Deontay Wilder shrugged off his first-ever knockdown early in his career as a rabbit punch that did little to halt his progress.
However, the man who delivered that blow refutes those claims to an extent as doubts remain over whether Wilder was down longer than ten seconds or saved only by the bell.
Harold Sconiers fought Wilder in 2010. After being dropped himself, Sconiers unleashed an almighty swing to put “The Bronze Bomber” down for the first time in his career.
In addition, Sconiers was a 20-loss journeyman at the time. And when asked about it later in his career as a world champion, Wilder denied it was a clean shot.
Deontay Wilder rabbit punch
“Early in my career, I got dropped,” Wilder told The Opening Kickoff on WNSP-FM 105.5. “I got a rabbit punch in the back of the neck.
“When the punch happened instantly, my neck started to swell. There was a knot back there. It was a blackout-type of feeling.
“By the time I got back up, the ref was in my face. I was like, “what’s going on?'”
Speaking to SportBible about the Fantasy Springs clash, Sconieres was disappointed with Wilder but tried to back up his knockdown despite not being totally sure.
Wilder vs Sconiers
Although his memory is fading about the incident, Sconiers still believes he merited dropping Wilder.
“Of course, I can’t say for sure [it was a rabbit punch] now,” Sconiers admitted to SportBible. “That was definitely not my intention.
“I, you know in my heart, I believe it was a clean shot. But as I said, I had my head basically down. I was dipping into the punch.
“So I didn’t even see the shot when it landed. Is it possible that it could have been a rabbit punch? It’s possible.
“You know, ’cause he was leaning into it. I was coming over the top, but at the same time, there was a lot of incentive for them to say that, even if it wasn’t.
“So, I’m not gonna attack anyone’s character and say that they’re lying.”
On why Wilder might have aired his rabbit punch view, Sconiers concluded: “There’s a lot of things at play because that’s how they saw it afterward.
“People’s minds kind of twist [or] turn things the way they wanna see it or the way that makes sense for them.
“But I don’t think I hit him with a rabbit punch. Yet I can’t dispute it 100 percent.”