Deontay Wilder has congratulated Tyson Fury on his victory in Saturday night’s thrilling heavyweight championship rematch in Las Vegas.
The American knockout artist, who lost by 11th-round knockout in a wildly entertaining fight at the T-Mobile Arena then drew criticism for not shaking Fury’s hand in the immediate aftermath, broke his silence with an Instagram post on Thursday afternoon.
“I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome,” Wilder wrote. “Sometimes you have to lose to win. ... Last but not least I would like to congratulate (Fury) for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs), who was looking to regain the WBC title he’d defended 10 times before losing it to Fury in their second encounter back in February 2020, appeared on his way to an early defeat on Saturday after suffering a knockdown in the third round before flooring the champion twice in the fourth. From there Fury found his footing and pressed his two-inch advantages in height and reach in addition to 39lb in weight, dropping Wilder in the 10th and again in the 11th, when referee Russell Mora finally intervened.
The third fight in 34 months night between the heavyweight rivals was instantly hailed as an all-time classic, though Fury accused his opponent of being a “sore loser” for refusing to shake his hand when he approached his corner.
“We fought like two warriors in there,” Fury said during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I went to shake his hand and say well done, and he said, ‘No, I don’t respect you.’ He’s acted like a sore loser in boxing. I’m sure he’s not the first one, and he won’t be the last one.”
The 35-year-old Wilder, who was taken to nearby University Medical Center afterward for evaluation as a precaution and didn’t address the media on the night, finally gave Fury his propers on Thursday.
“We didn’t get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons,” Wilder wrote. “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.”
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel told ESPN that his fighter suffered a broken right hand during the middle rounds of Saturday’s fight and will have surgery Monday in Atlanta to repair one of the middle metacarpals, sidelining him training for more than three months.
“He’ll fight sometime in the spring or early summer as long as he’s healthy and he’s good and he’s up to it,” Finkel told ESPN. “He’s still in pain with the hand and his equilibrium was off, somewhere around the third round (Fury connected behind the ear), that’s why his balance wasn’t the same.
“He feels he trained so hard and then the two incidents – no disrespect at all to Fury – he put in all that effort and wasn’t able to fight him healthy.”