By: Hans Themistode
There was a look of determination in the eyes of Deontay Wilder. With the sting of a one-sided defeat hanging over his head for roughly a year and a half, Wilder took his frustrations and began diligently working on his skills.
With so much time to gel with new head trainer Malik Scott, Wilder’s confidence was through the roof as he stepped through the ropes to face Fury once more. For the Alabama native, not only did he want his WBC title handed back to him, but he wanted to wrap it around his waist while Fury’s blood was plastered all over it.
As the two stood toe to toe at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night, Wilder appeared to be on the verge of having his wish granted. The pugnacious heavy hitter peeled himself up off the deck in round three to drop Fury twice in the following round. To Fury’s credit, however, he staggered to his feet and ultimately went on to register the stoppage win in the 11th round.
For Wilder, reality has slowly set in. The 35-year-old former titlist has always been dubious to the notion that Fury beat him on a fair playing field. In addition to that, Wilder was convinced that if he came into their trilogy in peak form, then Fury would have essentially no chance.
Now, however, Wilder is slowly coming to grips with what took place last night.
“I did my best,” said Wilder. “But it wasn’t good enough. I’m not sure what happened.”
Before both Wilder and Fury swapped fists in front of a jam-packed Las Vegas, crowd, Wilder wowed the boxing world with his new physique. Having packed on considerable more muscle for the third installment of their showdown, Wilder was convinced that the extra girth was needed in order to stand and bang with the much larger Fury.
But, even as Wilder tipped the scales at 238 pounds, he was still outweighed by approximately 40 pounds as Fury came in at a career-high 277 pounds.
All along, Wilder believed he knew that Fury’s game plan was to use his size to wear him down. In the end, no matter how much weight Wilder added to his normally slender frame and regardless of showing the ability to bench press well over 300 pounds, Wilder concedes that Fury’s game plan ultimately worked.
“I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”
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