Author Archives: Sean Crose

Joseph Diaz: “I’m Staying Positive”

Posted on 10/15/2021

By: Sean Crose

“I’m staying positive,” Joseph Diaz announced via video on social media Friday while his young son swung on a swing behind him. Diaz had, of course, recently received the news that Ryan Garcia had to drop out of their anticipated November 27th bout due to an injured hand. According to CBS, “Garcia will undergo surgery for the injury on Monday and is expected to be sidelined into 2022.” Fortunately for Diaz, Devin Haney appears to be willing to at least try to make a bout with the man, ASAP. “Let’s make this fight happen Dec 3rd,” Haney tweeted.

“I know that everything happens for a reason,” Diaz said on the video, while admitting “it’s unfortunate I couldn’t beat Ryan’s ass.” Fresh off a July win against Javier Fortuna, Diaz was looking forward to a high profile bout with the popular and outspoken Garcia. Now, however, the 32-1-1 Californian is looking to stay optimistic. “I’m staying positive,” he claimed. “I’m still working to get a fight date with Devin Haney now.” Should a throwdown between Diaz and Haney happen, it would definitely help compensate fans for the loss of a match between Diaz and Garcia. Still, Garcia would have been more apt to have brought in casual eyeballs. “I just know that everything happens for reason,” said Diaz.

Although he had tweeted “Ryan Garcia a bitch,” and “Ryan got a hand injury shadow boxing… pussy,” Diaz appeared to be more gracious in the video. “I wish Ryan Garcia a speedy recovery,” he said, “if he is really injured and if he really does have a hand injury.” Regardless, Diaz then went on to add: “I can’t be waiting on his bitch ass.” Sure enough, Garcia has had a difficult year, first stepping back from his career for a spell due to mental health reasons, and now this.

As for Diaz, the 28 year old has been keeping busy, already having fought twice this year, against Fortuna, and against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (who he battled to a draw), respectively. Before that, Diaz bested Tevin Farmer before the the Covid pandemic kicked in during early 2020. Those are three name fighters in a row, with another big name – first Garcia, now Haney – perhaps on deck. Whatever can be said about Diaz, the man isn’t taking it easy on himself. Hopefully the former world titlist – who has only lost once, to Gary Russell, no less – will find proper compensation for his efforts.

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Mikey Garcia Has His Eyes On Regis Prograis And Josh Taylor

Posted on 10/14/2021

By: Sean Crose

“I wanted to stay at 147 to look at fighting for a World Welterweight title,” Mikey Garcia says on the eve of his weekend match against Sandor Martin. “We had discussed the (Regis) Prograis fight at Welterweight as he was considering moving up to 147 and on Saturday we were looking to have the fight at 147, but Sandor has been at 140 so we agreed a 145 catchweight which I am not thrilled about but it’s OK.” Garcia has been in the business long enough to know things don’t always go his way. Yet the man tries to make sure he’s always situated in a good position career-wise.

“I’ve never stepped on the scales at 147,” he says. “I’ve been 144 or 145 so it’s the same to me. I want to have both options available. If there’s a chance to fight for a belt at Welterweight, I am ready but 140 is a more ideal weight for me at my size and body structure, it’s a more comfortable weight for me.” Garcia is looking for big fights, as he hasn’t been in the ring since besting Jessie Vargas in 2020. At the moment, though, he’s going to maintain focus on this weekend, when he faces Sandor at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California.

“I understand the boxing business, so I was disappointed the Regis (Prograis fight) didn’t happen,” says Garcia, “but we move on. I hope that we can make that fight happen soon, if things go well on Saturday and win without any injuries or cuts, I’d want to pursue that fight straight away. That is a fight I want, the fans and media want it, but the scheduling and the promotional time needed to build a fight like that just wasn’t there.” Provided he wins this weekend, fans would no doubt appreciate a Garcia-Prograis match. Or a match with Josh Taylor.

“I don’t see myself at Lightweight ever again,” say, Garcia, “but I can see 140. There are some very good names at the weight, Josh Taylor is a great champion and if some of the guys at 135 look to move up, there’s so big fights at 140.” A loss to the widely unknown Sandor this weekend, however, could derail any or all plans Garcia may have.
 
“I just have to keep winning,” he says. “Victory on Saturday and then getting another win against someone like Regis, I think that should create enough attention to land a fight with Taylor. He’s the undisputed champion and that’s the biggest fight that I could engage in at the weight of course.” 

