As a former welterweight champion, someone who surpassed the great Sugar Ray Robinson for most Golden Gloves wins and the proud member of no less than six boxing hall of fames, Mark Breland is one of the most respected minds in boxing.
So it made it all the more shocking when, in the aftermath of his first professional defeat to Tyson Fury last February, Deontay Wilder proceeded to relentlessly attack Breland, his long-time trainer, and accuse him of being complicit in a string of conspiracy theories, including spiking his water.
The trainer was subsequently sacked by Wilder for throwing in the towel in the seventh round against Fury and now Breland has broken his silence on the affair, holding no punches, and claims that Wilder is finished as a fighter. Speaking on the Fight Is Right podcast, Breland said, ”My whole thing with Deontay is part of boxing I guess. His career is done now, I'm done and he's done, I'm done with him.”
“He's only got his power and we'll see how far that takes him. That's all I'm going to say.
"I'd been working with him since he turned pro and nothing had happened until [the defeat].”
Wilder was widely lambasted within the boxing community for his outlandish reasons for losing against Fury and Breland has vehemently denied any of the allegations directed at him from his former charge.
"Some people can’t take a loss; don't blame everybody else, go back and think about yourself.
"So many people know me, my character speaks for itself. Spiked the water? If you're looking at the tapes, someone else is giving him the water. Only foolish people come out with stuff like that because it's crazy."
The 57-year-old from Brooklyn also gave his opinion on the hugely-anticipated heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Fury and says he can only see one winner, "To be honest, I could beat Anthony Joshua. Doesn't have a jab at all. I would out-jab him. I don't think he'd be able to touch me. I'd put him to sleep. Fury would beat him up… He's just straightforward, he's not hard to hit."
Deontay Wilder hasn’t fought since his defeat to Fury a year ago and with the Gypsy King having stepped away from a trilogy fight to face Joshua, the American’s next move remains unknown.