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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