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Fury On His Three Fights With Wilder: “The Greatest Trilogy Of All Time”

Posted on 10/14/2021

By: Sean Crose

Were they still with us today, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier might have something to say about Tyson Fury’s tweet Thursday afternoon. Retweeting Deontay Wilder’s gracious post from earlier in the day crediting Fury on his victory this past weekend, Fury added the following words: “The greatest trilogy of all time.” This sort of thing is bound to bring about conversation and controversy, but the truth is that both Fury and Wilder have much to be pleased with. They may not have had the greatest combination of matches ever – but, man, boxing is going to remember them nonetheless.

For those who don’t know – the first bout between the two super sized heavyweights went down in 2018, with Wilder’s WBC title at stake. It was a closer fight than many thought, though Fury appeared to be in the lead heading into the last round. Still, Wilder laid the towering Englishman out in the fight’s final chapter. How Fury managed to rise to his feet and continue perform well for the remainder of the contest is a wonder. The bout subsequently was ruled a draw. Things were different in the rematch, however, as a newly aggressive Fury took the advice of new trainer Sugar Hill Steward and pretty much beat Wilder pillar to post until Wilder co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.

Wilder wasn’t happy about that, so he brought on a new trainer himself in Malik Scott and went right for Fury’s body in the first round of the final bout of the trilogy. By the third round, however, Wilder found himself on the canvas – yet by the fourth, Fury was sent to the mat twice and appeared to be in big trouble. The defending champion was able to hold on and dominate throughout the rest of the fight, but Wilder kept coming, and coming, and coming. It was literally like something out of a Rocky movie. Fury finally put his man down and out in the eleventh, but no one could deny they had seen a classic.

Of course the conversation has now moved over to just how great both Wilder and Fury are or aren’t. The consensus seems to be that Wilder has one of the greatest hearts and punches in boxing history. Seems fair. Fury, however, is either seen as being a sloppy giant lacking in skill, or an absolute ring master. Hence, part of the reason for the controversy surrounding the man’s proclamation that he and Wilder have now set the standard for ring trilogies. Another reason might simply be summed up as “the trilogy was good, but it was no Ali-Frazier or Gatti-Ward.

At least fans are arguing over great trilogies now rather than purse bids.

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Mikey Garcia: “I Want To Pursue Big Fights”

Posted on 10/12/2021

By: Sean Crose

“It’s been a year and a half since my last fight, so I am excited to get back in there,” says 40-1, four division titlist Mikey Garcia. “I am looking forward to giving my fans a chance to see me again, especially here in Cali, it’s my home state but I haven’t fought much here.” Garcia is talking about his upcoming bout against the 38-2 Sandor Martin at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California. The October 16th fight will be aired live on DAZN. “I want to pursue big fights, title fights, and be recognized as one of the best fighters in the world once again,” Garcia says. “This is another step in that direction.”

Garcia is looking to get back on top of the fight game over two years after he suffered his first loss – a game attempt to lift a welterweight title off of Errol Spence. “I was interested in Manny (Pacquiao) and Regis (Prorais),” says Garcia, “but we weren’t able to get those fights and we landed on Sandor Martin, and he is a very good fighter. He’s a southpaw, he’s relatively unknown in America but worldwide and in the sport, people know him. He’s got a great record at 38-2, he’s hungry for a big opportunity like this and wants to capitalize on it.”

Fifteen years in the fight game has left Garica confident of his skill set. “I’ve experienced so many styles in my career,” he says, “I’ve boxed several southpaws and sparred countless lefties. He’s a tricky one, he (Martin) uses his height and reach, so I must be prepared to overcome those strengths he has – a good jab, good straight left, his ring generalship is good – so I need to be able to attack properly but also be wary in defense.”

As always, Garcia is cool as ice in the face of a new challenge. “I don’t experience pressure,” he claims. “No matter who I fight I am there to do my job and that’s it – I have already won the fight multiple times in my head and that’s it. You only feel pressure if you are unsure of yourself and I’ve never felt that, so I am confident I will win and look good doing it.” Garcia’s last fight was a 2020 unanimous decision win over Jesse Vargas. Sandor’s last ring outing was in April, when he won a unanimous decision over Kay Prospere in his native Spain.

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Deontay Wilder: True Grit

Posted on 10/11/2021

By: Sean Crose

He may not have won in the ring this past weekend, and he may not be gracious in defeat – at least not yet – but Deontay Wilder proved on Saturday night in Las Vegas that he possesses a quality the rest of us living in this marshmallow soft era could – and maybe should – emulate:

True Grit.

