ONLY in boxing can a man get sacked for saving his boss’ life.
But Mark Breland, in Deontay Wilder’s corner for his crushing world heavyweight title defeat by Tyson Fury, now faces that fate.
It was Breland, a former Olympic and world welterweight champ, who threw in the towel during the seventh round as Wilder was pinned to the ropes under a barrage of punches from the dominant Fury.
Wilder had already been floored twice, barely looked capable of having any attacking impact after his first knockdown in the third round and had been awarded just a single round on one judge’s scorecard.
It was obvious to all of us inside Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena that the man from Alabama was in a hopeless situation and risking serious injury.
Breland was alert to this and, other than the fallen WBC champion and his senior trainer Jay Deas — who disagreed with his colleague’s call to end the fight — few would be critical about his actions.
Yet Wilder now claims he will axe Breland as he was determined ‘as a warrior… to go out on my shield’.
This was one of the most eagerly-anticipated fights of the century — and the last thing boxing needed was it to be scarred by tragedy.
Fury was so dominant and aggressive that Wilder could have suffered permanent life-changing injuries — perhaps even death — if Breland had not intervened.
During the pre-fight build-up, Wilder spoke about wanting to kill Fury.
This trash talking was distasteful and unnecessary but, sadly, not uncommon.
Everyone knows that kind of talk is empty bombast.
So there is no need for Wilder to legitimise it, as he has done, by claiming if he talks about wanting to kill, he should be prepared to die in the ring himself.
Wilder sounds like a man in denial, making ridiculous excuses for his first professional defeat, such as the weight of his walk-on costume. The truth is the American was totally outclassed and badly beaten.
He has the right to a trilogy fight with Fury if he triggers that clause in 30 days and says he will do.
But there is little appetite for a third contest, given the ease of Fury’s triumph — and certainly not as soon as this summer.
Those in Wilder’s team need to tell him some home truths about that. Yet the man with the most common sense and humanity in his corner was Breland — and he faces the old tin tack.