Boxing’s Hard Problem: Observations from the Wilder Fury Fight
By: Rahat Haque
Any new fan who becomes interested in boxing learns quickly that the sport is immensely subjective in nature, and that judges take a lot of heat regularly for controversial decisions. It makes sense then, to score every fight, as you would want a basis of comparison in case there was public outrage over a decision. Learning the art of scoring and then practicing it via judging fights gives the viewer a certain weight of expert authority compared to the fan who does not partake in judging. However, it does not address the root cause of controversial decisions, which arise because of varied opinions between judges and fans alike. It does not address the issues of subjectivity, which permeates the sport. As long as there is boxing, there will be subjectivity.
One should try to be a human compubox, keeping a mental tab of punch count. But no one ever gives you straight answer on how to assign weightage to the quality of punches. Should a light jab be worth ¼ of a more thudding power shot such as a hook or cross? Should a cleanly landed punch be worth twice than that of a punch landed half landed and half absorbed the glove? We do not have such conversations in boxing, that is, the quantifying of something that is supposedly subjective. But without a quantitative framework, we cannot continue to act as if there is a right or wrong score. This is a real problem of boxing which never is discussed, as it exposes the sweet science’s lack of scientific rigor when it comes to assessing performance. When scoring fights, one should also consider the three other main factors in scoring, namely: aggression, ring generalship and defense. But again, it is absolutely shocking how certain media personalities will simply say that judges favor one over another, when in reality, they are supposed to take all three into account! One can even hear Max Kellerman say, that the way to score a round is to assess “who would you rather be in that round”. It is as subjective a criterion as there could be! It is madness.
Let us turn our attention to the fight that took place on Dec 1st. Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury. I scored it 114-112 for Wilder. Does that shock you? Well, if you did not score the fight, and 99% of the viewers do not profess to have any method which they use to score, then you must forfeit your right to be shocked. In a round by round sport, it is critical that one assesses a winner for every round. If one do not participate in this process, then they check in their right to be shocked at another scorecard at the door. If one did score the fight, then the next logical question arises: what was the criteria of scoring? To which, there is no universal agreement.
I gave rounds 1, 2, 4,9,11 and 12 to Wilder. Rounds 9 and 12 of course were 10-8 rounds because of the knockdowns. Hence, my score was 114-112 to The Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. I thought I would find some commonality with my scoresheet and Alejandro Rochin’s scoresheet, the only judge who had it for Wilder. While he gave all first four rounds to Wilder, to my surprise, he gave rounds 8 and 9 to Wilder as well! This is not the first such case either where a judge who scored it the same as me had different rounds for different fighters. This demonstrates the subjectivity that exists even amongst judges who have the same result.
As long as we have the three judge panel, we will continue to have decisions that people will disagree with. Whether it is a classified a robbery or not depends the percentage of people who did not agree with the decision. What this also means is that there are “robberies” every weekend in the perspective of those who are in the less popular cohort of a decision. The solution to all this, if there needs to be one, is another matter. Perhaps I will write a piece in the future about how to reduce the subjectivity in scores in boxing, thus ensuring a more accepted and trusted method agreed upon by all. However, let us assume for a minute that nothing is going to change. What is the best scenario in such a case? If things continue the way they are now, one hopes that every fan embraces the subjectivity of the score and takes it upon themselves to score the fight. Is that what is happening now? No. Does the media play a role in swaying the fans one way or another? Yes, most vehemently!
The boxing media despite being in the same ecosystem as everyone other stakeholder of the sport, seem to think that they are beyond subjectivity. We can argue about our scorecards, if you also happened to score the fight. Like with the Wilder-Fury fight, we can go back and forth as to why scored a certain round for a certain fighter. But to say that one party is somehow committing a grave sin if they do not agree with another is unacceptable! Yet, that is precisely what the Showtime commentators did for the whole fight. They all seemed to be in unison over Fury’s success, which is all right. But to then impose their own subjectivity to the whole world as the real McCoy was not right. It surely swayed many fans who might have been otherwise on the fence. Many of those fans then surely parroted what they heard on their TV screens, thus enhancing the drumbeat of the robbery narrative. The Wilder Fury fight was only one example of course. This will continue to happen unless we all first address the hard problem of boxing, the subjectivity of scoring.
