Fire and Brimstone and Deontay Wilder
By Robert Ecksel on November 16, 2020
At first he blamed the loss on the costume he wore into the ring. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)
Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder isn’t the first person to believe his own lies, nor will he be the last. Having apparently not yet fully recovered from the beating he suffered nine months ago at the hands of Tyson Fury, he continues to dream up excuses for his losing performance while spouting cherry-picked bible verses to help make his case.
With moody lighting, a handheld camera, and a soporific organ droning in the background, Wilder has again tried, and has to a large extent failed, to convince gullible fans that he was robbed in Las Vegas. Some people buy into his conspiracy theories, however confounding, while others simply accept that the better man won and the Bronze Bomber, who ought to be honing his boxing skills during the downtime, comes off as a poor loser who is unwilling or unable to face the truth.
“What you did is what my people deal with all the time,” Wilder said, “someone cheat them from providing greatness to the world. But it’s a burden we cut off only to make us stronger.”
Providing greatness to world aside, Wilder has offered a smorgasbord of excuses for his defeat on February 22.
He broke his silence by claiming, with video to ostensibly back him up, “I saw in the first fight when Ricky Hatton was pulling down your gloves to put your hand in the improper position. Y'all tried the same method the second time, but this time, you scratched flesh out of my ears which caused my ears to bleed. It's impossible for a brand new 10 ounce glove to bend, to keep a smushed-in form or to have loose space. I highly believe you put something hard in your glove. Something the size and the shape of an egg weight. It's the reason why the side of my face swelled up in an egg weight form and it left a dent in my face as well. But in the midst of it all, you still couldn't keep this king down. You would have had to kill me. In the end, it took a crab in the bucket referee and a disloyal trainer to throw the towel in just to stop me.”
At first he blamed the loss on the absurd costume he wore into the ring that night. It was allegedly so heavy that it took his spindly legs so that by fight time, he could no longer glide as usual around the ring.
There was the scapegoating of his co-trainer Mark Breland, who, according to Wilder, jeopardized his own career by prematurely throwing in the towel. At the time, the stoppage looked like an act of compassion, as if Breland was saving Wilder from himself. But that’s not how Wilder saw it and Breland, whose loyalty had never been questioned before, was unceremoniously shit-canned.
That was followed by the purported poisoned water bottle. And let’s not forget Fury’s loaded gloves and the “gypsy spell” he cast in their first fight.
As if he was talking to an obstinate Donald Trump, Fury responded to Wilder’s wilder allegations by saying, “We all don't want to be defeated after such a long time of being undefeated professionals. But there has to be a point where you accept defeat and move on.
“I always say to anybody like that I'm only a phone call away and if I can help in any way then I will give him the best advice I can.”
Given his documented struggles with drugs, depression and whatnot, Fury as mental health professional is no more credible than Wilder’s fire and brimstone. But Fury has managed to subdue his demons, at least for the time being.
Perhaps Wilder will one day do the same.