FRISCO, Texas – Eddie Hearn conceded that Deontay Wilder’s 40-plus-pound costume could’ve negatively impacted his performance in his rematch with Tyson Fury.
The British promoter just doesn’t understand why Wilder went public with that information. The former WBC heavyweight champion has faced such intense backlash from fans for claiming his outfit weakened his legs in his technical-knockout defeat to Fury, Hearn senses it’s a stigma Wilder won’t be able to escape.
“To come out say what he said, that’s something that’ll live with him now for his whole career,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Wednesday at the Omni Frisco Hotel to promote the Mikey Garcia-Jessie Vargas card Saturday night. “When David Haye came out about his toe, and he put his toe on the press conference table, that’s a much better excuse, breaking your toe than a costume. But everyone was going, ‘Huh?’ They’re still taking about it now. People will pass him on the street and go, ‘How’s your toe, Dave?’ ”
England’s Haye infamously blamed a broken right pinky toe for his poor performance against Wladimir Klitschko, who easily defeated Haye in their 12-round heavyweight title unification fight in July 2011. The previously undefeated Wilder was stopped by Fury in the seventh round at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury floored Wilder twice, once in the third round and again in the fifth. Mark Breland, Wilder’s assistant trainer, threw in the towel during the seventh round, when Wilder was backed into a neutral corner, taking unanswered punches from Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs).
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) told BoxingScene.com and other outlets Monday that his heavy costume, which he wore to the ring in honor of Black History Month, made his legs weak before their pay-per-view rematch began.
“He would be better off,” Hearn said, “coming out and going, ‘I was beaten by the better man. I’m gonna exercise the rematch clause and I will rise again, and win this [third fight].’ ”
Hearn, who has gone back and forth with Wilder in the past, also disagreed with Wilder’s take on Breland’s decision to throw in the towel. Wilder took issue with Breland because Wilder had instructed Breland and head trainer Jay Deas numerous times to never throw in the towel during one of his fights.
“I hated the stuff about Mark Breland,” Hearn said. “Because as far as I’m concerned, that fight went on too long. [Wilder] didn’t wanna be in there. He was coming back to the corner, his face was in the towel, they were talking to him and he wasn’t looking at them. He didn’t look right, to be honest with you, I don’t think.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.