Deontay Wilder was upset that co-trainer Mark Breeland threw in the towel, prematurely stopping his heavyweight title rematch against Tyson Fury in the seventh round. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

SugarHill Steward said he supported his peer’s decision to stop the fight, and would have contemplated the same move as well if Fury was in Wilder’s vulnerable position taking unanswered punishment.

“If it was my fighter and I was watching him take punishment like that for the past three rounds, looking completely gone in the fifth and sixth rounds … I would think about throwing in the towel,” Steward told “He wasn’t responding. Deontay was taking some real big damage in the corner and Tyson was just getting started. It looked, to me, like everything was about to be over right then. A lot of other people saw it the same way, that it was over.

“Wilder thinks he knows why he lost the fight. If he wants to fight again right away, fair play. Whatever he decides is fine with us. I don’t think one way or another, but if I had a fighter [in Wilder’s position] I would not advise [an immediate rematch].” 

Steward said he considered the newly crowned WBC champion Fury’s (30-0-1, 21 KOs) win over Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) as his fighter’s most complete win to date.

“That was his best performance yet. Nobody believed in him,” said Steward. “There was a rumor that he had pillow fists and he couldn’t punch and hurt anybody. He put more stress on himself to knock Deontay out. Tyson likes to back up what he says, and he proved everything wrong. He showcased more of his talents. He’s not just a boxer with perfect defense. He can actually pressure somebody and break their will, have them go backwards and knock them out.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at