Billy Joe Saunders and Deontay Wilder Rivalry: What Happened Between the Two?

Published 05/08/2021, 9:00 AM EDT
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: Billy Joe Saunders celebrates after victory over Charles Adamu in the International Super-Middleweight Contest at Manchester Arena on November 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


Billy Joe Saunders and Tyson Fury share a close relationship between them. The two champions have trained together on multiple occasions in the past. So close was the relationship between the two, that Billy Joe Saunders even confronted Deontay Wilder in support of Fury.

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Both Saunders and Fury come from the proud fighting community of the gypsies. As a result, the two Englishman have remained close throughout their careers. And a perfect example of this was when Saunders took on Wilder and his team in the UK.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – AUGUST 18: Tyson Fury is confronted by rival boxer Deontay Wilder after defeating Francesco Pianeta in a heavyweight contest at Windsor Park on August 18, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The 30-0 boxer confronted Wilder in a Nando’s restaurant in Belfast in 2018, and things turned ugly. Saunders was in town to support Fury for his bout against Francesco Pianeta; Wilder was there to stir trouble between himself and Fury.

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READ MORE: Questionable Comments to Viral Videos: Here’s a List of the Controversies Surrounding Billy Joe Saunders

As team Wilder enjoyed a meal at the chain restaurant, Saunders went up to them and greeted them. When he reached Wilder, the former WBC champion confronted him about a comment he made. The Englishman confirmed he had made the comment, and all hell broke loose.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ tried to grab hold of Saunders. However, after people stepped in and prevented a fight at the restaurant, Saunders fled from the scene.

Billy Joe Saunders and Deontay Wilder made peace

This instance showed Saunders would go to any extent to back Fury. However, the rivalry between Wilder and Saunders did not continue for long. Both fighters made peace after the fight.

Video footage showed ‘The Bronze Bomber’ running into the WBO champion after Fury beat Pianeta, and ‘The Bronze Bomber’ said, “All fine baby, all fine. It’s good to promote the fight. I’m happy to be here, this is what it’s all about.”

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This comment from Wilder showed that despite the incident, there was no bad blood between the two.

The former heavyweight champion would eventually get his wish, as Tyson Fury would face him next in what would be the famous split decision draw. However, Saunders would have surely enjoyed the rematch where ‘The Gypsy King’ knocked out Wilder.

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What do you make of this rivalry between Billy Joe Saunders and Deontay Wilder?

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Leonardo Carvalho

1018 articles

Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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