After throwing in the towel during the seventh round of Wilder vs. Fury II, assistant trainer Mark Breland caught the ire of Deontay Wilder (42-1-1).
Wilder spoke with Yahoo Sports and The Athletic about his displeasure with Breland’s decision.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” Wilder said to Yahoo Sports. “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. If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principal of receiving.”
Wilder’s head trainer is Jay Deas. The Alabama based trainer is assisted by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic gold medalist Mark Breland.
The Brooklyn native was the WBA welterweight champion twice and was active as a professional from 1984-1997.
“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 said.
Breland was probably concerned that the onslaught Fury was delivering in the corner to Deontay Wilder was dangerous. The towel is the last reserve for any trainer and safety is the only reason a trainer makes that fight-ending move.
“Mark (Breland) threw the towel,. I didn’t think he should have,” said head trainer Jay Deas during the post-fight press conference. “Deontay’s the kind of guy that, he’s a go out on his shield kind of guy. He will tell you straight up, ‘don’t throw the towel in’. In fact, in the dressing room when Tyson was getting his hands wrapped in one of the earlier fights they had a guy that got stopped. We were like, ‘stop the fight, stop the fight’ and right when the towel came in Tyson looked at his people and he was like, ‘never’ and that’s the same kind of guy Deontay is; he does not want that.”
Wilder has 41 KOs over 44 fights. He is known as the most feared puncher in heavyweight history next to Mike Tyson.
“Then you have to consider the fact that Deontay is a fearsome puncher,” said Deas. “So that’s always a difficult thing because he does always have that shot to turn things around. Deontay is doing well and he’ll be back and he’s all the better for it.”
Deas went on to clarify his position on Wilder’s team and why he didn’t make the decision to throw in the towel.
“I’m the head coach of the team but we do things a little bit differently. 99% of the time, the head coach of the team is also the guy thats the lead in the corner. Ours is a little bit more like an American football team where the head coach doesn’t necessarily call the plays; you have an offensive and defensive coordinator.
“During the round, Mark said something about throwing the towel in and I told him, ‘don’t do that’. Then the fight went a little bit longer and then I saw the towel go in. I haven’t talked to Mark about it but we’ll talk about and figure out what exactly happened there “