American boxer Deontay Wilder has blamed the costume he wore to the ring as the reason he lost to Tyson Fury in their rematch in Les Vegas on Sunday morning.
Wilder, who lost his WBC championship to the Briton, wore a costume which featured armour, a mask and a crown, weighed at least 18.1kg and was a tribute to Black History Month.
The 34-year-old was taken straight to the hospital after he was stopped in the seventh round by Fury, who was carried to the ring on a throne while wearing a crown.
“Fury didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder told Yahoo.
“I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight – in the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through.
“I was only able to put it (the costume) on [for the first time] the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy.”
Meanwhile, Wilder, who was bleeding from the mouth and the ear in the seventh round, does not think the fight should have been stopped.
Assistant trainer, Mark Breland actually threw in the towel, perhaps in a bid to avoid further injuries or even death.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” he said.
“It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principal thing. We’ve talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened.
“I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield.
“So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind. I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”
“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes.”
Wilder also told the US media that he will fight Fury a third time.