Wilder: I don't see Tyson Fury as a champion yet

Tyson Fury is not a champion in the eyes of Deontay Wilder, who insists he did not show the best of himself in his defeat in February.

Deontay Wilder (left) during his defeat to Tyson Fury.   -  Getty Images

Deontay Wilder does not see Tyson Fury as a champion, despite the Briton's convincing triumph in the most recent installment of the heavyweight rivalry.

After a controversial draw in their first match in 2018, Fury defeated Wilder by technical knockout in the seventh round in Las Vegas on February 22. A third bout is scheduled to take place later in 2020, though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – which has caused the postponement of sporting events across the globe – may see the fight pushed back.

Though Fury now possesses the WBC heavyweight belt, Wilder insists his opponent is no champion just yet. “You don't go backwards, you move forwards, and that night, I wasn't myself,” Wilder said in an interview on the PBC podcast.

“There's a lot of things I can't say. We can only get stronger and learn from the situation and get better.

'One more fight yet'

“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. Everything that happened, it happened the last 15 minutes into the fight. There were a lot of things that went on.

“There are a lot of things that I don't even want to talk about at this moment in time. I'm still reflecting on certain things. And I can't believe the things that happened, happened to me at that point in time in my career.

“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. I wasn't there. From the first start, my whole body and everything. I'm looking forward to giving the world the best of Deontay Wilder.

'Not done yet'

“I'm not done yet. Everything is going to be alright. Trust me. This [third fight] is the last final straw right here, as I see it.”

Earlier in April, Fury questioned Wilder's motives for taking up the option of a trilogy fight. “I don't know the man's personal circumstances, but from what I've seen of these American fighters and sportsmen, they always live a rock star's lifestyle, even though they are not rock stars,” Fury told talkSPORT.

“They go through a lot of money quite quickly. Just look at Mike Tyson, he went through like a billion dollars. So, I'm sure that the money side of it is the tempting thing.

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“I don't think it's too tempting to go in there and get an absolute beating like he did before, but he would be tempted by the amount of money that he would receive.

“I think that's the reason he's taking the fight, for the money.”

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