© Roey Haque
Winners and Losers From a Wild and Furious Weekend
By: Kirk Jackson
A legendary late, great trainer informed the public six years ago about the greatness awaiting the heavyweight division.
Before his untimely passing in 2012, Emanuel Steward spoke highly of two rising heavyweights geared to take over the division once Wladimir Klitsckho’s reign ended.
“There’s one kid in America no one speaks of and that’s Deontay Wilder. He was on the Olympic Team (United States) he lost but he’s a big kid,” said Steward.
“I’ve had the fortune of; he has trained with me before, he’s a big kid too, bigger than Wladimir (Klitschko) and he’s got good speed and power and best talent… and best talent is going to be Tyson (Fury) and Deontay Wilder.”
This past weekend exhibited the rare instance in which the main event matched or arguably exceeded the pre-fight hype building over the course of several months.
The WBC heavyweight champion Wilder 40-0-1 (39 KO’s) battled the Lineal heavyweight champion Fury 27-0-1(17 KO’s) over the course of 12 exhilarating rounds.
Although the bout ended in a draw, there were winners and losers for this event. We’ll start with the losers.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 2, 2018
It’s hard to be considered a loser when you’re the unified champion of the division, holding three of the coveted world titles and undefeated. But for Joshua, who wasn’t in attendance due to business obligations, appears to be an afterthought amidst the excitement and controversy stemming from the past weekend’s event.
The perception amongst many boxing circles suggests Joshua or his team is avoided possible unification with Wilder for quite some time now. These very same circles of people may possibly add Fury to the list for Joshua.
Fury spoke his piece on the potential of facing Joshua in the near future post-fight with Wilder.
“That’s me and Joshua, everybody wants it and the only people who don’t seem to be his team,” said Fury. “We are the two best heavyweights in the world right now. I am No. 1 and he (Wilder) is No 2. We had the balls to put it all on the line.”
Now for the winners. The first obvious choice is the Gypsy King.
Battling depression, ballooning up to 400 lbs., over two year lay-off, battling substance abuse, Fury’s struggles are well recognized at this point.
“I think it’s all been well documented. But it didn’t get me. I found a way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, more determined. My story has got more pain in it now. I believe that rain has passed and the sun is shining brightly,” said Fury about his struggles and comeback.
For anybody who’s ever been knocked down in life, that was for you. You can get up too! #andstill lineal heavyweight champion of the world
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) December 3, 2018
Realistically, Fury entered this situation as a win-win opportunity. Some of us within the boxing community believed in Fury’s boxing ability and mental capacity to come back and defy the odds – in which he did successfully.
If he were to lose, the narrative casted was he supposed to be destroyed by the knock-out artist Wilder and there would be no shame in losing.
Contrary to Showtime commentary, Skysports commentary and other observers, Wilder is the winner because he walks away with his title.
“I think, with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said after the bout.“We poured our hearts out tonight. We both were warriors. We both went hand to hand. But, with those two drops, I feel like I won the fight. I don’t think he had control of the fight. I wasn’t hurt. I came out slow. I rushed my punches.”
We must remember, rounds are scored subjectively and judges do not have access to punch stats. While analyzing the punch stats, cumulatively and round-by-round, Fury has the edge regarding accuracy and efficiency, but the statistics are closer than you would think and Wilder was the aggressor.
Kevin Iole from YahooSports.com, scoring the fight 113-113, provided excellent analysis of the fight:
“I thought Fury was clearly the better boxer, but he wasn’t active enough. And while I vehemently disagree that Wilder won the first four rounds, I also disagree with the contention I’ve heard that Fury dominated those rounds. There wasn’t a lot to pick from in a lot of rounds.”
Either way, there’s a compelling case for a rematch.
Ultimately, the fans won Saturday night as well. No matter the result of the fight, it was highly entertaining.
