Deontay Wilder may be 34 years old with 44 professional fights behind him and countless millions of dollars in the bank – but Mike Tyson still says he needs to “grow up”.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ suffered his first career defeat (now 42-1-1) at the hands of Tyson Fury in their eagerly-awaited rematch in Las Vegas in February, a humiliating seventh-round TKO in which he was utterly outfought and outmuscled. The pair had earlier fought to a controversial draw in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Wilder has been silent for weeks now as he prepares for the third fight with Fury later this year, potentially on December 19 in Las Vegas. This after initially providing a number of excuses for his humbling at the hands of ‘The Gypsy King’ – notably the weight of his elaborate ring walk costume and a bicep injury which later required surgery.
While Wilder is a clear underdog for the trilogy fight with Fury (as big as 3/1 in places with Fury a 1/4 shot), former undisputed world heavyweight king Tyson says he is anything but down and out – but needs to improve his attitude.
“There’s always a chance. Everyone always has a chance,” Tyson said on Instagram. “It just depends on how much they want to give in to it. If he wants to dedicate his life to really winning this fight, anything can happen.
“Wilder can still make a lot of money. He shouldn’t feel sad or discouraged. He should continue to go out there and fight with a lot of zest and confidence.”
Tyson, whose own first career defeat came at the hands of James ‘Buster’ Douglas in an enormous upset in Tokyo, Japan back in 1990, knows that losing ones 0 doesn’t necessarily have to be the end.
He added: “He’s feeling like he’s given up, ‘Oh my life is over, I made £72million so far but my life is over, oh lord, oh God, I wanna die’. Grow up man, let’s just keep going through this until it’s really over.”
Wilder had become World Boxing Council (WBC) world heavyweight champion back in 2015, and his defeat by Fury was his 11th defence of the title.