AS countless people dressed up as clowns for Halloween, Deontay Wilder joined in by releasing a baffling video on his Instagram page before following it up with an even more bizarre interview with 78SPORTSTV.
The former world heavyweight champion ended months of silence by ‘calling out’ former foe Tyson Fury, who has now moved on from a trilogy fight with Wilder after a rematch clause expired.
On the surface that may all seem fairly normal; trash talk on social media is nothing new. Well, this is somewhat different. Wilder, in all his wisdom, decided to focus on an incoherent conspiracy that Fury somehow cheated in his stoppage win over Wilder at the start of the year by using loaded gloves.
It doesn’t stop there – Wilder also referenced Mark Breland, who compassionately threw in the towel and has since been sacked by Wilder, dubbing him a “disloyal trainer” in the video.
Well, hold onto your butts, because Wilder doubled down when he spoke to 78SPORTSTV.
“My water was spiked as if I took a muscle relaxer or something like that,” he said.
“My water was tampered with… It was like I had no control over my body, my legs were weak… I think he [Breland] has got something to do with my water as well too.”
Referencing Breland’s decision to throw in the towel, WIlder said: “This motherf***er didn’t even give me a warning. If you are a part of the plot that ain’t gonna matter. He had to fulfil the obligation. In round seven I’m getting myself back together and all of a sudden the towel is thrown in.”
This is a startling level of delusion that wouldn’t seem out of place in the Trump administration. First it was Wilder’s ring-walk costume being “too heavy” and now Fury was apparently using loaded gloves while Breland dropped Rohypnol into Wilder’s water in between rounds.
All of this has also conveniently come after Fury and his team confirmed they are moving on from negotiations for the third fight between the pair, given that contractual deadlines have now passed.
Surely there is someone near Wilder who could have pulled him to one side before this and tried to talk some sense into him? Or, perhaps not – as we’ve seen with Breland, anyone who goes against the conventional wisdom of Team Wilder gets thrown under the bus.
Bob Arum, who spoke to IFL not long after Wilder released his video, made the valid point that the Nevada State Athletic Commission – who oversaw the Wilder-Fury rematch – would in no way have let Fury into the ring with loaded gloves.
If it wasn’t so worrying this would all be quite funny; it seems Wilder has some perspective issues he needs to address before he makes any attempt to reclaim world honours.
It wouldn’t be a typical night of fights on Sky if there weren’t a plethora of complaints on social media about the commentary and punditry team, and there was no shortage of that this weekend after Oleksandr Usyk outpointed Derek Chisora in London.
Plenty of people seemed to think the commentators were too sweet on Usyk but, personally, I think they were well balanced in their assessment of the fight as it unfolded. In fact, if anything, they were a little too complimentary of Chisora at times, praising his toughness when he was being peppered with shots from the Ukrainian.
What seemed odd was Sky’s decision to pick the brain of Tony Bellew halfway through the fight and afterward. Bellew is a good analyst but was simply too close to this fight – he’s a very close friend of Chisora’s and was baffled at how Derek wasn’t named the victor. A more impartial view would have been appreciated, though that isn’t always easy to find, especially in these socially-distanced times.
Channel 5 treated UK fight fans to an excellent scrap between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz – for free. It was a welcome surprise to hear the terrestrial channel had picked up the fight, and hopefully a sign of things to come moving forward.
What wasn’t so welcome was the news that Mike Tyson’s upcoming exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jnr will be shown on BT Sport Box Office. Putting an extra price tag on this fight puts more pressure on it being entertaining, thus increasing the chances that these two retirees will try to knock lumps out of each other.
It’s also disheartening that such an event was snapped up while excellent international fights fall through the British broadcast gaps. That being said, it’s not wholly confusing; these are businesses, after all, and must make worthy investments.
It was obviously disappointing to see the news that the UK is entering a second lockdown, though it seems the current boxing schedule won’t be affected as “elite sport” can still go ahead.
This does, however, ruin any hopes of allowing some fans into events later in the year, such as Anthony Joshua’s title defence against Kubrat Pulev. The bright side is that it’ll be fascinating to see a draw like Joshua fight in an empty arena.
After plans for a global rollout were put on hold earlier this year due to coronavirus, DAZN have confirmed it will now happen in December when the streaming service becomes available to 200 territories – including the UK.
It’ll launch on these shores with Luke Campbell’s intriguing lightweight fight with Ryan Garcia, with a starting price of £1.99 a month.
Depending on what sort of schedule DAZN musters in the current circumstances, that could be serious value for money. This could also be the shot in the arm DAZN requires, if reports earlier in the year of financial woes are to be believed.