By: Sean Crose
“They can’t get mad because it didn’t go their way. Now, he wanted her to be like their Cristina or whatever her name is, you know, how she suck up to them.”
These comments, captured on video, were uttered by Deontay Wilder, and were followed by Wilder simulating a sex act. Wilder in the video is apparently referring to an incident earlier in the week when Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum essentially went off on Fox’ Kate Abdo after a press conference to promote Saturday’s heavyweight title matchup between Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Yet Wilder appears to also be specifically referring to Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher in the video, a likeable veteran of the Top Rank team, as well as a mother of two. Needless to say, the video clip is leading to condemnation on social media. It’s not like Wilder doesn’t deserve it. Boxing is a tough sport, and no one with a modicum of intelligence should expect fighters to act in a market tested, media approved manner. Still, there’s a level basic decency that has to be adhered to, and Wilder is seen crossing the line in the video.
It’s fight week. Not just fight week, but a major fight week. The fighters and everyone else involved with Saturday’s third Wilder-Fury match are on edge. It only makes sense that they would be. There’s a lot at stake here. Yet people like Arum and Wilder get paid the big bucks to be able to handle intense situations. This is boxing, after all, the most intense sport this side of ancient gladiatorial contests. What’s more, these men should be aware that their worst moments are going to be made public. Before they can ask themselves why they did what they did, the evidence of bad behavior is already out there.
With all that being said, there’s simply one thing for Wilder to do, if he hasn’t done it already – apologize to Poncher for his gross act, then keep in mind there’s some lines one shouldn’t cross, even in the heat of fight week publicity. Wilder probably thought his actions were nothing personal, glib locker room humor at worst. The video, however, has left the locker room and is now online for everyone to see. That’s not fair to Poncher, and it’s no way to promote a fight. Boxing often looks corrupt and incompetently run. It doesn’t need to look misogynist, as well. Plus, it’s just not right to act as Wilder does in the video.
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