More than a year after his loss to Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder claims to be a new man heading into the trilogy bout between the two.
Speaking on a zoom call this week, Wilder discussed his fight with Fury on October 9. Taking place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the former WBC Heavyweight Champion is ready to prove his doubters wrong.
“I feel amazing. It’s past good or great," Wilder stated. "This time that has passed has been great for me. With the more time that’s passed, the more that we’ve been able to work on different little things and perfect them. You can’t always be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train to be perfect.
“I want payback back in blood. On October 9, I will get my revenge. It’s an eye for an eye.”
Defending the WBC title seven times from 2015-2018, Wilder faced Fury in 2018. They fought to a split decision draw, a memorable part of the bout being when Wilder knocked Fury out, only for Fury to rise back up to his feet right away. After winning two in a row against Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz following that bout, Wilder faced Fury again. In February 2020, the two competed in a one-sided affair, with Fury outclassing Wilder. The fight ended when trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.
Wilder felt like Breland wasn't on his side and let him go. Now working with Malik Scott, Wilder believes the best is yet to come.
“Malik Scott is a wonderful person and trainer. We met years ago sparring with Tomasz Adamek. We clicked right away and we’ve formed a real bond and brotherhood," Wilder went on to say. "I have so much love around me in this camp, that I’m not dwelling on anything negative. We’re having fun while learning and creating things together during training camp. That’s just the passion that we have to become two-time heavyweight champion of the world."
Outside of Breland ending the fight, Wilder would blame the loss on the costume he wore down to the ring. A robotic suit, Wilder claims it was heavy on his legs, which forced him to not be able to move properly against the lineal heavyweight champion in Fury. Wilder has attempted to put that all behind him, however, focusing on the upcoming fight. He has been dark on social media, only posting training videos and photos to show how ready he is.
The two were supposed to fight on July 24, but the bout was moved after Fury tested positive for COVID-19. Now, Wilder sees this as another opportunity to prove he can reclaim the title he lost.
“The delay was actually a blessing for me," said Wilder. "The more they delayed it, the more time we had to work on my craft and art, along with strategically going over the game plan we’re going to have on October 9. It was obviously frustrating, because I was ready to go, and this is the longest I’ve been out of the ring. There’s something about the ring that calls you and draws you back. But I’ve used the time and benefited tremendously.
“You’re looking at a rejuvenated and reinvented Deontay Wilder. The old Deontay is no longer there. I can’t explain it to you, I have to show you on October 9. I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait.”
Both fighters are competing a few weeks after Anthony Joshua defends his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Titles against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25. Fury and Joshua agreed in principle to face one another for the undisputed heavyweight title before Wilder's team intervened. A win could potentially result in Wilder competing in an undisputed title fight in 2022.