Deontay Wilder's trainer loses comeback fight against Russian MMA legend Sergei Kharitonov

  • Tom Ward

Deontay Wilder‘s trainer Malik Scott said he was ‘grateful for every experience’ after losing his boxing comeback.

The American, 41, travelled to Belarus the weekend before last after agreeing to take part in an exhibition bout against Russian MMA legend Sergei Kharitonov, also 41.

Scott, also a former sparring partner of the Bronze Bomber, served as the ex-WBC heavyweight champion’s head coach for his trilogy fight with Tyson Fury.

The fight was Scott’s first since returning to the ring after a six-and-a-half year layoff from the sport following his loss to Luis Ortiz in 2016.

However, Father Time had clearly done him no favours whatsoever after so long away from competition, as he was forced to take a knee in the second round after being backed up against the ropes.

WATCH: Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott stepped into the ring for the first time in six years

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But the 41-year-old insisted he was delighted to be back despite coming up short against Kharitonov at the M1 Casino in Minsk.

Scott wrote on Instagram: “Felt good being back under the lights last night. It’s been almost seven since the last time I gloved up. It’s been four years since the last time I did some serious sparring.

“When you’re always busy teaching the craft and learning the craft, it keeps you in some kind of good physical shape.

“Wins, losses, disappointments, etc. I’m grateful for every experience and lesson that comes from this noble art.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 06: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains profanity.) Deontay Wilder (L) talks with his head coach Malik Scott during a news conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 6, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wilder will challenge WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for his title on October 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ahead of the fight, Scott had filmed himself training at his gym in Los Angeles, California.

And he looked much fitter in the opening exchanges of the heavyweight bout – despite having been out of action for so long.

But while he started the fight strongly, he couldn’t keep up the pace.

Kharitonov is the same age as Scott but has stayed relatively active despite his advancing years.

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However, the Russian found himself on the canvas in the first round after being dropped by the American, before he returned the favour in the second round with an uppercut straight through the guard.

After the fight, he said: “It was very difficult.

“My previous fights ended in the first round and the third or fourth. Malik Scott is a very serious opponent. Malik Scott is a machine.

“I knew who I was going to fight, but I always go only forward.”

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