Deontay Wilder is firing his longtime co-trainer Mark Breland after his 7th round stoppage loss to Tyson Fury on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Breland has worked with Wilder since his first year as a professional boxer alongside head trainer Jay Deas, though Breland has largely been credited with teaching Wilder the subtle nuances of being an elite world champion.
Breland, 56, is a retired world champion who won a gold medal in boxing at the 1984 Olympics. But Wilder, 34, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., told Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole on Monday that Breland would no longer be part of his training team moving forward. The former WBC titleholder blamed his ring walk suit as the reason he lost to Fury and also indicated that he couldn’t work with Breland any longer after the trainer asked the referee to stop the fight.
“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes,” Wilder said per Iole.
Wilder’s Absurd Mentality on Full Display
Wilder has frequently and absurdly said in the past that he wanted a body on his record, which basically means he desires to kill an opponent inside a boxing ring. Wilder told Iole he had consistently emphasized to his team, including Breland, that they were to never stop a fight, assumedly because Wilder was willing to die himself in the ring.
But Breland threw in the towel during the 7th round after seeing Wilder get mauled by the younger, stronger and better boxing Fury for the entire fight. Fury knocked Wilder down twice in the bout and was winning virtually every single exchange.
Additionally, Wilder’s punches seemed to have little zip on them after the 2nd round, and the American was bleeding from his ear throughout the fight. Regardless, Wilder told Iole he plans on firing Breland for going against his wishes in stopping the fight.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” Wilder said per Iole. “It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principle thing.”
More on How Wilder Thinks
Wilder did his best to explain his way of thinking to Iole.
“We’ve talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened,” Wilder said per Iole. “I said, as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield. If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principle of receiving.”
Wilder doesn’t want anyone working in his corner to ever ask the referee to stop a fight no matter how bad things might look. Breland, who helped teach Wilder how to jab and use competent footwork, will apparently be let go after going against those instructions over the weekend.
“So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind,” Wilder said per Iole. “I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”
Wilder Planning Immediate Rematch
Wilder plans on facing Fury in an immediate rematch. His main problem heading into that fight is that Fury appeared so much better than him that there’s really nothing Wilder might be able to do in such a short amount of time to bridge that gap.
Additionally, Wilder isn’t likely to gain anything from losing as credible a trainer as Breland on his team. If anything, he’ll be losing the one person in his corner who was truly looking out for the fighter’s best interests.