Deontay Wilder has slammed referee Kenny Bayless’ officiating in his defeat to Tyson Fury and believes the new WBC heavyweight champion got away with a number of illegal punches.
Fury dismantled his American opponent with a ruthless and bruising display in Las Vegas on Saturday night, twice knocking him down before the Bronze Bomber’s corner finally threw in the towel in the seventh round.
Wilder had complained to Bayless after the first knockdown – which came in the third round – that the punch was behind the back of his head and was very unhappy with how the referee deducted a point in the fifth round for punching after the break.
Speaking to The Athletic, Wilder said: “Bayless had come in my dressing room, looked me in my eyes and said if I hit Fury in the back of the head – rabbit punch – or hit off of the break, he would disqualify me or deduct two points from me.
“I guess those rules just applied to me because they didn’t apply to my opponent. [Fury] hit me in the back of the neck and the head all night and Bayless didn’t do anything about it, to the point I got lumps and bruises. That was a thing that was very frustrating to me.”
Asked about his reaction after he was deducted a point in the fifth round for punching after the break, Wilder said: “Why are you taking a point now when he’s been doing this all through the fight?
“What happened to that speech? What happened to that disqualification? All those things you said you’d do to me?”
Wilder was taken to hospital after the fight and needed stitches on a cut to his ear, but contrary to initial reports he did not burst an eardrum that affected his equilibrium, with the American insisting it was Fury’s illegal punches that caused the issues.
He continued: “When I fell the first time, when he hit me in the back of the head, I turned around and held up my arms to the ref … by the third round, my legs were really shot.
“The way I was hitting the mitts and training, I was nnotprepared for this fight than anything. The only thing I was not prepared to do was fight on wobbly legs.”
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