Deontay Wilder is once again heading back to the drawing board. The former heavyweight champion lost for a second time to Tyson Fury on Saturday night in Las Vegas when the "Gypsy King" stopped him via 11th-round knockout.
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) won the opportunity to challenge Fury for a third when an arbitrator granted him his rematch following the February 2020 knockout loss. After nearly 20 months of training, bulking up and solely focusing on Fury, Wilder nearly stopped him in the fourth round with a pair of knockdowns. But Fury managed to get back to his feet and continued to outbox him from the outside before scoring another knockdown in Round 10 and the seminal blow in Round 11.
Wilder did not speak with the media following the loss, but released a brief statement in the post-fight press release.
"I did my best, but it wasn't good enough," Wilder said. "I'm not sure what happened. I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn't come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up, and he succeeded."
Wilder, 35, looked much better than his previous attempts against Fury, but it still wasn't enough. New trainer Malik Scott was heard telling him in between rounds at one point that he will wake up proud of the effort he put forth.
Wilder released a social media post on Thursday with a more lengthy statement. ESPN's Mike Coppinger reports that Wilder suffered a broken metacarpal in his right hand in the sixth round of the fight and is heading for surgery.
"Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that's driven with passion and determination. I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed in the outcome, but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen. We didn't get the win but a wise man once said 'the victories are within the lessons.'" Wilder wrote.
"I've learned that sometimes you have to lose to win. 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 the 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 against for what you believe in. Last but not least I would like to congratulate [Tyson Fury] for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever."