By: Sean Crose
Here’s the truth – I wanted Deontay Wilder to get his third fight with Tyson Fury. It just seemed fitting to me. Fury, after all, had completely changed his slippery style to a more aggressive style for the second fight between the two men after almost getting his clock cleaned in their first battle. Why, I reasoned, shouldn’t Wilder get a chance to adapt his own style for a third fight? People might have argued that Wilder would do no such thing, but the truth is that those people really didn’t know. Again, I thought Fury-Wilder 3 was only fitting.
What wasn’t fitting, though, was the way things worked out this week. After months of tortuous maneuvering, a fight between Fury and the third big piece of the heavyweight puzzle, Anthony Joshua, seemed to be becoming a reality. Finally, we all thought, there would be an undisputed champion, a man who had emerged on top of what had been a three way, years long battle for heavyweight supremacy between Joshua, Wilder, and Fury. Now, thanks to a single person who essentially decided a third Fury-Wilder fight should go down ASAP, the chances of having an undisputed heavyweight king anytime soon have pretty much vanished.
And honestly, that’s too bad. Yet it’s hard for me to declare this single person who has now single handedly changed the course of heavyweight history, which started way back in the 1800s, a villain. The abritrator’s job wasn’t to do what was right for the sport of boxing. His job was to do what was right in a specific conflict between two well known, highly decorated boxers and their camps. There’s no reason in the world to argue this single man with a significant decision on his hands acted in bad faith. In fact, all the evidence I’ve seen – and, trust me, it’s pretty much what you’ve seen – indicates the arbitrator (a guy named Daniel Weinstein) tried to play it fair.
Which, of course, leads us to our current situation: A dream deferred. A defining moment pushed aside for what may be a good long time, if not forever. Let’s face it, we may never get to see who emerges as the last man standing once the dust settles over the Joshua, Fury, Wilder era. Or, if we do, it will have that Mayweather-Pacquiao, too little, too late vibe. Yet it’s hard for me to argue at this point that a third Fury-Wilder fight should be out of the question at the moment, at least not if the arbitrator’s decision is correct. It’s just how things work out in boxing – mankind’s greatest and most frustrating sport.
Send this to a friend