Deontay Wilder finally gave credit where credit was due.
The former heavyweight champ, who was knocked out by Tyson Fury in the 11th round of a five-knockout classic in their third meeting Saturday in Las Vegas, congratulated the victor five days later on Instagram and Twitter.
Here’s what Wilder had to say:
“Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that’s driven with passion and determination. I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen. We didn’t get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win.
“Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more. Hopefully, I proved that I am a true Warrior and a true King in this sport. Hopefully, WE proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in. Last but not least I would like to congratulate @gypsyking101 for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”
Fury had said at the post-fight news conference that Wilder initially showed no interest in congratulating him.
“We fought like two warriors in there,” he said. “I went to shake his hand and say well done, and he said, ‘No, I don’t respect you.’ He’s acted like a sore loser in boxing. I’m sure he’s not the first one, and he won’t be the last one.”
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Widler (42-2-1, 41 KOs) fought to a disputed draw in the 2018 and the Englishman won the rematch in February of last year to take Wilder’s title, winning by a seventh-round knockout.
Fury has not said who he would like to fight next, although Dillian Whyte has been mentioned as a possibility. Wilder was suspended for six month as a result of the knockout.