Yahoo Sports, as well as Pugmire, also reported that Wilder says his legs were weakened prior to his underwhelming Saturday night performance because they had to lug the heavy costume he wore on his way to the ring.
Deontay Wilder’s entrance🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/rQIj2JDhjJ— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 23, 2020
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is, Kevin, that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder explained to Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. "I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform."
He continued, "I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything."
Reiterating a theme from the immediate aftermath of the fight, Wilder is said to have also expressed annoyance that his corner threw in the towel rather than allowing him to "die in the ring." Pugmire reported that the issue is something that bothered Wilder so much that he considered firing his assistant trainer:
Yahoo took that a step further by saying that Wilder would let go of Breland, though they made it a point to state that Deontay still "loved" the assistant.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional,” Wilder said. “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."
Yahoo pushed back by telling Wilder that Breland had his best interests in mind when he signaled the fight to end, but the fighter remained adamant in his decision.
“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.
Finally, Wilder also aired a grievance he had with the match's ref.
While the above may seem like a batch of excuses, Wilder did praise his opponent by offering him "complete congratulations."
“I’m super happy for Tyson Fury and I really want to give him my complete congratulations,” Wilder claimed. “He’s had a lot of great accomplishments in his career and this is right there with all of them. I’m very excited about his career and what he has done. He deserves a lot of credit.”