Much has been said about how Deontay Wilder handled his two losses to Tyson Fury, with the lineal champion saying that Wilder’s still a “sore loser” immediately after their trilogy concluded. Video also recently made the rounds showing Wilder refusing to shake Fury’s hand and saying “I don’t respect you” after their back-and-forth war.
Wilder also released a brief statement after the contest, where he simply said that Fury “didn’t come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”
Days later, after the dust has settled, Wilder has issued a longer statement where he finally congratulated his opponent and thanked him for “the great historical memories that will last forever.”
“Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that’s driven with passion and determination. I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process,” Wilder wrote on Instagram.
“I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen. We didn’t get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win. Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more.
“Hopefully, I proved that I am a true warrior and a true king in this sport. Hopefully, we proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in. Last but not least I would like to congratulate (Tyson Fury) for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”
While many were quick to jump on Wilder, he actually just seems like a relatively common subset of fighters that use raw emotions as fuel for training and competing. When investing so much and dedicating months of your life to one big moment — or in Wilder’s case, three fights and three years — it’s only natural to have all these emotions and not act rationally, especially immediately after a loss.
Now that the trilogy is complete and likely put an end to that match up for good, it’s probably easier for Wilder to not just see Fury only as a rival he has to destroy. With things having been settled, it seems like he’s finally able to look back at his experiences more rationally and appreciate the spectacular three bouts they both put on. Better late than never, I guess.