After knocking down Tyson Fury twice in the fourth round of his third fight with the defending WBC champion, Wilder – who had already been dropped once himself – had essentially given it all he had. Oh, Wilder would still have his moments, but from the time Fury got up from that second knockdown on, the fight belonged to the towering Englishman.

And yet Wilder fought, and fought, and fought. At times he staggered around almost drunkenly. At other times he simply looked like a battered mess. Yet he kept trying to put his man down and out, even as he himself ate punch after punch. Analysts aren’t kidding when they say it was the kind of beating Wilder might never recover from as a boxer. Oh, the physical wounds may heal, but the hidden wounds, the subconscious ones, may keep Wilder from being the destructive force he once was.

Such is the price one pays for going out on one’s sword. There is no doubt Wilder, after having the towel thrown in on his behalf by trainer Mark Breland during his previous match with Fury, wanted no such repeat this time around. Truth be told, he was well within his rights to stay on the canvas after Fury dropped him for the second time in the match during the tenth round, so severe was the beating he was taking.

As Shakespeare might say, however, Wilder was not of that vein. The man continued to move on into the eleventh, blood coming from his mouth, his legs about to give out from under him, the very picture of exhaustion and a very bad beating. Finally, in that eleventh round, Fury put Wilder flat on his face. The referee didn’t bother to count. There’s little doubt that, were he able to, the Alabama native would have gotten to his feet again to absorb more brutality. Fortunately, Wilder was finally, physically, unable to carry on. The body rightly did what the mind was unwilling to.

While it’s true, no one should have to take the kind of thrashing Wilder did on Saturday, the man’s gumption, his willingness to keep pushing on in the face of an indefinite amount of severe physical punishment – before millions of people, no less – is worth noting. For Wilder isn’t a fighter or even a man of his time and place – not philosophically, at least. He’s the product of a no longer fashionable mindset, one where toughing it out is viewed as an adequate reward when a better reward is no longer available. Such thinking went away recently in favor of contentedness and a cultural iPhone centric comfort rut. Yet the spirit of that line of thinking – not so far removed from yesterday – lives on in the former WBC heavyweight titlist.

The guy takes thing to extremes, but Wilder’s overall version of True Grit is one worth admiring – and perhaps even emulating.

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Did Tyson Fury Benefit From A “Long Count?” The Answer Won’t Make A Difference

Posted on 10/10/2021

By: Sean Crose

In 1927, former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey fought to regain his title from the man who had taken it from him a year earlier, the “Fighting Marine,” Gene Tunney. Although Dempsey was favored to win the fight, Tunney was dominating up until the seventh round, when the former champion sent him to the mat with a flurry of blows. Tunney was hurt – but Dempsey didn’t go a neutral corner. Therefore, the referee held off on starting the count until Dempsey went to a neutral corner and waited. Needless to say, Tunney beat the referee’s count and went on to win the fight by decision.

The problem, of course, was that the referee was supposed to pick up the timekeeper’s count, which began the moment Tunney hit the mat, not begin a count of his own. Ultimately, the referee gave the wounded Tunney extra time to recover – a long count indeed. The question, of course, was whether or not Tunney would have gotten up sooner had the referee picked up on the time keeper’s count. Fighters often intentionally stay down when dropped in order to sensibly get more time to recuperate. And so, because no one can really tell when Tunney could have gotten to his feet, the victory will always be his.

The same could be said for Tyson Fury, who may well have gotten a long count of his own Saturday night when Deontay Wilder put him on the mat for the second time in the fourth round. Fury was receiving the count when referee Russell Mora turned and directed Wilder to a neutral corner (sound familiar?). Mora then turned back to Fury and resumed counting. Needless to say, Fury got back to his feet in time and ended up knocking Wilder out in the eleventh round of a immediately classic heavyweight battle.

I’ve watched the few brief moments in question, both live while it was happening, and later on replay. The truth is, Fury may indeed have been given a long count. But honestly, that doesn’t matter. Why? Because no one knows if Fury would have beaten a faster count. What’s more, the man looked pretty clear headed. Even counting on his own – and rather quickly at that – this author felt the man was up before the count of ten. No matter. Fury got the win, and no video replay will take it from him. It’s good to remind ourselves just how fast and chaotic boxing can be, though. Entire fights, and even careers, can rest on the split second decisions of referees, ring doctors and trainers. That’s always worth keeping in mind.

