By: Romer Cherubim
Tyson Fury’s 11th round knockout of Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas crowned a masterful performance by Fury. However, we should be aware that Fury has a team, which has also contributed to his success. The development of this match-winning team started when Fury returned to boxing in 2018 after a two and half year absence from the sport.
On his return to the ring, Fury joined forces with the experienced promoter Frank Warren. Warren arranged two tune-up fights for Fury in quick succession, knowing full well that it was important not to throw Fury in at the deep end, but instead re-introduce Fury to heavyweight boxing gently.
Fury fought Sefer Seferi on 09 June and then Francesco Pianeta on 18 August. Fury won both fights and, in the process, had much needed ring time. These fights served as preparation for the real test for Fury – his challenge for the WBC title against Deontay Wilder on 01 December 2018. The match was judged a draw amid much controversy as many commentators considered that Fury had done enough to win the fight. The Gypsy King then fought Tom Schwarz on 15 June 2019 and Otto Wallin on 14 September the same year, with Fury again winning both contests.
In all Fury’s comeback fights, he was trained by Ben Davison, who was widely credited for helping Fury to lose weight so that he could be in the best possible condition to fight. Following the Wallin fight and with a rematch against Wilder in mind, Fury however considered that he could not take the chance of fighting Wilder again and leaving the decision in the hands of the judges.
Fury, therefore, hired Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward to be his new head trainer for the rematch against Wilder. SugarHill is the nephew of Emmanuel Steward, the famous trainer of heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. SugarHill Steward was a natural choice for Fury’s new head trainer as SugarHill had worked at his uncle’s Kronk Gym when he first met Fury in 2010. As a trainer, SugarHill has a more attack based philosophy, encouraging Fury to add to his obvious skills as a boxer and become a dangerous fighter. This approach was exactly what Fury needed when fighting Deontay Wilder for the second time.
Tyson Fury fought Wilder again on 22 February 2020. Fury took the fight to Wilder and dominated the rematch, winning by way of technical knockout in the seventh round. Fury, of course, went one better in the trilogy fight on 09 October, knocking out Deontay Wilder in the eleventh round. Fury was effusive in his praise of SugarHill after the fight, saying: ‘I need to thank my trainer. Without this man, I wouldn’t have knocked him out.’
If further proof is needed that Tyson Fury truly has an embarrassment of riches in his team, he also has the support of Bob Arum. This Harvard-educated lawyer and boxing promoter secured Tyson Fury a lucrative five-fight deal with ESPN and Top Rank after Fury’s first fight with Wilder. Arum is essentially responsible for making Fury the well-known name he is today in the US, given that four of these five fights have taken place in Las Vegas, with the last fight yet to take place.
The Gypsy King is now the man to beat in heavyweight boxing. Fury is now the only unbeaten heavyweight, who has had all his fights as a heavyweight. Whenever Tyson Fury hangs up his gloves, he can be justifiably proud of his achievements. Knowing how magnanimous Fury is, he will surely also be grateful to all those, who helped him along the way.
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