By: Hans Themistode
Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has fought some decent fighters throughout his career. Contest against Dereck Chisora, Christian Hammer and Kevin Johnson were solid in name, but not what you would call the stiffest of competition.
When Fury stepped into the ring against then unified champion Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015, many believed he was both ill-equipped unprepared for that sort of step up. At the time, Klitschko was undefeated over a 10 year span and was universally recognized as one of the best fighters the Heavyweight division had ever seen.
Fury on the other hand, was just some tall guy out of the United Kingdom. He had no real fan base and was viewed as no real threat to the reign of Klitschko. Yet, when the two stepped foot inside of the ring against one another, it was Fury who boxed his way to a unanimous, albeit extremely ugly, decision victory.
Since then, Fury has faced a few other opponents but none with true name value. Well, of course not including WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
When Fury and Wilder both decided to risk their undefeated records against one another on December 1st, 2018, it produced one of the best Heavyweight contests the sport of boxing had ever seen. With plenty of back and forth action coupled with two knockdowns including one in the final round which was as dramatic as you can imagine, there is no surprise that everyone is still buzzing about what they saw take place on that night.
As it turns out, 12 rounds wasn’t nearly enough for them to put an end to their rivalry. So now, on February 22nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, they’ll do it again.
Everything is just about over in terms of preparation for both men. They’ve sparred hundreds of rounds and killed their bodies with conditioning tests just to be in the best shape of their respective careers.
With the sort of punishment that Wilder dished out on the night, Fury will certainly need it. Fury of course, was able to land some of his own heavy punches throughout the contest, but they seemed to pale in comparison to the blows that Wilder landed.
In the case of Fury, he’s faced his fair share of big punchers. After all, Wladimir Klitschko wasn’t nicknamed “Dr. Steelhammer” for nothing. But Wilder is a different animal entirely. The WBC titlist has already been dubbed as the hardest hitting boxer of all-time, regardless of the weight class.
With a distinction like that under his belt, you would think that Fury would want to stay away from Wilder’s vaunted power this time around.
Wrong. Fury intends to bring the fight right to Wilder from the very beginning.
“I’m going to come straight at him,” said Fury during a recent media call. “I’m going for the knockout. I can’t leave this fight in the hands of the judges.”
Brave is the first word that comes to mind when Fury spewed those words. So did the word crazy.
Going toe to toe with one of the heaviest hitters the sport of boxing has ever seen just doesn’t seem like the right idea. But that just isn’t the way Fury see’s it.
Both fans and media members can assume all they want about the power that Wilder actually possesses. Fury on the other hand doesn’t need to assume. He knows exactly what it feels like, and he doesn’t seem to be concerned.
“I felt the power and it ain’t so bad, it ain’t so bad. He obviously can’t be the hardest hitting fighter ever if he couldn’t knock out the Gypsy King.”
Fury has always been known as someone who enjoys playing mind games. But this time around, he seems dead serious. During their first contest, Wilder landed a two punch combination in the final round that sent Fury to the canvas. Any other Heavyweight would have laid there plastered to the canvas. Yet, Fury found a way to get back to his feet.
Up until that point in the career of Wilder, he had knocked out every single one of his opponents. However, with Tyson Fury he couldn’t get the job done.
Does that mean that Wilder can’t put Fury back on his rear end but this time for good?
No. Of course he can.
But maybe, just maybe, Fury is idoneous to take Wilder’s best punch and keep moving forward.