He was depressed, manic, suicidal, with one hand on the trigger and a black cloud over his head. Or so they said.
Since his spectacular stoppage loss to Tyson Fury in their rematch on Feb. 22, 2020 in Las Vegas, Deontay Wilder has been the source of intense speculation regarding his mental state, with many from the peanut gallery claiming that he was suffering from depression, along with a host of other psychological maladies.
All balderdash, according to former heavyweight contender Malik Scott, Wilder’s new head trainer who has been preparing him for his trilogy fight against Fury on July 24th in Las Vegas.
“If Deontay Wilder has been depressed then I pray to God that I reach that level of depression,” Scott said on a recent episode of the PBC podcast, “because when I tell you I’m extremely proud of him, not as a fighter that I’ve trained but as someone as I consider as my brother – not the things going on in the ring that I’m proud of him about, but just all the smart investments that he has done. All the acres that he is living on. All the people that he helps and everything that he does besides what’s going on in the ring.
People mistook disappointment for despondency, Scott pointed out.
“Ever since that loss, yeah, of course, he never lost before,” said Scott. “That wasn’t a happy feeling. Plus he was feeling that there was a lot of things that were done that weren’t working in his favor for that fight…the depression was never a thing.”
In fact, Scott added, there was no time for Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) to be depressed, because he was already busy scheming for his revenge just hours after his loss to Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs).
“[If] he was so depressed…I’mma tell you this,” Scott said. “We’ll say we got out of the ring at 11:45 [PM] after the loss to Fury. By 3 AM or 4 AM – it was somewhere around then – we were already in motion in putting the play together to what’s going on now.
“He immediately was already planning, like, ‘Bro I want you, you’re my head guy now.’ We knew this from day one after that, that investments had to be made and that certain things had to be put in place. It worked perfectly.”
Scott replaced Mark Breland and Jay Deas as Wilder’s head trainer, although Deas, according to Wilder, is still part of the team. Wilder was angry at Breland for throwing in the towel in the seventh round in the Fury fight, which prompted the referee to stop the bout.
“He never was depressed,” continued Scott. “Never. He was focused on the play that we’re focusing on now…When he rolls out of bed he’s training. When he rolls out of bed he goes to his recovery tank. When he rolls out of bed his nutritionist is out there. He was never depressed. It was all bullsh-t."