Deontay Wilder says he was adversely affected by the 40-plus-pound costume he wore into the ring Saturday night, Tyson Fury’s fouls and referee Kenny Bayless’ unwillingness to enforce the rules. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Wilder was not bothered, however, by blood flowing from his left ear for much of a rematch Fury won by seventh-round technical knockout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The former WBC heavyweight champion told BoxingScene.com that the unusual cut inside his left ear “didn’t affect me at all” once it opened in the third round.
That small cut required seven stitches when Wilder went to a Las Vegas hospital following his first professional defeat. Doctors told him, though, that he didn’t sustain eardrum damage, nor did he suffer a concussion.
Jay Deas, Wilder’s head trainer and cut man, tried to control the bleeding, but he had difficulty tending to the wound between rounds.
“I have no idea how that occurred,” Wilder said. “And it was in a weird position in my ear as well. That’s why they couldn’t really get to it. But I don’t know how that happened.”
Wilder added that the cut in his ear had no negative impact on his equilibrium. His bad balance had more to do with having “no legs” by the second round, according to Wilder.
“It didn’t affect me at all,” Wilder said of the cut in his ear. “When you’re in there and you’re fighting, and you’re a warrior, man, I can only speak from myself, I don’t worry about certain things. My adrenaline is very high in there. I knew it was bleeding, but I don’t think it was affecting me. It didn’t affect me like the rabbit punches and stuff like that. Getting hit on the back of the head and the neck, that affected me more than anything.”
Wilder figures blood flowing from his ear probably looked worse than it felt because it’s such an uncommon occurrence in boxing.
“My eardrum didn’t get busted,” Wilder said. “Usually, when your eardrum gets busted, you know, it affects certain things. It was just some type of scratch or opening inside of my ear. That was about it.”
The 34-year-old Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) suffered two knockdowns, one apiece in the third and fifth rounds, on his way to losing a championship he had owned for five years.
The 31-year-old Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) became the first opponent to drop Wilder in more than nine years, since journeyman Harold Sconiers sent him to the canvas in the first round of their October 2010 bout in Indio, California. Wilder withstood that knockdown, dropped Sconiers four times and won their bout by fourth-round TKO.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.