By: Hans Themistode
The rematch we all have been waiting for is coming. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have already agreed to terms for a contest that is slated to take place in the early parts of 2020.
Their first bout had everything. Back and forth action, big blows landed and two knockdowns, one of which was landed in the 12th and final round. To sum it all up, it was a great fight. If part two is anything close to what we seen on December 1st, then fans are sure to be in for a treat.
Before these two meet back up in the ring, they have some business to attend to first. Wilder has a rematch booked with Luis Ortiz set for late November. He was last seen in the ring in May, completely obliterating Dominic Breazeale. Wilder has known for quite sometime that he would be matched up with Fury again sometime soon. It isn’t just a big fight but it would also bring him a career high payday as well.
Having a big fight is important, but winning it is critical. The WBC titlist has left no stone unturned in that regard. With the understanding of a big fight against Fury coming his way sometime in the near future, Wilder could have opted for several soft touches. That however, has never been the way Wilder has conducted his business as a champion.
Although his contest against Breazeale was one way traffic, Breazeale was and still is a legitimate Heavyweight contender. The only losses on his record are too, of course Wilder, and former unified champion Anthony Joshua. At six feet seven, Breazeale is tall and has plenty of power in both of his fists. The thrashing he suffered at the hands of Wilder shouldn’t take away from the skill he actually possesses.
How about the rematch between Wilder and Ortiz? Their first contest was a competitive one. Ortiz was doing a great job of staying out of the range of Wilder’s big shots while landing several of his own. It looked as though simply outboxing Ortiz was going to be a difficult task for Wilder, so instead, he went back to what he normally does. In the fifth round he landed a right hand which dropped Ortiz. The following round saw even more drama as Wilder was caught with a left hand which left him stumbling around the ring. Wilder showed a true warriors heart as he managed to drop Ortiz twice in the tenth before the referee called off the contest.
Outside of Fury, no one had ever pushed Wilder to that extent in the ring. A rematch with Ortiz is a dangerous one and could very well spoil the supposed rematch of Wilder and Fury, but the WBC belt holder could care less. Call Wilder what you want, but he is a man that takes risk with his level of opposition.
There is a method to the madness deployed by Wilder. Both Breazeale and Ortiz will provide him with the sort of competition that will propel him forward in his rematch with Fury.
The Lineal champion has a different approach he would rather take. Much like Wilder, Fury has already been involved in one contest with another one coming up shortly. On June 15th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, Fury took on the obscure Tom Schwarz.
It was a mismatch on paper and very much so in the ring as Fury dismantled Schwarz via second round knockout. Schwarz was hailed as a true contender, a great fighter, one of the best in the world. None of those words were true. He was simply an opponent who was in over his head.
For Fury’s second contest he vowed to take on a legitimate contender. Someone who would push him to the brink. Jarrell Miller’s name was floated around, so was Kubrat Pulev. Even Dillian Whyte was given a shout out as a possible name. Whomever of those names that would be chosen would make the fans happy. So who exactly did Fury choose? Otto Wallin.
He may sport an undefeated record in his 20 professional fights but Wallin has fought no one. He is very much in the same league as Schwarz in many respects.
With another soft touch booked for Fury, assuming that he wins, he will officially head into his 2020 rematch against Wilder without taking on dangerous competition. Yet, if you ask Fury, he believes that it’s Wilder who is taking the softer route.
“I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Fury. “You know, it’s all fun and games to Tyson Fury. If it wasn’t fun and games for him, he would’ve rematched me instantly. If he had the heart of a warrior and a mindset of a warrior and a champion, he would’ve rematched me instantly. Not waited until someone came and saved him, so he can have an excuse to cop out of the rematch.”
Despite what he says, it’s clear that Fury did not want to jeopardize his Wilder rematch. He can continue to hype up his two most recent opponents as much as he wants but fans understand exactly what they are seeing. Two opponents who should not, at least at this point in their careers, be in the same ring as Fury. With Wilder on the other hand, he has decided to take the hard road. He didn’t need to. He could have easily chosen to take on fighters who stood no chance against him, but that wouldn’t get him fully prepared for Fury now would it?
Fury can continue to pump up his resume with names who aren’t deserving but in 2020 it could cost him against a Deontay Wilder who will be ready both physically and mentally to stake his claim as the undisputed best Heavyweight in the world.