Deontay Wilder has been discharged from the hospital, though not with a clean bill of health.
The former WBC heavyweight titlist was officially diagnosed with damage to his right hand suffered during his brutal third fight with lineal/WBC champion Tyson Fury. Alabama’s Wilder (42-2-1, 41KOs) scored a pair of fourth-round knockdowns but was dropped in rounds three, ten and eleven—the last of which prompted an immediate stoppage at 1:10 of round eleven in their Pay-Per-View main event Saturday evening at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The physical damage suffered over the course of the grueling affair prompted Wilder’s handlers to have the heavyweight transported to nearby University Medical Center, where he was admitted and held overnight for precautionary measures. Wilder was forced to undergo an extensive battery of tests before being medically cleared, although not without damage to his right hand which will likely require surgery.
Wilder was seen shaking his hand repeatedly throughout the second half of the fight, fighting through the pain and showing plenty of heart as England’s Fury (31-0-1, 22KOs) pulled away before emphatically closing the show. The loss was Wilder’s second straight to Fury, having suffered a seventh-round stoppage when assistant trainer Mark Breland literally threw in the towel in their rematch last February which came nearly 15 months after the two fought to a disputed twelve-round draw in December 2018.
The outcome of the rematch proved a bitter pill to swallow for Wilder, who made ten successful defenses over the course of a five-plus year title reign. The American heavyweight exercised a contractual clause to force a third fight only to have to wait through the pandemic and several postponements. The lengthy wait didn’t serve well for Wilder, who introduced a number of excuses and unfounded accusations as to how he was dealt the first loss of his career.
Following two consecutive date cancellations in 2020, Fury attempted to claim he was no longer obligated to face Wilder a third time. The unbeaten Brit turned his attention to countryman Anthony Joshua, the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titlist at the time and with whom Fury sought to meet in an undisputed heavyweight championship. Talks for such a fight went on for months as Wilder fought to have his contractually obligated third fight with Fury upheld by an independent arbitration judge which was the ruling handed down in May.
Wilder already made a number of changes among his team by that point, including Breland being replaced by former serviceable heavyweight Malik Scott who took the lead for Wilder’s most recent training camp. After providing sound advice in the buildup to the trilogy clash and throughout fight night, Scott offered some more words of wisdom for Wilder—to not say anything at all for the time being.
“I really don’t want Deontay talking about boxing or doing anything with boxing for quite some time, I want him to get some rest after this,” Scott told ESNews founder Elie Seckbach. “Even after the last fight he was so worked up in training and was just excited and so happy with the arbitration, he never really got to rest.
“He deserves a good rest and we’ll make sure he gets it. I’m going to head down to Tuscaloosa in a couple of days just to spend some time with him.”
Wilder—who turns 36 this month—underwent two previous procedures for his right hand, including surgery following a July 2016 knockout win over Chris Arreola where he also suffered a torn right biceps. Wilder suffered a torn left biceps during his first loss to Fury, which he revealed last spring after having surgery performed to repair the injury.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox