Deontay Wilder has blamed his heavyweight title defeat against Tyson Fury on the three-stone costume he wore to the ring to celebrate Black History Month.

Confirming that he intends to activate his rematch clause against newly-crowned WBC heavyweight champion Fury, Wilder revealed that he had no energy left in his legs following his ring walk after wearing an extravagant costume to pay tribute to the annual celebration of African-American history.

The 34-year-old claimed that he was not able to try the 40-pounds outfit on until the night before Saturday’s fight, when it was too late to change his plans.

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Speaking to Yahoo Sports after the seventh-round defeat, Wilder said: “He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is my uniform was way too heavy for me.

“I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through.

“I was only able to put it on (for the first time]) the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries.

“I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything.”

Wilder has 30 days from the fight to trigger his rematch clause, which he intends to do, and under the terms of his pre-fight agreement with Fury, the trilogy fight must take place before the end of July, giving the pair five months to agree to terms and hold what would be one of the highest-earning heavyweight contests in boxing history.

But it appears that Wilder will not have former world champion Mark Breland in his corner after Wilder criticised his for throwing in the towel during the seventh round, prompting the referee’s intervention.

Wilder, who confirmed he would remove Breland from his team, added: “I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional.

“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 principle 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.

“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes.”

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