Malik Scott, the head trainer of former heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder, may not give credence to every rumor that comes out of the Tyson Fury camp, but he is confident that the one concerning Fury getting “touched up” and knocked down during sparring is more valid than not. 

“When you hear those kinds of rumors with this type of high caliber fight, those are not rumors, those are facts,” Scott said on The PBC Podcast. “Those so-called rumors came from legitimate sources.”

The rumors about Fury’s sparring troubles began to circulate shortly after the third fight between Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), originally set for July 24, was cancelled on the heels of Fury testing positive for Covid-19. Although Fury was initially reported to have taken a vaccine, it turned out that he had only taken the first shot and declined to follow up with a second. In addition to Fury, several other members of his camp also tested positive for Covid-19. Fury-Wilder III has been rescheduled for Oct. 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 

Scott, however, does not feel that the sparring rumors are that surprising or something to gloat about, considering the quality of sparring partners that Fury had brought in, many of them young and undefeated. 

“To his credit, I’m not even big on that,” Scott said. “He had Jared Anderson in camp with him, he had Efe [Ajagba] in camp with him, he had Christian [Thun] in camp with him. When I see all those guys he was in camp with, I knew for sure he was getting touched up. I would hope that’s why he was bringing them in, so that he can fight them off and not get touched up, because that’s what you do when you’re trying to prepare for the likes of Deontay Wilder. So it’s not shocking.

“Is it bragging rights to me, or anything like that? Not really. Lots of guys get touched up in sparring. That’s nothing.” 

However, Scott believes that, if nothing else, Fury was “discouraged” by his recent sparring experiences and that that had played a part in causing the fight with Wilder to be postponed. 

“But the thing is when you get discouraged from that, when that can lead you to cancelling the fight, when that can lead you to having demonic nightmares of you fighting Wilder after getting touched up by guys you were sparring — to me that’s where the problem is,” Scott said. “The problem is getting discouraged by the bad days in the gym and wanting to quote-and-quote postpone the fight and cancel the fight.”

Still, Scott maintains that “getting touched up” in sparring is part and parcel of the boxing trade. 

“Listen, bruh, I’ve been in this sh!t since I was 12 years old. Mike Tyson has been knocked down in sparring, Lennox Lewis has been hurt in sparring. Like, you know what I’m trying to say? It’s come with what we do. [Fury] brought a bunch of undefeated guys to his camp. You know? Guys probably got the best of him. I heard that Jared Anderson had him out on his feet. I heard one guy knocked him down.”