*Cover Photo: AP – Chase Stevens

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Fury Knocks Out Wilder In 11th Round Of Instant Classic

Posted on 10/10/2021

By: Sean Crose

After over a year and a half of bad blood, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder answered the opening bell Saturday night at Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. It was the beginning of their third fight. The first had ended in a controversial draw in 2018, the second with Wilder’s corner tossing in the towel just over a year later. In the extended period between the second and third fights, Wilder had blamed different reason’s and people for his defeat. He also made it clear he felt Fury had cheated his way to victory. Now was the chance for the Alabama native to redeem himself against the defending WBC and lineal champion, Fury. The question was – would Wilder be able to?

The former champion jumped all over Fury’s body at the start of the first. He continued to sting Fury’s midsection with the jab throughout the round, though Fury landed well at round’s end. Wilder continued to jab in the second while Fury threw and held. The third saw Fury put Wilder down. Wilder got up, but looked extremely hurt. He was able to survive the round, but Wilder didn’t look good. Then, unbelievably, Fury was sent to the mat twice in the fourth – and at least one of the counts seemed rather long.

The fifth round was close and brutal. Wilder took a knee while being mauled in the sixth. Like the fifth, it was a close and brutal affair. The seventh actually upped the pace. Both men threw and landed bombs. Fury, however, seemed to have the advantage, for at times Wilder looked ready to go down. Each man landed thunderously in the eighth, though it was Fury who did the overall better work, sending Wilder wobbling on numerous occasions throughout the ring.

The ninth was another slugfest. Whenever Wilder looked about to go, he’d land well and save himself. He’d also score points. The tenth round was something out of a Rocky movie. Fury send his man down with a highlight reel shot. Wilder got up, looking a single shot away from going down. He stayed on his feet, though, and hurt Fury in the final seconds before the bell.

Then – in the eleventh – it happened. Fury hit Wilder with a shot that sent Wilder on his face. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight without counting. He had to. It’s hard not to be melodramatic regarding a match of this nature…but this bout had the look and feel of an all time great.

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Fury Knocks Out Wilder After Being Dropped Twice In War

Posted on 10/10/2021

By: Sean Crose

And then it started.

After over a year and a half of bad blood, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder answered the opening bell Saturday night at Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. It was the beginning of their third fight. The first had ended in a controversial draw in 2018, the second with Wilder’s corner tossing in the towel just over a year later. In the extended period between the second and third fights, Wilder had blamed different reason’s and people for his defeat. He also made it clear he felt Fury had cheated his way to victory. Now was the chance for the Alabama native to redeem himself against the defending WBC and lineal champion, Fury. The question was – would Wilder be able to?

The former champion jumped all over Fury’s body at the start of the first. He continued to sting Fury’s midsection with the jab throughout the round, though Fury landed well at round’s end. Wilder continued to jab in the second while Fury threw and held. The third saw Fury put Wilder down. Wilder got up, but looked extremely hurt. He was able to survive the round, but Wilder didn’t look good. Then, unbelievably, Fury was sent to the mat twice in the fourth – and at least one of the counts seemed rather long.

The fifth round was close and brutal. Wilder took a knee while being mauled in the sixth. Like the fifth, it was a close and brutal affair. The seventh actually upped the pace. Both men threw and landed bombs. Fury, however, seemed to have the advantage, for at times Wilder looked ready to go down. Each man landed thunderously in the eighth, though it was Fury who did the overall better work, sending Wilder wobbling on numerous occasions throughout the ring.

The ninth was another slugfest. Whenever Wilder looked about to go, he’d land well and save himself. He’d also score points. The tenth round was something out of a Rocky movie. Fury send his man down with a highlight reel shot. Wilder got up, looking a single shot away from going down. He stayed on his feet, though, and hurt Fury in the final seconds before the bell.

Then – in the eleventh – it happened. Fury hit Wilder with a shot that sent Wilder on his face. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight without counting. He had to. It’s hard not to be melodramatic regarding a match of this nature…but this bout had the look and feel of an all time great.

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Frank Sanchez Decisions Efe Ajagba In Wilder-Fury 3 Co-main

Posted on 10/09/2021

By: Sean Crose

In the co-main of Saturday’s Fury-Wilder undercard, the 15-0 Efe Ajagba met the 18-0 Frank Sanchez in a scheduled 10 rounder in the heavyweight division. The opening round was essentially a feeling out process. Ajagba appeared a bit overly patient in the second. The third saw Ajagba pressure effectively, while Sanchez landed effectively. Sanchez continued to be slippery and to pot shot well in the fourth. The fifth and sixth essentially presented more of the same.

