WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 41-0-1 (40) has lashed out at old rival Tyson Fury 28-0-1 (20) accusing him of using his ‘mental illness thing’ to build his US profile.
The 30-year-old Fury returned to the ring in June 2018 after almost two years of inactivity after a well-publicised battle with depression and substance abuse.
The self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ revealed he contemplated suicide following his surprise win over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in November 2015.
Fury has since become an advocate for mental health awareness.
After two warm-up fights Fury appeared to earn a decision win over Wilder in Los Angeles last December despite being dropped twice late in the fight, but the fight was ruled a split draw.
The WBC ordered an immediate rematch but that fight was nixed when Fury signed a lucrative co-promotional deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank that would see his future bouts broadcast on ESPN. Wilder’s fights are shown on rival network Showtime.
Fury has fought just once since, a second-round knockout of little-known German Tom Schwarz in his Las Vegas debut.
Wilder has slammed Fury’s stance on mental health, claiming he is “beating a dead horse”.
“The only thing he really has to go off of is beating a dead horse with the mental illness thing, that’s it,” Wilder told 78SportsTV.
“But he’s going to find in America that’s yesterday’s news, that’s an old story, in America we want what’s fresh and what’s new.
“There are millions who have faced this illness.
“It’s a thing that can be overcome, so many people have overcome it, he wants to come up with this story, it’s something he’s holding on to, the mental illness thing is dying out.
“As you can see in his last fight, it says it all, his story paints itself, it tells its own story.
“It’s pathetic what he’s doing but as long people are entertained he’s going to continue to do it, but once it dies down he may change his ways.”
Fury is expected to fight once more this year in New York before facing Wilder in a rematch in the new year.
Wilder will defend his world title against Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in November.