Deontay Wilder has ended his animosity towards Tyson Fury with a respectful message after their classic trilogy ended without a handshake.
Wilder refused a post-fight show of respect from Fury in the moments after losing their third contest last Saturday in Las Vegas.
The former WBC heavyweight champion has now said: “Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that’s driven with passion and determination.
“I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process.
“I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen.
“We didn’t get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win.
“Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more. Hopefully, I proved that I am a true warrior and a true king in this sport.
“Hopefully, WE proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in.
“Last but not least I would like to congratulate [Tyson Fury] for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever.”
Fury defeated Wilder in the 11th round of a barnstorming fight featuring five combined knock-downs.
He then criticised his rival for failing to accept his offer of a handshake.
“He’s got no love for me, Deontay Wilder, because you know why, because I beat him three times,” Fury said moments after.
“I’m a sportsman. I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn’t want to give it back. That’s his problem.”
Fury told BT Sport Box Office: “I just said well done and he said, ‘I don’t want to show any sportsmanship or respect.’ I said, ‘No problem.’
“Very surprised. Sore loser, an idiot.
“To be a top fighting man, you’ve got to show guts and respect, and he couldn’t do it tonight, and that was it.”