From the moment he was dealt the first and only defeat of his pro career, Deontay Wilder has thought about nothing other than exacting revenge.
The former WBC heavyweight titlist has essentially spent the past 19-plus months fine-tuning the perfect game plan for his third fight with Tyson Fury. The trilogy clash was met with several delays and even a lengthy arbitration proceeding before finally moving forward, with Wilder simply allowing all events—the hearing, the multiple fight postponements—to run their natural course without fear of physical or emotional burnout ahead of their October 9 heavyweight championship showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“It was an easy process,” Wilder said during a recent Zoom media conference call of the stop-and-starts in training camp. “We just had to take a little bit more time off from what we was doing. We didn’t want to overtrain. We didn’t want to overdo anything that we was doing. We understood a lot of things that was going on. And when you know the truth. The truth sets you free. We’re free beings and have a free mindset of thinking. That was what held it down the most. Everyone was on the same accord.
I’m just looking forward to October 9. It’s finally here. I just hope nothing else interferes with this process moving forward. Finally, we can turn to the next chapter in this book.”
Wilder (42-1-1, 41KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21KOs) have both been out of the ring since their rematch last February, which saw Fury win by seventh round knockout to claim the lineal and WBC heavyweight titles. Both boxers remained active in the gym while waiting out the months-long arbitration to determine whether Fury was still on the hook for another showdown with Wilder, who exercised a contract clause which allowed the losing fighter to call for a third fight. The judge ultimately sided with Wilder this past May, shortly thereafter moving forward with plans to collide July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event was delayed by nearly three months after a reported Covid outbreak in Fury’s camp, with the British heavyweight reportedly contracting the infectious disease in causing the latest delay.
The next available date for the ESPN+/Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event was October 9, which for Wilder merely meant another eleven weeks to further gel with his team. The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and former WBC titlist elevated Malik Scott to the role of head trainer, while also bringing in veteran cornerman Don House. Career-long trainer and co-manager Jay Deas remains on the team as well.
“That’s the beautiful thing about my team. It’s very rarely we come into a disagreement on anything,” notes Wilder of his extended training camp family. “If we do come into a disagreement within those 48 hours it will be resolved. It was just something we had to do. We understand the things we can’t control.
“We don’t worry about controlling it. We just let the action take its course. When it’s time for action to be presented and displayed, we do that."
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox