By: Sean Crose
The hype seemed legitimate, organic even. Unlike most major events in contemporary boxing, Wilder-Fury 2 didn’t have a corporate feel to it. There was nothing about the promotion that felt market-tested, there was no air of fashion week pop culture shallowness about it. The excitement wasn’t stemming from a “Big Event.” It was stemming from a scheduled bout between two undefeated, highly skilled, completely bombastic heavyweights who were about to meet for the second time for divisional supremacy.
The first time Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury met in the ring, the two men gave the world a classic throwdown. Fury may have dominated most of the match, but Wilder, being Wilder, put his man on the mat. Twice. The second knockdown, which occured in the final round, seemed like the end of things. Fury, however, was able to get to his feet and fight well to the final bell. Needless to say, the fight was ruled a draw, controversial to be sure, but a draw nonetheless. Fortunately for fans, both men wanted a rematch enough to make a second go round a reality.
And so, on Saturday night in Vegas, Wilder and Fury met for the most highly anticipated heavyweight bout since Lewis-Tyson. Needless to say, it was nothing like the first fight. Fury, true to his word, went for the kill. Moving forward on his man, smothering him, and landing thunderous shots, Fury dropped Wilder twice and severaly beat Wilder up for over six rounds. He even licked Wilder’s blood off Wilder’s neck. It was vicious, disturbing stuff. Fortunately, Wilder’s team was wise and empathetic enough to end things on their own.
“I’m doing good,” Wilder said after the bout. “Things like this happen,” he admitted gamely. “The better man won tonight.” Fury, of course, was in his glory. “He is a warrior,” he said of Wilder. “The king,” he added, “has returned.” Fury then, being Fury, led the audience in singing “American Pie.” One thing was certain…there was only one Tyson Fury. What’s more, the man is once again at the top of the heavyweight division, something he hasn’t been since shortly after he defeated Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015. Call it the return of the king.
For there is now no mistake who the ruler of the heavyweight division is. Anthony Joshua may have more titles…but Fury is now the boss. The question now is where to from here? Word is that Fury may be contractually required to face Wilder a third time. Wilder, though, seemed to be badly hurt on Saturday. It’s never good, after all, to start bleeding from one’s ear. No one knows, then, what the immediate future may hold. Many are salivating for Fury to now meet Joshua in the ring in a very British heavyweight unifier.
One thing is certain – Fury should continue fighting under the tutelage of Sugar Hill Steward. For Steward seems to have turned the man from a boxer into a genuine boxer-puncher.