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Home » EXCLUSIVE: Shelly Finkel confirms Deontay Wilder trainer reports

EXCLUSIVE: Shelly Finkel confirms Deontay Wilder trainer reports

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  • 3 min read

World Boxing News has been informed by Deontay Wilder co-manager Shelly Finkel that the former world heavyweight champion has split with Mark Breland.

Reports began circulating over the weekend after trainer Ronnie Shields let slip in an online interview.

WBN went straight to the source. Finkel has now ratified it. This is certainly the case.

Deontay Wilder

Finkel confirmed the parting of ways as Wilder fine-tunes his team for a third installment with Tyson Fury in the coming months.

Previously, Finkel had told WBN on February 29th that Breland was staying put.

“Deontay Wilder is keeping Mark Breland in his corner,” Finkel told World Boxing News seven months ago. “To clarify, Mark was never fired by Deontay.”

Things have gone a complete 180.


As for the forthcoming bout, December 19 has been declared unviable due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the second time the event has been shelved.

The trilogy was initially due to take place in July until Covid-19 intervened.

Dates in early 2021 are being considered, with WBN believing February 20th is an ideal scenario. Should Fury vs. Wilder III happen on that date, it would be a full year on from the rematch.

Tyson Fury Deontay Wilder
Ryan Hafey

Fury changed tactics from the first meeting where he was floored badly by Wilder. In the end, the Briton managed to secure a seventh-round stoppage.

Wilder was completely out-of-sorts on the night. Even so, Breland threw in the towel and has seemingly paid the price.

Mark Breland

After suffering his first loss to Fury, Wilder was unhappy with Breland and let him know in his post-fight interview.

“For Mark to do it, I was very heartbroken,” Wilder said. “If I say statements like I want to kill a man, then I have to abide by those same principles in the ring of him doing the same thing to me.

“I’d rather die than go out with someone throwing the towel in.

“He knows these things. It’s been premeditated. I’ve said this for many years.


“I told all my trainers, no matter how it may look on the outside, no matter how you may love me or have that emotional feeling, don’t make an emotional decision.

“Do not ever throw that towel in because my pride is everything.

“I understand what it looks like, but when you have power like me, I am never out of a fight, no matter what the circumstances. I’m never out of a fight.”

Breland made a split-second decision in his concern, but it went against everything Deontay Wilder stands for. He’s now paid the ultimate price.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.