Deontay Wilder Doesn't See Tyson Fury as a Champion Until He Wins 3rd Fight

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 15, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 22:  Tyson Fury punches Deontay Wilder during their Heavyweight bout for Wilder's WBC and Fury's lineal heavyweight title on February 22, 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Deontay Wilder isn't going to recognize Tyson Fury as the lineal heavyweight champion until the Gypsy King wins the third fight between the two. 

Appearing on the PBC Podcast (h/t RingTV.com's Joseph Santoliquito), Wilder noted he doesn't "see Fury as a champion" because he wasn't himself in their February matchup:

“You don't go backwards, you more forwards, and that night, I wasn't myself. There's a lot of things I can't say. We can only get stronger and learn from situation and get better. In my eyes, I don't see Fury as a champion. It's still going. He ain't the champion yet. We still got one more fight left.

“There's going to be a time and place when I'll come out. Looking at the fight, (Fury) knows that wasn't me. I know that wasn't me. Everyone in boxing knows that wasn't the real Deontay Wilder.”

Wilder lost for the first time in 44 professional fights when Fury scored a seventh-round TKO in February. 

The Bronze Bomber told the podcast he underwent biceps surgery after suffering the injury against Fury and he hopes to resume working out in May. 

Wilder previously told The Athletic's Lance Pugmire that his legs were weakened in the second Fury match because of the 45-pound costume he wore to the ring. 

"People that know boxing know that wasn't Deontay Wilder that night," he said on the PBC Podcast. "I can't talk about a lot of things. But that wasn't Deontay Wilder that night. You could see from the mask and my reaction, and certain things that I was doing in the ring from the first fight to the second fight."

The third fight between Wilder and Fury was initially expected to happen on July 18, but Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told ESPN's Dan Rafael a date in October is possible right now. 

Wilder and Fury fought to a split draw in their first meeting in December 2018. Fury dominated the second matchup with a 135-54 advantage in total punches landed to capture the lineal heavyweight championship.