Deontay Wilder is said to have fired his trainer Mark Breland for stopping his fight with Tyson Fury last weekend, it has been claimed. Wilder’s five-year reign as WBC heavyweight champion came to an end last Sunday morning at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Wilder suffered a seventh-round TKO loss to the Brit, with Breland throwing in the towel at the 1:39 mark after seeing his fighter absorb an overwhelming amount of punishment.
The former champion was furious with Breland’s decision to stop the fight – which prevented him from taking more unnecessary blows – and shouted at him: “Why did you do that?”
And according to ESPN pundit and former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen, Wilder – who wanted to ‘go out on his shield’ – fired Breland shortly after they returned the locker room.
He said: “I am told that when Deontay Wilder got his locker room with his team, where it’s nice and quiet, where there cameras are not, he turned to the team and asked: ‘Which one of you stopped the fight?’
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Deontay fired him on the spot.
Chael Sonnen on Mark Breland
“That coach raised his hand and Deontay fired him on the spot.”
Sonnen believes Breland deserves credit for protecting Wilder, adding: “I don’t want that coach to be fired, I want that coach to gain some credit.
“I want that coach to gain some esteem. He saw something within an athlete, he saw his athlete could no longer win the contest and he wanted to get his athlete out of there.
“Not only on a professional level, but on a personal level because he cared about him. I think that that cornerman deserves a level of respect.”
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Wilder understands Breland’s reasoning for stopping the fight but is nonetheless still frustrated with his trainer.
He told Yahoo Sports: “I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional.
“It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principle 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 principle of receiving.
“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, 34, intends to exercise the trilogy fight clause in his contract to rematch ‘The Gypsy King’, which he has until March 23 to trigger.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ is hoping to have his rubber match with Fury take place as soon as possible, telling AP: “This summer with no fights in between. I’m a warrior and I’m ready to go again, but we’re going to change a lot of things in camp.”
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