Deontay Wilder admits he’s still in disbelief at what happened as Tyson Fury ended his undefeated streak by knockout during their February rematch, while insisting the Gypsy King cannot claim to be true WBC champion until their trilogy bout.
Wilder made headlines after initially blaming his heavy ringwalk costume for tiring him out before the heavily-anticipated rematch on February 23.
The 34-year-old’s latest comments show he’s still processing things in the aftermath of his first career defeat, but is keen to avenge that loss and unwilling to step aside for an even bigger clash – Fury challenging Anthony Joshua in a world title unification bout.
Speaking to the Premier Boxing Champions podcast on Wednesday, he said he didn’t feel his best on fight night:
“When I took off my mask, the things that I was doing. I’ve been in this sport a very long time so people automatically know how I am.
People that know boxing know that it wasn’t Deontay Wilder on that night, I was a zombie. I wasn’t myself, I felt like a zombie.
I’m still reflecting. I can’t believe the things that happened. I’m figuring things out.”
As confirmed by Fury’s promoter Frank Warren during fight week in February, an agreement was already inserted into the contract for a trilogy bout.
A rematch was scheduled for July but has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted sporting events worldwide.
“It’s not over: in my eyes I don’t see Fury as the champion. He ain’t the champion yet, we’ve still got one more fight left… and I’m looking forward to giving the world the best of Deontay Wilder.”
Perspective key as Wilder targets redemption, when time is right
An encouraging sign to take from his latest comments is that he remains positive despite the manner of his loss, with perspective and a newfound desire to right his wrongs.
“In life you lose more than you win. Some people don’t know how to bounce back from a loss. People want to see someone lose to see how they get up – I lost in the ring but I’m winning in life.
Sometimes you get used to things, get comfortable. You still have hunger, but it isn’t the same as when you first tried to get into the rankings and go on to fight for a world title. This has allowed that hunger to come back. I’m never down about losing because it makes me stronger to come back and overcome.”
He also revealed that he’s undergone surgery on a bicep injury suffered in the fight.
“I ended up injuring [my arm] during my last fight. But everything’s going great with it, recovery is going well. Once I get healed with my arm, I’m just looking forward to working out and been able to do the things I love to do.”
Wilder turns 35 in October and time is of the essence. After a five-year championship reign, he’ll hope to replicate Joshua’s December redemption once the trilogy fight with Fury is rescheduled – either in the latter months of 2020 or early next year, presumably.