The problems Deontay Wilder contends that his extravagant, heavy costume caused before his last fight haven’t deterred him from planning to wear a different elaborate outfit for his next ring walk.
Wilder explained during a Zoom call Wednesday that he’ll wear “something special” into the ring again October 9 for his third heavyweight title fight with Tyson Fury.
“All of my fights have – well, since I became champion, you know, it’s nobody come out with a better dress, better uniform than I,” Wilder said. “And we’re gonna continue to continue with that. You know, and we’ll just have to see what I put on. It’s gonna be something special. It’s gonna be something that I dedicate this, you know, to my people, my tribe. You know, so look forward to seeing it.”
A follow-up question by BoxingScene.com regarding the weight and details of his outfit for October 9 was not permitted because each outlet was limited to two questions apiece during Wilder’s limited period of availability. Wilder revealed following his seventh-round, technical-knockout loss to Fury in February 2020 that his 45-pound costume contributed to him lacking energy from the start of their rematch.
Wilder was widely criticized for mentioning the costume he chose as a contributing factor to his first professional defeat. The former WBC champion did acknowledge during an interview with BoxingScene.com two days after his loss to Fury that he wouldn’t wear something nearly as heavy to the ring again.
“I think I’m just gonna have to make some adjustments with the accessories that’s on there,” Wilder said in February 2020. “My last couple of outfits, they had no weight on it. It was more Styrofoam. This time around, we added different heavy things. The skulls, the rhinestones that was on there. There was a lot of things that were designed on there that made it very, very, very heavy. You know, even with the mask, it had battery packs in the mask. So, it was quite a bit, you know, and I’m definitely gonna change that up. That’s something that I’ll never do again.”
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native also admitted then that he had no one to blame but himself for choosing such a heavy outfit for his ring entrance that night.
“When I first tried it on, I saw it had some type of weight to it,” Wilder said. “You know, but during that time you get so excited and you want people to see it. But we immediately started feeling, ‘All right, we’re gonna have to put this uniform on a certain amount of time before we go out,’ even if we had to delay it a little bit, before putting it on. But our timing wasn’t perfect. We still had the uniform on about 10 to 15 minutes before walking out. And I was walking around with it. I just didn’t have the helmet on.
“And when I put the helmet on and started walking out, it was a long ring walk. Due to the circumstances I was under, it immediately just drained my legs. And then you’re talking about walking up the stairs [to the ring] with it on. It was almost like a workout. I didn’t think it would affect me that much. But it affected me more than what I expected. Then, by him coming and leaning his body on me and pushing me down and putting me in headlocks, that played a part in affecting my legs as well.”
Caesars Sportsbook lists Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) as a 3-1 favorite versus Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) barely two weeks before their third meeting. Fury, 33, and Wilder, 35, will headline a FOX Sports/ESPN Pay-Per-View show from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.