The walk-out introductions for each fighter was captivating, with Fury walking out to a mixture of three songs and capturing the support and adoration of the United Kingdom contingent travelling to U.S. soil to support their fighter.
The pitch-black setting for Wilder, walking out to large bombastic sounds and accompanied by budding Hip-hop star Jay Rock, performing his popular song “Win.” The fitted golden mask/crown was a nice touch as well.
Each fighter throughout the course of the event whether it was the walkout entrance, post-fight interviews and most important through-out the course of the fight exhibited their showmanship as fighters and displayed their contrasting, unique personalities.
How often do we get to see large, stylistically awkward, elite level fighters? They’re mirror images of each other regarding uniqueness, but obviously their styles and stories are different.
But when blended together the equation is pure entertainment. The ultimate winner was the sport of boxing.
Fury vs. Wilder: A Tale of Skill vs. Power
By: Daniel Smith
Fury’s proficient boxing skills should’ve earned the victory, while Wilder’s power was his saving grace that grabbed the draw.
Last night’s Fury vs. Wilder fight was like a clash from the classic exhilarating days of heavyweight boxing. The thunderous blood-pumping adrenaline that whammed and thrummed throughout the rip-roaring crowd. The sheer electricity and enthralment that speared through the arena like lightning bolts as the two heavyweight giants danced, jabbed and salted one-another with steely shots for twelve wonderful rounds of professional boxing.
From the announcement back in August, throughout the build-up to the fight itself; this match had everything all classic bouts should possess. The story of a lineal champion struggling with issues relating to mental health and a return to the sport that defied the odds.
Return for title contention:
Fury was the underdog in this fight, with nearly three years on the couch and a 250lb ballooning. Not many envisioned he could actually present as a worthy opponent and possibly beat the wrecking-ball knockout merchant that is, WBC heavyweight champion, Wilder.
Boxer vs. Brawler:
Pugilsitc intelligence vs. raw, brutal strength – what or who prevails? A clear example of the sweet science against power and barbaric scrapping.
The lineal heavyweight champion proved he’s still the slick and hybrid-style boxer he always was, as he schooled the champ for ten of the twelve rounds, despite opinions that Wilder would blast him out of the square jungle by round 6.
After having his face speared with solid jabs, Wilder puts Fury on the canvass with a beefy right in round 9 and briefly unconscious in 12 with a monsterous right and brass-knuckled left.
Off the canvass to battle some more:
Fury, clearly ahead on points until a chilling five second knockout in 12, somehow manages to hurl himself to his feet before dishing out some more thudding jabs and a further schooling to Deontay Wilder.
The final bell clangs and a split decision is the call without too much complaining from both fighting men. A respectful embrace closes the bout as the boxing world salivates with the juicy prospect of yet another thrilling fight between Tyson ‘the gypsy king’ Fury and Deontay ‘the bronze bomber wilder’.
Here’s to the REMATCH in 2019.
Wilder-Fury And The Continued Heavyweight Resurgence
By Jake Donovan
Even without a winner being produced in the memorable heavyweight title fight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, or going 12 more months without Wilder and Anthony Joshua colliding in the ring, 2018 will still go down as a year that saw restoration in
the sport’s most storied division.
That’s a very good thing for boxing.
It wasn’t a year where Wilder and Joshua challenged each other—at least where it matters—but where both faced serious challenges and manage to persevere in the face of adversity.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Some 17 months after recovering from the lone knockdown of his career to knock out former World champion Wladimir Klitschko in their 2017 Fight of the Year, Joshua found himself in a tough assignment versus Alexander Povetkin this past September at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
The official scores had Joshua ahead through six rounds, but even many among the partisan crowd of 80,00 in attendance along with those watching live via Sky Sports or DAZN saw the unbeaten, unified champ having a difficult time keeping the former titlist at bay while fighting through the sight of his own blood. It changed in a hurry, thanks to a pair of knockdowns in round seven putting away Povetkin for good.
It was a far more memorable night at the office than was his unification clash versus New Zealand’s Joseph Parker earlier in the year. The fight itself turned out to be a disappointment, especially when playing to the backdrop of a unification bout between unbeaten titlists coming in front of 78,000 in attendance.
