February 22nd witnessed the heavyweight destruction of Deontay Wilder at the hands of Tyson Fury. Long before the first bell Fury had prophesised the outcome, even predicting it to come within 4 rounds. Not known for his knockout power and more his ring craft, Fury set about a 7 round ‘demolition job’.
In the first encounter, regardless of the outcome, it was a victory in itself for Fury to be in the ring. After only two bouts into his return and some 10 stone lighter, few gave the Morecombe man a chance. After all, he had a significant lay-off and he was coming up against probably the hardest hitting heavyweight of a generation. Even though Fury had to climb off the canvas twice in the first bout in Las Vegas the majority of the boxing world had Tyson winning.
Who is Mark Breland?
Mark Breland is a former two time WBA Welterweight Champion of the World turned pro trainer. Breland had a decorated amateur career and turned pro in 1984. Winning his first 18 fights with 12 by KO/TKO Mark was on his way to greatness, summiting to become WBA Welterweight Champion of the world in only his 17th fight. The New Yorker took on all comers from all nations and retired in 1997 sporting a record of 35-3-1 (25KO’s). After retiring from boxing Breland turned to training fighters. Since 2008 Mark Breland has guided the career of Deontay Wilder. Along the way the aforementioned Wilder has only 2 blemishes on his otherwise exemplary and devastating CV, a draw, and a loss to Tyson Fury.
Why has Deontay Wilder split with Breland?
It does come as a surprise then to learn that Wilder has parted company with Breland who has helped be part of a process that has enjoyed such riches and success. To answer the question you have to go back to February 22nd 2020. By the end of round 6 Deontay Wilder had touched the canvas, had blood pouring from the mouth, was exhausted and was becoming defenseless to the beat down Fury was handing out.
As the fighters went out for Round 7 it was hard to make a case for a round that had gone to Wilder at this stage and then came a further onslaught from Fury who was realising what he had prophesised weeks earlier. Wilder, almost out on his feet was not responding to the leather been thrown his way, and perhaps just before the referee stepped in or Fury dealt a final blow, Mark Breland stepped on the apron with a white towel in his hands and the fight was over. Devastation for the WBC Champion, Wilder, elation for Fury the Champion elect.
Having been with Wilder for over a decade, it was clear Breland was showing compassion for his fighter. Preventing him from receiving further punishment, unnecessary blows and potentially career shortening minutes.
Why split now?
It had come out earlier in the year that the Wilder camp had ‘welcomed’ Mark Breland back into the team after a haitus. How much of that is true we don’t know. Regardless, why announce this now after 8 months? Here are 3 possible scenarios:
Scenario one – it happened after the fight
Clearly dissapointed with the towel being thrown in, Wilder wanted to go out on his shield or throw the dice to get a knockout punch of his own. In a rare social post since the fight Wilder had said as much. Therefore you could see a scenario in which Wilder axed him from the team immediately after the fight but is only making it public now.
Scenario two – Breland himself has quit
From afar the way Breland has been treated has not sat well with many. You only have to spend 10 minutes on our favourite boxing channels to see that. So Mark himself may have taken himself out of the team.
Scenario three – Wilder is only just seriously back in camp
Little, if anything, has been heard from the former WBC king’s camp since February. You can hardly blame him when you consider both the nature of the loss and the pandemic that ensued. Wilder vs Fury III is only just starting to bubble up and as we see Fury and Sugarhill pounding the pavements of Lancashire last week we can only assume Wilder is only just getting back to business himself.
As the pandemic continues to plague nations around the world it looks less and less viable that Fury vs Wilder III will be next in any case. Without a gate it just doesn’t seem plausable. One thing is for sure, Deontay Wilder will have Jay Deas in his corner for his next fight, wherever that is and with whomever he will square off against. Will there be a replacement for Breland? Time will tell.