Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2: A trainer’s mind the night before the fight

Deontay Wilder and Jay Deas during a media work out. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Deontay Wilder and Jay Deas during a media work out. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

With one night to go before the massive Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury rematch, Wilder co-trainer Jay Deas tells FanSided about his pre-fight experience.

The eve before the gigantic pay-per-view heavyweight boxing title bout between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on Saturday, Feb. 22, there’s sure to be nerves from all involved. The same is true for their trainers, and they do a lot more than mind their fighter’s conditioning.

Wilder’s co-trainer Jay Deas talked to FanSided about how he handles the pressures of maintaining Team Wilder the night before the bout.

“The night before, I go to bed probably around midnight and check-in with Deontay,” Deas told FanSided. “But it’s mostly a matter of logistics. I’m knocking out logistics. We’re getting people the tickets that they need. I’m going up and visiting with Deontay and going over some last-minute details on the schedule.”

Deas isn’t only responsible for Wilder. He’s responsible for the families of everyone involved with his training team. While thinking about the fight to come, errands like ticket distribution help keep him remain even-keeled.

Deas’ family travels with him to the bout, but he rooms alone. Solitude is critical for Deas for logistical reasons.

“I can’t have them [his family] in my room because I have all my stuff laid out a certain way so that I don’t forget it,” said Deas. “The worst thing to be would to get down there and where’s your cut metal? That’s not what I want. I don’t want to scramble or send somebody to my room, so I have things laid out a certain way, and I don’t want it disrupted.”

Calm, simple, reserved — that’s the way Deas likes things before significant bouts.

“I have found the bigger something is, the smaller you make it,” said Deas. “The worst thing you can do is say, ‘Oh my goodness! Millions of people are watching. We’re gonna be on TV’ That’s the absolute worst thing you can do.

“What I do is I take it one thing at a time, one task at a time. I try to enjoy the moment. Enjoy the position we’re in. We all know that this is a temporary thing when you’re in sports. Nobody does what they do forever. While you’re at the level we’re at, you should make sure to take some time to enjoy this even though you’re still working, even though it’s a process. That’s what I try to do. I try to keep it as small as I can. Enjoy it.”

The day of the fight, Deas continues on with his utilitarian duties. Before the glamor of the pay-per-view production, Deas gets to the arena early and alone. It’s all about business.

“Come fight day, I always like to get to the arena early,” related Deas. “There’s no need for me to walk down with Deontay. I would rather get there early and get the dressing room ready, so when he walks in, it’s set. He’s good. I know that everything is where it’s supposed to be. That’s it. I go through my normal checklist.”

Life for the WBC heavyweight champion Wilder is glamorous, but Deas is the man behind the curtain that makes sure that his fighter is in a position to succeed. He does his job dutifully and with pleasure to ensure Wilder’s hand is raised at the end of the night.

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Wilder vs. Fury 2 goes down on Saturday, Feb. 22. The pay-per-view broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET.