One of the focal points of Tyson Fury’s seventh-round TKO of Deontay Wilder on Saturday night was how much damage Wilder was taking throughout the bout. Another was the decision to end the fight at that specific time.
His ear bleeding following the first knockdown, most likely from a ruptured eardrum, Wilder (42-1-1) was wobbling all over the ring after that. The seventh saw Fury (30-0-1) attack Wilder, who was helpless against the ropes. Wilder’s corner threw in the towel, calling the fight off. The specific person that put the towel in was Mark Breland, Wilder’s assistant trainer.
Jay Deas, Wilder’s head trainer and co-manager, stated during the post-fight press conference that he was not a fan of Breland throwing in the towel. He went on to say he told Breland not to throw the towel at any point.
“Mark (Breland) threw in the towel. I don’t think he should’ve,” Deas stated, via DAZN. “Deontay is the kind of guy who’s a ‘go out on his shield’ kind of guy and he will tell you straight up, ‘Don’t throw the towel in.’ And then you always got to consider also that Deontay is a fearsome puncher, so that’s always a difficult thing because he does always have that shot to land a big shot and turn things around. That’s what happened there.”
Wilder himself stated after the fight he did not agree with the decision, calling himself a warrior.
“I just wish that my corner would’ve let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior. That’s what I do.”
— ESPN (@espn) February 23, 2020
That may have been Wilder believing in himself to a fault. Wilder was down on all three judges scorecards by a large margin. A rare exception was one round in which judge Glenn Feldman gave the “Bronze Bomber” the advantage.
While everyone on Wilder’s team is given an opportunity to have their say, Deas is the leader of the group. He didn’t get a chance to speak to Breland after the bout, and it has been radio silence since then.
“During the round Mark said something about throwing the towel in, and I told him, ‘Don’t do that.’ I didn’t think he should do that,” Deas stated, via BoxingScene. “Then the fight went a little bit longer and then I saw the towel go in. So, I haven’t talked to Mark about it. But we’ll talk about it and figure out what exactly happened there.”
With the recent damage boxers have sustained over the years, and the number of deaths from boxing-related injuries last year, many were praising Breland’s decision. Others were hoping the fight would go on. While Wilder and the rest of the staff didn’t agree with Breland, he believes he made the right decision.
Do you think Breland should have thrown in the towel?