Las Vegas – Since losing his WBC heavyweight world title this past Saturday, Feb. 22, Deontay Wilder has come out and spoken on his loss and what went wrong leading up to the historic heavyweight title fight.
As reported by Yahoo Sports, Wilder had this to say regarding his ring walkout and costume:
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is … that my uniform was way too heavy for me. 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 didnt 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.”
Here’s why what he’s saying is valid
It’s no secret that Wilder doesn’t do road work ahead of his fights or in general, period.
If you’ve followed Wilder throughout the course of his career, you’d know that he doesn’t run in preparation for his fights, because it’s a strategy of his to save his legs for sparring and the actual fight in the ring.
As recent as his last fight with Luis Ortiz in their rematch, the countdown crew caught a moment where Wilder was informing his strength and conditioning coach that he can’t do taxing leg workouts in the weight room because he needs to have them fresh for training in the boxing gym.
As reported by ESPN, Wilder had the costume on for about 15 minutes prior to his actual ring walk.
“We had it on 10 or 15 minutes before we even walked out and then put the helmet on. That was extra weight, then the ring walk, then going up the stairs. It was like a real workout for my legs. When I took it off, I knew immediately that game has changed,” said Wilder, according to ESPN.
Others such as boxing promoter, Bob Arum and Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden have also spoken out regarding Wilder’s ring walk costume, stating that the helmet may have been the root of the problem.
“Well, I don’t know about the legs affecting his performance, but he had to be very, very negligent coming in with that head covering because that choked off his oxygen, and I’m sure that had an effect,” said Arum. “Coach Gruden said that: ‘What is he, crazy?’ And it wasn’t covering him for two seconds. That was a long (ring) walk.”
Since the loss, Wilder expressed to ESPN on Monday, Feb. 24, that he “definitely” intends to invoke his rematch clause to set up a third fight against Tyson Fury.
Wilder has also stated that he is looking forward to the rematch, showing that he is not a broken fighter following the loss, like some analysts suggested may happen.
“We’re definitely going to excercise it. We’re looking forward to it. I’m a warrior and a true champion, and I fight like that every bit of the way. We’re definitely going on with it. That’s for sure. By the summertime.”
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