Deontay Wilder has continued to push back against the notion that he was beaten by a superior fighter when he lost his heavyweight crown to Tyson Fury.

Fury stopped the previously undefeated Wilder to claim the WBC title in February. Wilder initially blamed his heavy ringwalk costume for tiring him out before the fight. Speaking to the Premier Boxing Champions podcast on Wednesday, the 34-year-old said he had not felt his best on the night of the fight.

“When I took off my mask, the things that I was doing. I’ve been in this sport a very long time so people automatically know how I am,” said the American. “People that know boxing know that it wasn’t Deontay Wilder on that night. I was a zombie on that night. I wasn’t myself. I felt like a zombie. I’m still reflecting. I can’t believe the things that happened. I’m figuring things out.”

February’s fight was the second meeting between the two fighters. The first, in December 2018, ended in a split draw. A rematch had been scheduled for July but has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s not over. In my eyes I don’t see Fury as the champion,” said Wilder. “He ain’t the champion yet, we’ve still got one more fight left … and I’m looking forward to giving the world the best of Deontay Wilder.”

Wilder said he was still positive despite the loss. “In life you lose more than you win,” he said. “Some people don’t know how to bounce back from a loss. People want to see someone lose to see how they get up. I lost in the ring but I’m winning in life.

“Sometimes you get used to things, get comfortable with things. You still have hunger, but it isn’t the same as when you first tried to get into the rankings and go on to fight for a world title. This has allowed that hunger to come back. I’m never down about losing because it makes me stronger to come back and overcome.”

Anthony Joshua has expressed an interest in facing Fury for what would be an all-British heavyweight unification fight, but he will face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev first. On Wednesday, Joshua told Sky Sports he would keep an eye on Fury and Wilder’s next fight. “Tyson Fury did a great job tactically and I’m looking forward to their rematch,” he said.

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