The threat of a war never quite broke out, as Joshua was content to box his way to victory in going the distance for the first time in his pro career. The feat came four weeks after Wilder would stare down adversity for the first of two times in 2018, rallying from early struggles versus Luis Ortiz to put away the previously unbeaten Cuban southpaw in the 10th round of a terrific heavyweight battle worthy of Fight of the Year consideration.
The feat was far more definitive—and considerably less controversial—than his relying upon a pair of knockdowns and suspect scoring to escape with a 12-round draw in Saturday’s instant classic versus Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Most had Fury winning, but the unbeaten 6’9” Brit was also forced to rise from adversity—literally, as he twice peeled himself off the canvas following hard knockdowns in delivering arguably the best performance of his wild career.
That Fury survived the 12th and final round simply should’ve been enough to give him the win and Wilder’s alphabet title along with it. Only one judge saw it that way, with Robert Tapper scoring the contest 114-112 for the former unified heavyweight champion.
Mexico’s Alejandro Rochin lived down to every negative stereotype heaped upon the sport, disgracefully turning in a 115-111 card in favor of Wilder, including his inexplicably scoring the first four rounds for the defending titles. England’s Phil Edwards ruled the bout 113-112 to produce a stalemate—and the possibility of a rematch during the first half of 2019.
Of the four aforementioned bouts, only Joshua-Povetkin didn’t feature unbeaten heavyweights on both sides of the marquee. It’s not at all a bad exception, considering that Povetkin had only lost once in his pro career prior to his September showdown versus Joshua—that defeat coming five years prior in an Oct. ’13 points loss to Klitschko.
It’s always a letdown when we can’t get a fight between the two best boxers in the division particularly when they are both unbeaten and in their respective primes. But at least we were given the next best thing throughout 2018—a steady stream of heavyweight fights worth caring about and not even limited to the very top level.
On the heels of his first pro defeat, Parker was eager to remain in the mix and claw his way back toward the too of the divisional heap. In doing so, he agreed to yet another away game in England, his third straight. He’d only go 1-2 on his road trip, having outpointed Hughie Fury in 2017 prior to his loss to Joshua, only to suffer a second straight loss in falling short versus top contender Dillian Whyte this past July.
The win was enough to keep Whyte in the title hunt, as the UK-based heavyweight is the frontrunner to land a coveted showdown versus Joshua next April. Such a bout would give Whyte a shot at avenging the lone loss of his career, having suffered a 7th round knockout in Dec. ’15, Joshua’s final fight as a contender before blasting out Charles Martin in two rounds for his first title win four months later.
Even with the lure of a lucrative rematch, Whyte decided there was plenty of room to make at least one more statement. Rapidly approaching is a December 22 rematch with Dereck Chisora, whom he barely edged in their 12-round thriller in Dec. ’16.
If the sequel is even half as good as the original, then the clash will serve as a fitting close to what was a fantastic year for the heavyweight division. Even better, the final month of the year will figure to set the stage for two more big bouts right out the gate in 2019 in Joshua-Whyte II and Wilder-Fury II.
Given Joshua’s massive drawing power in the United Kingdom and the instant buzz that came with Saturday’s thriller between Wilder and Fury in Los Angeles, the upcoming calendar year will boast two true super fights in what has once again become the sport’s glamour division. That’s what happens when the best in the world consistently square off, even if it stops short of a promised pairing between the very best.
Showtime PPV Round by Round Results: Fury and Wilder Battle to An Entertaining Draw
By: William Holmes
Deontay Wilder (40-0) and Tyson Fury (27-0) met for the WBC Heavyweight Title in the main event of tonight’s Showtime Pay Per view (PPV) offering.
The heavyweight division used to be the glamour division in boxing with the biggest pay per view offerings, and this was the biggest heavyweight fight capable of selling pay per views and capturing the public’s attention since Lennox Lewis was a champion.
A silent tribute was given to former President George H.W. Bush before the start of the fight, and that was followed by the national anthems of tonight’s fighters.