Ajagba went down hard in the seventh, but got up, even though Sanchez had hit him while he was down. There also appeared to be no count. By the eighth, it was clear Ajagba wasn’t able to crack Sanchez’ code. He kept moving forward in the ninth, however, and possibly won the tenth. Yet it was Sanchez who stepped out of the ring with a well deserved win from the judges.

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Fury-Wilder 3 Undercard: Helenius Dominates And Stops Kownacki

Posted on 10/09/2021

By: Sean Crose

An interesting fight (at least on paper) on Saturday’s Fury-Wilder undercard was the heavyweight rematch between Brooklyn’s 20-1 Adam Kownacki and Finland’s 30-3 Robert Helenius. The two men met in a scheduled twelve round affair. Helenius had previously stopped Kownacki back in March of 2020.

Helenius was able to keep away from his man in the opening portion of the first. He caught Kownacki in the later half of the round and looked like he might end the night early. Kownacki, however, was able to survive the round. To his credit, Kownacki pushed forward gamely in the second, though his left eye was already puffy. Helenius hurt Kownacki in the third, but ended up taking a low blow for his efforts. An angry Helenius needed a minute or so to recover.

The fourth saw Kownacki looking entirely beaten up. Another low blow cost Kownacki a point in the fifth. No body shot was going to stop Helenius at that point, however. The bout was wisely stopped in the fifth due to another low blow from Kownacki.

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Fury-Wilder 3 Undercard: Jared Anderson Stops Vladimir Tereshkin In 2

Posted on 10/09/2021

By: Sean Crose

The Fury-Wilder undercard from Vegas’ T-Mobile arena was a pure heavyweight affair on Saturday, the first fight being between Toledo, Ohio’s 9-0 Jared Anderson and the 22-0-1 Vladimir Tereshkin in a scheduled eight round throwdown.

The opening round was a relatively slow chapter. Anderson appeared to be taking his time in the second – perhaps in part because Tereshkin had entered the ring soft in the middle. Anderson began to unload later in the round. Tereshkin looked over to the referee, who wisely stopped the fight.

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Fury-Wilder Prelims: Vladimir Hernandez Tops Julian Williams, Edgar Berlanga Decisions Marcelo Esteban Coceres

Posted on 10/09/2021

By: Sean Crose

Things got off to an early start Saturday evening when ESPN+, Fox Sports 1, and ESPN2 broadcast the preliminaries of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder WBC and lineal heavyweight title card in Vegas. First up, the 27-2-1 Julian “J Rock” Williams took on the 12-4 Vladimir Hernandez in a scheduled middleweight 10 rounder. Williams did very well starting off, but Hernandez owned the second portion of the fight, leading to the Stockton, California native walking out of the ring with a split decision win.

Julian Williams

Next up, the 17-0 Edgar Berlanga took on fellow super middleweight Marcelo Esteban Coceres, 30-2-1, in a scheduled 10 rounder. The first few rounds were a quiet affair, with Berlanga essentially trying to reach his man. By the fourth, however, both men traded leather. By the middle rounds, Coceres was doing well for himself, holding his own against Berlanga – at least. Still, Berlanga kept coming forward. Things stayed close and interesting in the last rounds. In the ninth, Berlanga went down. He got up – but it was most definitely an incident that WASN’T supposed to happen. With that being said, both men went to the final bell on their feet.

Needless to say, the judges gave Berlanga the nod.



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Fury-Wilder 3 Undercard Preview

Posted on 10/08/2021

By: Sean Crose

There’s an interesting pay per view undercard to be found Saturday night before the third Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder main event. In the co-main, the 15-0 Efe Ajagba is scheduled to go 10 rounds with fellow undefeated heavyweight, the 18-0 Frank Sanchez. Ajagba, a Texan by way of Nigeria, has knocked out all but three of his opponents. His last fight was a third round knockout of Brian Howard back in April. Sanchez, a Floridian by way of Cuba, has dusted all but five of his last foes. The man’s last fight was a sixth round stoppage of Nagy Aguilera in May.

