Deontay Wilder claims the 45-pound costume he wore into the ring for his fight against Tyson Fury in Las Vegas on Saturday night cost him his WBC heavyweight championship.
Wilder’s legs looked to have gone early on in the contest as he was knocked to the canvas in the third and fifth rounds before being stopped in the seventh when his corner threw in the towel.
Now the 34-year-old American says the weight of his jewellery-encrusted costume designed to celebrate Black History Month was the reason his five-year reign as heavyweight champion came to an end.
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is… that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder told Yahoo Sports.
“I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything.
“A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.
“I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything.”
Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas also claimed the heavy costume was his undoing.
“His legs didn’t look great to me early on. I didn’t think his legs look like they normally look,” Deas said to Boxing Social.
“I know he came to the ring in the outfit, which was very heavy. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.
“Tyson’s a lot of weight to be putting on you as well.
“I don’t know all the answers yet but once I see the film, I’ll know more.”
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