Deontay Wilder has appointed former opponent Malik Scott to his training team.
The former WBC heavyweight world champion is back in the gym preparing for a comeback this year and has posted multiple clips of himself on the pads over the last few weeks.
In a recent post, he showed two minutes of taking instructions from Scott – the man he’s had holding the pads lately.
He captioned it with confirmation of the appointment: “An amazingly peaceful session with my brother and new trainer Malik Scott.”
It is assumed that Scott will join the team alongside Wilder’s head trainer Jay Deas, replacing former co-trainer Mark Breland.
Following his rematch defeat to Tyson Fury, Wilder sacked Breland – who threw in the towel to end the bout.
Wilder has not fought since February 2020 when Fury took his WBC belt from him, with the American then activating his clause to force a trilogy fight.
After delays pushed back the third meeting several times – including an injury to Wilder and various pandemic issues – Fury’s team announced they were moving on from the contest as it was their belief that the contract had expired.
The Americans reacted by activating the dispute resolution provision within the contract, taking the matter to legal arbitration.
Now it seems a ruling has found in favour of Wilder, putting the unification contest between Fury and Anthony Joshua in doubt.
When they first met, Wilder and Scott were rivals.
The heavyweight contender was 30-0 (30 KOs) and closing in on his WBC title shot when he faced the 36-1-1 opponent.
Scott had recently suffered his first ever defeat to Derek Chisora in the UK.
He was known to be a slippery boxer and tough to hit clean.
It was thought he could provide an awkward test for the unbeaten Wilder.
However, this did not turn out to be the case.
In the first round, Wilder threw a left hook followed by a straight right hand which floored Scott against the ropes.
His senses were scrambled and he was unable to make it back to his feet.
Fans and commentators questioned how the KO had came about and controversy grew around the finish.
As replays were shown on big screens in the arena, fans started booing.
They were focussing on the finishing right hand from Wilder, which barely grazed Scott’s head.
This led to suggestions that he had taken a dive.
On closer inspection, it was actually the initial left hook from Wilder which caught Scott on the top of the head and ended the contest.