Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte believes Deontay Wilder took way too much punishment on Saturday night, in the trilogy fight with Tyson Fury at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Wilder was dropped in the third round, but then rallied to score two knockdowns of Fury in the fourth.
Fury would punish Wilder in the later rounds, landing big punches, and scored a knockdown in the tenth. The contest finally came to an end in the eleventh when Fury landed a vicious shot to send Wilder down for a third time.
"[Wilder] took a lot of punishment. He could’ve finished his career potentially. Last time Mark Breland I think saved his career [when he threw in the towel in the rematch], this time he took way too much punishment and a lot of his corner were yes-men and they just allowed him to take too much punishment, which can be very detrimental to a fighter’s confidence and his body," Whyte told Sky Sports.
“He seemed pretty beat up. He was struggling from round three onwards badly. I know he says, ‘I’m a king and I’ll go out on my shield’ - but I think they allowed him to take too much punishment. It could affect him mentally, he could never wanna fight again, it could end his career. We’ll have to see.”
If Whyte defeats Otto Wallin on October 30, the World Boxing Council will likely order Fury to face him in a mandatory defense of the belt in early 2022.
If Fury refuses to make the defense, then Whyte - who holds the WBC's interim-belt - would automatically be elevated to full champion status.
"Fury has the belt. Wilder had the chance to fight me for three years but didn't," Whyte said.
"Hopefully now the WBC forces my position and Fury has no choice. It's a massive British fight, a major fight for Britain. Fury is an unpredictable man who might say: 'I am done!'
"I hope we can make a fight when I get past Wallin. But Fury is a difficult guy to plan. I haven't heard a word from him about making a fight."