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Home » ‘Unstable, violent’ Deontay Wilder spiraled out of control after loss

‘Unstable, violent’ Deontay Wilder spiraled out of control after loss

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Struggling heavyweight Deontay Wilder stands accused of taking his first knockout defeat against Tyson Fury out on his family by fiancée Telli Swift.

Wilder lost in seven brutal rounds against Fury at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on February 20, 2020. Losing his undefeated record, Fury beat his opponent from pillar to post as Wilder’s corner and the referee stopped the bout against his wishes.

During the aftermath, Wilder went on a campaign to smear the victory by claiming Fury used loaded gloves and cheated his way to victory. Those claims have never been proven true. As Wilder engaged in a media offensive to erase the memory of the knockout, he was struggling behind closed doors with his mental health, says Swift.

The model and mother of one of Wilder’s children filed a temporary restraining order [TRO] against the boxer as he traveled to Saudi Arabia to face Zhilei Zhang. Swift had been living separately from Wilder with their daughter but still felt suffocated by Wilder, who she claims spied on her.

Painting a picture of Wilder’s demeanor as he struggled to come to terms with his defeat, Swift outlined her experiences in the TRO.

“[Deontay took his anger [from the loss] out on me and our family. I asked him to go to therapy, but he refused to try to get help,” explained Swft. “At that point, he struggled to get fights that could advance his career, and he was emotionally unstable. He would cry and yell often in our home.”

Swift added that Wilder got worse following another defeat to Joseph Parker in December. She stated: “Deontay has been more emotionally abusive to me than any time in the past. I have been suffering in silence despite Deontay becoming increasingly aggressive and controlling. I did not want him to experience any further mental health struggles.”

She continued: “Deontay is unpredictable. I need a domestic violence restraining order against Deontay because his actions perpetuate a cycle of domestic violence where he controls me, whether or not I am with him inside one of our homes.”

Meanwhile, as Wilder contemplates the end of his career following a fifth-round battering by Zhang on June 1 in Riyadh, former promoter Oscar De La Hoya sent a goodwill message.

The pair split acrimoniously when Wilder became WBC champion following a win over Bermane Stiverne. Advisor Al Haymon launched his own promotional company, Premier Boxing Champions, negating the need to be involved with another promoter. Haymon took each of his fighters away from Golden Boy Promotions, who were forced to start again.

Despite not being involved with Wilder for nine years, De La Hoya released a video informing “The Bronze Bomber” to take his time before making a final career announcement.

“I wanted to talk about Deontay Wilder. He got knocked out, but there is no need to bash him. There is no need to say you should retire,” said De La Hoya.

“Deontay Wilder will make his decision on whether he wants to retire or not. You have to give the man the respect, and you have to respect his decision. My thinking behind it is that you should never tell a fighter to retire; it’s a personal decision. It’s a decision only a fighter can make because this is our livelihood, our love, and our passion.

“So Deontay, whatever you do whatever you decide, take your time. Go on vacation with your beautiful family, and when you make a decision, you will make the right one in your heart yourself.

“It’s a very personal decision. This is your life, so take your time, brother. We love you, and you have been exciting to watch all these years,” he concluded.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.