Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is getting much-needed support from fellow boxer Floyd Mayweather after an embarrassing technical knockout in Las Vegas over the weekend that left his eye and his ego sorely bruised.
Wilder, 34, faced off against Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday and stopped on his feet in the seventh round after his corner man threw in the towel, bringing an end to the explosive fight.
The loss dealt a mighty blow to Wilder and his fans, and the now-former WBC heavyweight champ quickly became the subject of hilarious Internet memes. Rather than kicking a man while he’s down, Mayweather instead offered kind words to his brother in boxing.
“Win, lose or draw … Deontay @BronzeBomber is our brother that [has] accomplished many triumphs, and as a community we should all uplift and support him throughout it all,” the boxing champ wrote in an Instagram post. “No matter what, you’re still a winner in my eyes, King!”
Fellow users agreed and piled on the praise for the formerly undefeated heavyweight title holder.
“Well said Champ,” J. Starr, Mayweather’s personal barber, wrote. “It’s sad we get a kick out of seeing others lose. Hold your head up @bronzebomber and remember losing sometimes mean winning. 🤔 🙏🏾”
Rapper Snoop Dogg commented: “It’s all about the get back we all fall down will be there for his return 💪🏾. Let’s go champ.”
Queen of rap Lil Kim lauded Wilder as a “wonderfully made champion.”
There were mixed reactions from other fans, however, who argued Wilder should “humble” himself and accept his loss fair and square.
“So this is about race now? He lost the damn fight,” one person wrote, seemingly in response to critics slamming Black folks for ridiculing the boxer following his loss.
“Tyson fury is also our brother, we don’t care if he white or not,” another chimed in. “Deontay got his ass whooped and now he gonn learn how too keep his mouth shut and do the talking in the ring.”
Wilder, who was sent tumbling onto the canvas several times in the fight, struggled from the onset and was left with several injuries including a cut in his ear, according to his trainer Jay Deas.
“It may have affected his equilibrium” in the fight,” Deas told reporters at a post-fight presser. “He’s going to get a couple stitches there.”
Wilder’s record now stands at 42 wins (41 KOs) against one loss (one KO) and one draw, Business Insider reports. Meanwhile, Fury advanced his record after Saturday’s win to an unbeaten 30 wins (21 KOs) against one draw.