By: Hans Themistode
It was considered the biggest fight of the decade, but it also happened to be the worst performance in the career of former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder.
For years, Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs)was viewed as an unstoppable force. Standing at six feet seven inches and barely cracking 200 pounds, it was hard to see why. There was nothing about Wilder from a physical standpoint that screamed intimidating.
So just what could this scrawny young man from Alabama do? He didn’t have the boxing skills, size or pedigree to give anyone a scare.
But then, he hit someone.
And they didn’t get up.
That pattern continued, and the young kid from Alabama quickly grew to become a champion. His reign on top of the world lasted over five years before it was abruptly put to an end at the hands Tyson Fury this past weekend on February 22nd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The loss for Wilder wasn’t entirely shocking. After all, Fury is a great fighter in his own right, but it was the fashion in which Wilder dominated that shocked everyone. Fury dropped the former champion twice before stopping him in the seventh round.
While all eyes should be on the performance of Fury, many can’t help but wonder, just what happened to Deontay Wilder? Simply put, he looked unnerved.
Shortly after receiving the first loss of his career, Wilder unloaded his bag of excuses on the boxing world. The former champion claimed that his pre-fight outfit was simply too much for his willowy body to handle.
“That my uniform was way too heavy for me,” said Wilder during a recent interview. “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.”
Needless to say, no one was buying his excuses. At least, not at first.
The explanation by Wilder seemed utterly ridiculous. At this point, there were more questions than answers.
Why pick out an outfit that weighs so much? Did you try it on? If you did, how long did you have it on? Why didn’t you pick another costume?
Fans around the world were simply left scratching their collective heads. It just didn’t make sense.
Yet, to the credit of Wilder, when you pull up the tape of his fight against Fury, you could see that throughout much of the contest he did in fact seem to not have his legs underneath him.
The tape may have aided Wilder in proving his point right about his costume weighing too much but just a few days later, the tape has worked against him.
In an interview that took place over a year ago on the Joe Rogan podcast, Deontay Wilder revealed some of the secrets that has helped him become the fighter that he is today. However, it also revealed that the excuse that Wilder used for his poor performance against Fury was just that. An excuse.
“We do everything with rapid speed so I wear a 45 pound vest on me in all of my exercises,” said Wilder. “Everything that I do, I have that extra weight on me.”
45 pounds? Ironically enough, that is the exact weight of the costume that Wilder wore on the night that he fought Fury.
What seemed to be an explanation for his lackluster performance on the biggest stage of his career, seems more and more likely to be nothing more than an excuse. And a poor one at that.
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