Deontay Wilder Finally Congratulates Tyson Fury

Image Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX Sports

It might have taken four days of reflection, but former WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder congratulated Tyson Fury at last.

Wilder came up short on Saturday, Oct. 9, in an 11-round war that saw Wilder knock Fury down twice. However, Fury knocked Wilder down three times, with the last one an epic KO that finished their trilogy.

Good Sport

Wilder expressed his sentiments via Instagram.

“Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that’s driven with passion and determination. I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen. We didn’t get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win.

“Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more. Hopefully, I proved that I am a true Warrior and a true King in this sport. Hopefully, WE proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in. Last but not least I would like to congratulate @gypsyking101 (Tyson Fury) for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”

Bad Sport

Footage of Fury going to Wilder’s corner after the fight to congratulate him circulated. However, the viral clip shows a dejected Wilder unwilling to engage in a customary show of good sportsmanship.

Fury approached Wilder’s corner attempting to squash their bad blood, but Wilder wasn’t having it.

“Listen, it’s respect,” said Fury. “You got beat fair, and square tonight, that’s it. I respect you because I’m a man. Don’t show bad sport; you lost fair and square.”

“No love. I don’t respect you,” Wilder said, waving Fury away from his stool. Ultimately, WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán ushered Fury away from the corner.

Later, Fury was seen talking to Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel to refute Wilder’s many claims that Fury uses performance-enhancing drugs.

“Listen, I’ve never cheated in my life,” said Fury. “I played fair and square. He’s got a bad hatred towards me, I don’t know why but let me tell ya, he lost out like a man tonight. He put me down three times; I put him down four. Great heavyweight fight.”

The Heavyweight Spectrum

Fury retained the WBC, The Ring and lineal heavyweight championship in his win over Wilder. Fury now awaits the winner of Dillian Whyte vs. Otto Wallin as his next mandatory opponent. The fight takes place on Oct. 30.

The heavyweight championship landscape grew by one when Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua in his home turf of London last month. Joshua lost the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.

However, the two have a rematch clause that Joshua activated. The winner of that bout has the chance to become a unified heavyweight champion if they fight Fury.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.