Heavyweight champion boxer Deontay Wilder has spoken out on what happened when he punched an ESPN Nacion mascot on camera in a TV stunt that went badly.
Wilder last week allegedly broke the jaw of a person wearing the mascot outfit during the stunt showcasing his pugilistic skills.
Wilder, undefeated at 40-0 and nicknamed “The Bronze Bomber,” was invited by the show hosts to kiddingly box the hot dog-like Nacion ESPN mascot in what was supposed to be a jokey moment. Wilder apparently didn’t get the memo, sending the mascot to the floor with a vicious right-hand shot after a few feints.
The mascot did not immediately get up from Wilder’s blow. The Spanish language channel has since said that no serious injury occurred to the man wearing the costume, despite earlier claims that the mascot suffered a broken jaw in the incident.
Wilder gave his side of the story to the Daily Mail. “One minute I’m doing an interview, and the next I look up there’s a big a** burrito to the right of me, waiting on me,” he said. “I didn’t hit no mascots (sic) or anything like that before and I said, ‘Yeah cool let’s make it happen.’ So once I got to select where I got to hit him, I told them: ‘I’m a head-hunter, I like to knock you out! I’m one of the hardest punchers in the world and I thought there was going to be more cushion or whatever. But when I hit him, it was like another opponent, it was crazy.:
“They said I hit him on the chin. I think he was a little bit dazed at first.”
Wilder apologized in an Instagram post and invited the mascot, who has not been identified by name, to his next fight. Wilder will face Tyson Fury on December 1 in Los Angeles.