Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has exercised his rematch clause and will be facing Tyson Fury in a rematch this summer. As the loser of his rematch with Fury last Saturday night, Wilder had the contractual right to force a third fight. Wilder had 30 days to exercise the rematch clause and immediately triggered it on Monday.
Deontay unhappy with Fury’s frequent rabbit punches
Wilder wasn’t happy that referee Kenny Bayless let Fury get away with hitting him with rabbit punches to the back of the head the entire fight. Deontay was knocked down by a punch from Fury that was to the back of the head. After Wilder got up, Fury continued to hit him with punches to the back of the head.
It almost looked like Fury was targeting that area of Wilder’s head. Even when Wilder was standing straight up, Fury’s shots were coming around to the back of his head. Wilder said that he had knots on the back of his head from Fury’s rabbit punches that he was hitting him with.
Bayless was on top of the action, and he should have spotted Fury’s frequent rabbit punches and stopped him early on, but he didn’t. The punches from Fury to the back of Wilder’s head may have played a major role in him winning the fight.
In the rematch, it would be Wilder’s best interest to make sure that the referee assigned to the fight is able and willing to enforce the rules against throwing rabbit punches. If not, then Wilder will need to figure out how to deal with illegal shots from Fury. It would be a shame if the third fight between Wilder and Fury ends up as a rabbit punching battle.
If it’s a battle of which fighter is the better rabbit puncher, it would be an ugly contest. For that reason, there needs to be a referee that immediately steps in when/if Fury starts with the rabbit punching. Wilder likely won’t last long if Fury is able to hit him with those illegal shots.
Wilder vs. Fury 3 trilogy in summer
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) lost his WBC title in getting stopped in the 7th round last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. His assistant coach Mark Breland threw in the towel in the 7th round to save him when he was getting beaten up by the bigger 6’9″, 273 lbs Fury. Wilder wasn’t happy with Breland throwing in the towel to stop the fight, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be working his corner in the future.
“We’re definitely going to exercise it,” said Wilder to ESPN.com. “We’re looking forward to it. I’m a warrior and a true champion and I fight like that every bit of the way. We’re definitely going on with it. That’s for sure. By the summertime.”
Wilder said that his legs were weakened from the heavy costume that he wore into the ring.
Deontay’s legs weakened from heavy costume
The costume weighed over 40 lbs and weakened his legs immediately before the fight. Wearing a heavy mask might not have helped Wilder as well. It would be like a deep-sea diver’s tank immediately before fighting. In the future, Wilder needs to think about going ‘old school’ when making his ring entrances because all the gear that he wears is bulky and likely hot.
“My uniform was way too heavy. It was 40-plus pounds. We had it on 10 or 15 minutes before we even walked out and then put the helmet on,” said Wilder. “When I took it off I knew immediately that game has changed.”