Vanquished WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has blamed his lopsided defeat to Tyson Fury on the extravagant costume he wore during his ring entrance.
On Sunday (NZ time), the American fell to an emphatic seventh-round TKO loss to Fury in Las Vegas and has pointed to his 20kg (45lb) outfit as the reason he faded so quickly during the fight.
"He didn’t hurt me at all," Wilder told Yahoo Sports. "But the simple fact is... that my uniform was way too heavy for me.
"I didn't have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through, but I'm a warrior and people know that I'm a warrior.
"It could easily be told that I didn't have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, 'It looked like something was wrong with you'.
"Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so.
"I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform."
Wilder said he underestimated the weight of the outfit, which was intended as a tribute for Black History Month.
"I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before, but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries.
"I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything."
'Bronze Bomber' also denied reports he had suffered a broken jaw, concussion or a burst eardrum, claiming a cut inside his ear required seven stitches to close.
The 34-year-old has every intention of exercising the rematch clause in his contract for a third fight with Fury, but trainer Mark Breland will play no part.
Wilder was furious with Breland for throwing in the fight-ending towel and not giving him an opportunity to fight his way out of danger.
As a result, Breland will no longer be a part of his corner team.
"We’ve talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened. I said, as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield.
"If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way.
"I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.
"I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career, and he has to accept my wishes."
He also took exception with the performance of referee Kenny Bayless, whom he accused of allowing Fury to hit him with illegal blows to the back of the head.
Wilder's decision to activate his rematch clause may jeopardise hopes of a blockbuster title unification showdown with Britain's Anthony Joshua this year.
But it wasn't all finger-pointing from Wilder, who offered some congratulatory words to 'The Gypsy King'.
"I'm super happy for Tyson Fury and I really want to give him my complete congratulations," Wilder told Yahoo Sports.
"He's had a lot of great accomplishments in his career and this is right there with all of them. I’m very excited about his career and what he has done - he deserves a lot of credit."
Wilder now plans to take a holiday in Africa at the end of March, then turn his attention to his trilogy bout with Fury.