Deontay Wilder has split with his long-time co-trainer Mark Breland ahead of the potentially career-defining trilogy fight with Tyson Fury.
The former WBC heavyweight champion was dethroned by the ‘Gypsy King’ back in February, with Breland throwing in the towel to end the contest in round seven.
Many praised Breland’s decision at the time, but it was clear that Wilder was displeased and immediately said post-fight: “I wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield.”
Now, he’s acted on this discontent and parted ways with Breland, his co-manager Shelly Finkel confirmed.
Finkel told BoxingScene: “That was the decision that was made. After his next fight it will be determined if the right decision was made or not.”
Wilder’s main trainer Jay Deas will remain with him and prepare him for the trilogy which is currently being targeted for December.
Remarkably, Deas appeared at the post-fight press conference on February 22 and condemned Breland’s decision as well.
“What happened between rounds was Mark said something about throwing the towel in and I told him, ‘Don’t do that’, I didn’t think he should do that,” Deas said.
“Then the fight went on a little bit longer and then I saw the towel go in so I haven’t talked to Mark about it but we’ll talk about it and figure out what exactly happened there.’
“I didn’t think he should have [thrown in the towel]. Deontay’s the kind of guy who goes out on his shield and he will tell you straight up – don’t throw the towel in.”
A few days later Wilder discussed potentially splitting with Breland.
“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times,” Wilder said in late February.
“I’m not being emotional now. For many, many years, I have talked about this to my team.
“They know my demeanour, my warrior mindset and if I say I’m going in there to try to kill a man like I have, I accept that in return: he will have to kill me as well.
“I’ve told them many times that if anyone throws the towel in on me, there will be consequences.
“I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield.
“If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principal of receiving.
“So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind.
“I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”
Fury had his own response after hearing this.
“If for some reason Mark Breland will not be working with Deontay Wilder then he will have a job with the ‘Gypsy King’,” he told IFL TV.
“If Wilder ain’t going to use Mark Breland then I’ll bring him in.
“Because he’s very good at what he does and he’s got the best interest of the fighter. I respect him.
“He’s a Kronk fighter and a former world champion. And I do believe if it wasn’t for Mark Breland Wilder could be seriously injured today.”