After a series of delays, Tyson Fury stated in late October that he had planned to move on from a third fight with Deontay Wilder. Fury's decision to fight in December in a tune-up fight before attempting to battle Anthony Joshua and unify all four heavyweight world championships is not sitting well with Wilder.
Wilder, who was battered en route to a seventh round stoppage in their February rematch, unleashed a torrent of tweets aimed at Fury's decision, beginning with a video in which he accuses Fury of cheating in both the February encounter and their December 2018 split draw.
"I saw in the first fight when Ricky Hatton was pulling down your gloves to put your hand in the improper position," Wilder says in the video. "Y'all tried the same method the second time, but this time, you scratched flesh out of my ears which caused my ears to bleed. It's impossible for a brand new 10 ounce glove to bend, to keep a smushed in form or to have loose space. I highly believe you put something had in your glove. Something the size and the shape of an egg weight. It's the reason why the side of my face swelled up in an egg weight form and it left a dent in my face as well. But in the midst of it all, you still couldn't keep this king down. You would have had to kill me. In the end, it took a crab in the bucket referee and a disloyal trainer to throw the towel in just to stop me."
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
Fury entered the rematch with Wilder as lineal heavyweight champion and added the WBC belt in victory. Wilder took issue with cornerman Mark Breland for throwing in the towel as the fight had clearly slipped away from his fighter.
The contract for the rematch stated the loser could initiate a third fight by taking the short side of a 60-40 purse split. But a Wilder injury, followed by further delays resulted in the timeframe for that rematch expiring, according to the Fury team.
"When that fight was a draw, I told you that I would give you a rematch," Wilder wrote in follow-up tweets. "You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you like I said I would. In the rematch agreement, there was a rematch clause. Now it is time for you to be a man and honor your word, instead of trying to weasel out of our agreement. Scared people run but a scary man will break his contract you coward Azz Bitch!"
After losing in the rematch, Wilder attributed his performance to wearing a heavy LED-lit suit to the ring, tiring out his legs before the fight even began.
Wilder's comments on Fury's gloves echo those of his younger brother in June, when Marsellos Wilder said, "It was discovered by doctors that my brother has a dent in the side of his head due to a blunt object struck against his head from his last fight. No glove or fist was able to cause the damage according to the autopsy."
At the time, Fury responded in an Instagram video, saying, "I've just read an article saying I might have had some 'blunt objects' in my gloves. Yeah, two big 19 stone destroyers in each glove. Getting punched in the temple may do that do you. Unless Deontay Wilder's own trainer Jay Deas was in on the conspiracy as well along with all the Las Vegas Commission guys who never left the room. Jay Deas was in the room while I had my hands wrapped, he examined them. He was in there when I had my gloves put on, examined them, and everybody else was in the room, they don't leave you."
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett said that Wilder's allegations are absolutely false and that the gloves are factory sealed and handed to the commission no more than 72 hours before a fight. On fight night, the gloves are then unsealed and inspected by the commission and a member of the opponent's corner.
Top Rank president Bob Arum called Wilder's comments shameful.
"We haven't heard anything from Wilder, then apparently he's been watching TV, and he's now mimicking Trump," Arum said. "It's impossible for anything to happen to the gloves, this is bulls---. And for Wilder to castigate the ref Kenny Bayless, who saved his life, and trainer Mark Breland, who also saved his life, is absolutely disgraceful."