Boxing: WBC world champion Deontay Wilder punches ESPN mascot on TV, allegedly breaks mascot's jaw

Deontay Wilder's punch had such impact that the costumed face's left eye flew off as the mascot was knocked down.
Deontay Wilder's punch had such impact that the costumed face's left eye flew off as the mascot was knocked down.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

SINGAPORE - For some reason, the producers of Spanish sports show Nacion ESPN thought getting WBC world heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-0, 39 knockouts) to throw a punch at a man wearing a burrito costume would be a good idea.

The American, promoting his upcoming title fight with Tyson Fury on Dec 1, duly obliged and, to put things mildly, did some damage with the cameras rolling.

In a video posted on his Instagram account on Sunday (Oct 14) that has since racked up more than 650,000 views, Wilder landed a right straight with such impact that the costumed face's left eye flew off as the mascot was knocked down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX7oWtcActY

The media went wild in the incident's immediate aftermath, with most reports saying the 32-year-old had broken the jaw of the man wearing the puffy outfit.

Others reported that Wilder had claimed not to know that there was a human being inside the costume.

The boxer attempted to set things straight in a later Instagram post, also apologising to the mascot over the unfortunate mishap.

"Anything headlining I didn't know a 'Human Being' was in there is just straight 'Click Baiting'. Like come on now... I sincerely apologise to the brave man that was injured (if this is true). I have the up most [sic] high respect for him, his participation, willingness and courage," wrote Wilder, whose ring name is the "Bronze Bomber".

"If this is true @nacionespn I personally would like to invite him to my Dec 1 fight. Word is Bond."

His next opponent Fury, at least, is expected to present a far stiffer challenge in Los Angeles' Staples Centre. The Briton, who is undefeated in 27 fights, is a former world champion who handed heavyweight legend Wladimir Klitschko his first defeat in more than a decade in 2016.

The 2.16m Fury returned to the ring this year after a two-year layoff plagued by doping allegations and personal issues.