A problem for Deontay Wilder in first Fury bout, the British were coming!

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury punch each other. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury punch each other. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Deontay Wilder was recovering from a broken arm and weighed in low before his first bout with Tyson Fury. Trainer Jay Deas reveals some other obstacles.

Saturday, Feb. 22, is shaping into a must-see event as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet for the second time after their 2018 draw. The rematch is percolating because the first bout was so close and dramatic, but there were several pre-fight obstacles that Wilder had to overcome — some unconventional.

During a recent media call, FanSided asked Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) to rate his performance against Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) in their first contest. He gave himself low scores.

“I would probably say 50 percent or less. I didn’t fight like I normally fight,” said Wilder. “There’s a lot of things I did that I don’t normally do.”

Wilder’s co-trainer and manager, Jay Deas, told FanSided exclusively that he believes Wilder was too harsh on himself.

“I think he’s tougher on himself than I would be,” Deas told FanSided. “I would have called it an upper 70s performance—76, 78. Part of the problem, so many people were talking at him. It’s a huge pay-per-view, so he probably wasn’t resting as well as he should of.”

While talking to Deas, he listed off many issues Wilder had to endure before the fight.

“He had an arm injury from the beginning of camp, which was well,” stated Deas. “By the time the fight came, the arm was well, but by not using it in camp, the timing was way off. We did mitt work with it, but sparring is much better for your timing than mitt work. We weren’t able to get the timing right on the right hand.”

Wilder’s broken arm limited his abilities during training camp. FanSided was on hand during two days of camp and noticed that he rarely threw his right hand. Deas also revealed that Wilder struggled to manage his nutritional intake.

“The third factor was nutrition,” explained Deas. “He was so keyed up and anxious to show the world what he could do that he probably wasn’t getting enough nutrition and eating enough, so he came exceptionally light.”

The international affair was, at that point, the biggest fight of Wilder’s career. In fighting Fury, Wilder had the American and British press watching his every move. The latter media group oddly contributed to Wilder’s stress level and fatigue. It sounds funny, but to hear Deas explain, it makes a lot of sense.

“This time we’ve been more protective of Deontay’s time,” said Deas. “We’ve handled things much better in terms of grouping people together. Because at first, we had like two English people that said they want to come over. Ok, cool. They came over and did their stories and want to see his house and see where he lives and see where he grew up and see where he worked.”

It makes sense that the British media would want to get the scoop on Wilder’s backstory. It’s not like they have an abundance of opportunities to travel and spend time in Tuscaloosa, AL. However, they never stopped coming.

“Then here comes another one and another one,” said Deas. “Before it was over, there was 20 or 30 of them. They were all coming at different times. We were going through the same routine, and it was just wearing everybody out.”

A boxers’ private time is a luxury. They endure running, workout, lifting and sparring schedules day in and day out during a training camp. Addressing the media is necessary, but can also be taxing. Having two country’s media outlets vying for time can put someone through the wringer as it did Wilder.

Wilder’s team tries to grant the media access to Wilder in bulk. They will have a scheduled day for multiple media outlets to talk to Wilder after training. They never adequately organized the British media’s visits. They came over in volume but sporadically, which caused Wilder’s schedule to be overly hectic, according to Deas.

The rematch with Fury is an even bigger event with more media coverage from multiple countries, but Wilder and his team learned from their mistake the first time.

“This time we told them [British media], here’s your day,” said Deas. “Here are the two days that work for us. We kind of put them on Deontay’s schedule instead of putting Deontay on their schedule. I think that’s important because if there’s 100 of them and one of Deontay, shouldn’t they go one place at one time instead of Deontay going 100 places 100 times? That’s the way we looked at it. We just handled it a lot better, and Chris Bates, Deontay’s assistant, is really the main one that’s been fantastic at getting that accomplished.”

The British press showered Wilder with attention for his upcoming bout with Fury, but he was ready for the red coats this time. With the help of his assistant Chris Bates, Wilder brought the British media core into camp in bulk and in a much more organized fashion.

Wilder was ready for the advance of the British press, but will he be prepared for Fury the second time around? Tune in on Feb. 22 to their pay-per-view event. The broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET.

Next. Boxing's best offer opinions on Wilder vs. Fury 2. dark