Deontay Wilder was dominated and stopped by Tyson Fury in the seventh round last week in Las Vegas. Wilder, 34, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., entered the contest a slight favorite according to oddsmakers across the globe but was knocked down twice in the one-sided bout on the way to suffering the TKO loss.
Wilder posted a strange message to his fans on Instagram on Friday in which the recently felled former champion referred to himself as “the king” and revealed that “the war has just begun.”
You can watch Wilder’s full video post below.
“Your king is here, and we ain’t going nowhere,” Wilder said. “For the war has just begun. I will rise again. I am strong. I am a king. You can’t take my pride. I am a warrior.”
Wilder Suffered Strange Week Following Loss
Wilder endured a strange week after suffering the first loss of his professional prizefighting career. Immediately following the stunning stoppage, Wilder was all class in defeat. He congratulated Fury and seemed to be handling losing his WBC heavyweight title with inner strength and admirable dignity.
But once the weekend was over, Wilder seemed to go on a PR campaign to explain the loss away. First, the American knockout artist offered the idea that his 45-pound ring walk costume was somehow to be blamed for Fury outboxing in the fight him from the opening bell.
Next, Wilder lambasted trainer Mark Breland for asking the referee to stop the fight in the seventh round after it was clear Wilder was getting pummeled by the better fighter. In fact, Wilder told Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole that Breland, who had helped train Wilder since his first year as a professional, would no longer be part of the team.
“I am upset with Mark (Breland) for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” Wilder said. “It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principle thing.”
What Should Come Next for Wilder
Finally, Wilder posted that strange message to his fans on Friday, part of which could be explained away as the fighter rallying fan support as he heads into whatever comes next in his career, presumedly a third fight against Fury this summer.
But the larger picture is that everything Wilder has done since losing to Fury has been a good example of a public relations strategy gone horribly wrong. Fury was just the better boxer that night. There was no reason to blame a pre-fight costume on the loss, and there was even less of a reason to fire a trainer for doing the right thing by keeping Wilder safe.
The best thing Wilder could have done after the loss was to get back to training for his next fight. Maybe now he’ll start doing it.
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