Wilder will aim to win back the championship he lost in a third fight between the two heavyweights expected to take place this summer. What’s more, aside from confirming his intentions of activating the rematch clause, Wilder also revealed to The Athletic that he blames the 45-pound costume he wore during his entrance for leaving his legs fatigued before the fight even began. He also made this revelation to Yahoo Sports while claiming Fury did not hurt him despite scoring multiple knockdowns ahead of the stoppage.

“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is, Kevin [Iole of Yahoo], that 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. 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.” 

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In the ring immediately following the loss, Wilder suggested he entered the fight with some sort of leg issues.

“I had a lot of things going on coming into the fight,” Wilder said after the fight. “My leg was already wrecked coming in due to other things.”

Wilder also blamed referee Kenny Bayless while speaking with The Athletic. The first knockdown scored by Fury appeared to come after a punch landed to the back of the head, which is technically an illegal blow. Wilder believes the punches to the back of the head happened repeatedly despite pre-fight instructions from Bayless saying any such infractions would lead to point deductions and disqualification.

There was also blame thrown at assistant trainer Mark Breland, who threw in the towel as Wilder was absorbing an increasing amount of punishment during the fight. Wilder said afterwards that he would have rather “gone out on his shield” than have the towel thrown in.

“I’d rather die in the ring than have the towel thrown in,” Wilder told The Athletic. “I’m a warrior.”  

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