According to Jay Deas, the trainer and co-manager of WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), says his boxer was far from 100% when facing unbeaten Luis Ortiz last Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Wilder was badly hurt in the seventh round of the contest, but recovered to score two knockdowns to stop Ortiz in the tenth.
Before the fight, there were a lot of eyebrows raised when Wilder weighed in at 214-pounds - one of the lowest weights of his entire career.
During his post-fight interview with Showtime, Wilder admitted that his weight was lower than usual because he became ill during training camp.
Deas confirms that Wilder was very sick during the late stage of his camp and was only around 72 to 76% when he stepped in the ring with Ortiz.
“I was surprised he told Jim [Gray] that because I didn’t want that out. He caught a pretty nasty cold about a week and a day before the fight,” Deas told FanSided.
"As the week went by, he [Wilder] was getting better and better. Just because your cold is leaving you doesn’t mean you’ve got your strength all the way back. In reality, he was at 72-76 percent by the time he got in the ring. You could tell during the week that he was getting his strength back but he wasn’t going to be 100 percent back. He was not fully, fully recovered. He was still coughing stuff up in the dressing room before the fight."
Deas was very impressed with the way his boxer was able to overcome adversity in the seventh round.
“Deontay got hit with a great shot, but he never quit problem-solving,” Deas said. “He was never out on his feet. He was getting hit with some tremendous shots from a great fighter, but he was trying to jam him, trying to clinch him, hold him, buy time. There were a lot of things he was doing that I’m glad he did.”