Toledo, Ohio’s 9-0 Jared Anderson will also be on the undercard. The undefeated heavy will face Las Vegas’ – by way of Russia – unbeaten 22-0-1 Vladimir Tereshkin in a scheduled eight round throwdown. Anderson’s last fight was a two round destruction of Jeremiah Karpency last April. Tereshkin last saw action way back in 2019 when he stopped Francisco Silvens in the 4th round that November. Another interesting fight on Saturday’s card will be the heavyweight rematch between Brooklyn’s – by way of Poland – 20-1 Adam Kownacki and Finland’s own 30-3 Robert Helenius in a scheduled twelve round affair. Helenius stopped Kownacki back in March of 2020.

*Cover photo by Getty

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Deontay Wilder Makes Explicit Gesture In Video, Apparently In Reference To Respected Commentator

Posted on 10/08/2021

By: Sean Crose

“They can’t get mad because it didn’t go their way. Now, he wanted her to be like their Cristina or whatever her name is, you know, how she suck up to them.”

These comments, captured on video, were uttered by Deontay Wilder, and were followed by Wilder simulating a sex act. Wilder in the video is apparently referring to an incident earlier in the week when Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum essentially went off on Fox’ Kate Abdo after a press conference to promote Saturday’s heavyweight title matchup between Wilder and Tyson Fury.

Yet Wilder appears to also be specifically referring to Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher in the video, a likeable veteran of the Top Rank team, as well as a mother of two. Needless to say, the video clip is leading to condemnation on social media. It’s not like Wilder doesn’t deserve it. Boxing is a tough sport, and no one with a modicum of intelligence should expect fighters to act in a market tested, media approved manner. Still, there’s a level basic decency that has to be adhered to, and Wilder is seen crossing the line in the video.

It’s fight week. Not just fight week, but a major fight week. The fighters and everyone else involved with Saturday’s third Wilder-Fury match are on edge. It only makes sense that they would be. There’s a lot at stake here. Yet people like Arum and Wilder get paid the big bucks to be able to handle intense situations. This is boxing, after all, the most intense sport this side of ancient gladiatorial contests. What’s more, these men should be aware that their worst moments are going to be made public. Before they can ask themselves why they did what they did, the evidence of bad behavior is already out there.

With all that being said, there’s simply one thing for Wilder to do, if he hasn’t done it already – apologize to Poncher for his gross act, then keep in mind there’s some lines one shouldn’t cross, even in the heat of fight week publicity. Wilder probably thought his actions were nothing personal, glib locker room humor at worst. The video, however, has left the locker room and is now online for everyone to see. That’s not fair to Poncher, and it’s no way to promote a fight. Boxing often looks corrupt and incompetently run. It doesn’t need to look misogynist, as well. Plus, it’s just not right to act as Wilder does in the video.

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Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder 3 Preview

Posted on 10/07/2021

By: Sean Crose

Face it. You’re intrigued.

After two memorable fights, the over the top duo of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will meet in gloved combat once more. Fury-Wilder 3 will go down this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. At 30-0-1, the 33 year old Fury is the favorite walking into this weekend, and with good reason. The last time he faced Wilder – back in early 2020 – Fury was able to thrash his opponent in one sided faction. Wilder has since claimed he was robbed for all variety of reasons, none of which appear to be particularly valid. Still, the 42-1-1 American now has a new trainer in Malik Scott in his corner and the two have clearly been focused on going to Fury’s body this time around.

It’s a wise idea. Even in the best of shape, Fury just isn’t a guy to walk around with a washboard stomach. Seeing as how Fury was all over Wilder in their second fight, a good inside game might do wonders for Wilder this time around. The 35 year old Wilder can end the night with a single shot, so anything that could help man known as “The Bronze Bomber” land a haymaker is particularly useful.

Fury, of course, is perfectly aware of what Wilder’s power can do. Wilder put him on the mat twice during their first battle in late 2018. The Englishman has also come right out and admitted that the force behind Wilder’s punches is no joke. Expect him to do everything possible to keep out of Wilder’s range on Saturday. This may lead to Fury attempting to smother Wilder. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility for Fury to employ a hybrid strategy this weekend, going back and forth from aggression to slickness or vice versa throughout the fight’s duration.

This match is a long time coming. There was a rematch clause in place before the opening bell for the second fight rang. Covid put a third fight on hold for so long that team Fury went on to try to arrange a battle with fellow heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua. However, an arbitrator ruled last summer that Fury had to fulfill his obligations to Wilder, and so the third fight finally came to be. Now, after pushing the bout back from summer on account of Fury coming down with Covid, the matchmakers will finally see the fight become a reality on Saturday.

*Cover Photo By Getty Images

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