Tyson Fury entered the ring first and he was followed by Deontay Wilder to an enthusiastic crowd.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Wilder throws an early jab to the body. Wilder looks to be in good shape. Wilder with another jab to the body. Wilder misses with two wild shots and Fury clings to Wilder. Fury puts his hands behind his back. Fury backs into a corner and Wilder lands some short shots on Fury. Fury lands two quick jabs on Wilder. Fury puts his hands behind his back again. Wilder hits the shoulder of Fury. Fury lands a body shots and Wilder lands a left hook to the chin of Fury. Fury lands another short jab. Wilder misses with another wild right cross. Wilder misses with another wild right and Fury lands a good combination.
10-9 Fury, but close round
Wilder misses with a jab. Fury is showing some good head movement. Wilder looks a little flustered. Wilder with two more jabs and misses. Wilder lands a right but it was partially blocked. Fury lands a good short right hand to the chin of Wilder. Fury puts his hands in the air and taunts Wilder. Fury lands two good jabs. Good right to the body of Wilder by Fury. Fury’s jab is looking good. Wilder barely misses with a vicious right hand and follows it with a left hook. Wilder barely misses with a right cross again.
Another closer round, 10-9 Fury. 20-18 Fury
Fury lands a quick jab to the body. Fury with another jab to the face of Wilder. Fury lands another jab. Wilder lands a good jab on Fury that gets his attention. Wilder barely misses with a wide left hook. Wilder with a decent hook to the body and Fury answers with a hook upstairs and then two jabs. Fury lands a good straight right hand and then puts his hands behind his back again. Wilder lands a good right hook and Fury then lands a combination to the body. Good short right by Fury and he then ties up with Wilder. Fury with a good right to the body.
10-9 Fury; 30-27 Fury
Wilder has a lot of Vaseline on his face. Wilder with a jab to the body. Wilder barely misses with a straight right hand. Fury lands a short left hook on Wilder. Good jab by Fury, and Wilder answers with a jab of his own. Loud chants of USA in the crowd. Wilder barely misses with a bomb of a right hand. Good jab by Fury. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Fury is still showing good foot movement and lands three good jabs from the outside. Fury looks like he is bleeding from his nose.
10-9 Fury; 40-36 Fury
Wilder is bouncing on his feet. Wilder gets tagged with a quick jab and answers with one of his own. Fury leads with a left hook. Wilder misses with a left hook right cross combination. Fury lands a left hook. Wilder backs Fury into a corner but doesn’t land anything with the opportunity. Wilder lands a jab in the nose of Fury. Fury may be tiring. They both land a jab. Fury with a jab to the body and then head. Fury with a quick little combination. Wilder misses with two bombs and Fury answers with a combination. Wilder just not landing his big shots.
10-9 Fury; 50-45 Fury.
Wilder backing away from Fury. Wilder throws a jab to the body. Wilder misses with two jabs. Wilder misses again with a straight right. Fury with two quick jabs, but Wilder lands a jab of his own. Fury lands a combination and backs Wilder up. Wilder has some swelling by his left eye. Wilder lands a quick jab. Wilder lands a short jab. Wilder gets tagged by two jabs. Fury looks comfortable on the outside. Wilder lands a short right, but then eats two jabs. Wilder gets hit with another jab. Wilder’s jab is effective when he throws it, but he’s not throwing it enough.
10-9 Fury; 60-54 Fury.
Fury is circling away from Wilder’s power hand. Fury lands two jabs followed by a right cross. Fury lands a good right cross. Wilder lands a good jab to the body of Fury. Fury lands a jab to the body and Wilder lands a counter left hook. Fury lands a hard right hand. Fury is throwing a little more power into his shots. Wilder throws some bombs but misses. Wilder lands a good jab. Wilder misses another hard right hand. Fury lands another good hard straight right hand. Wilder lands a good jab on Fury.
10-9 Fury; 70-63 Fury.
Fury lands a quick reaching jab. Fury looks like he wants to press more than earlier rounds. Wilder misses with a straight right hand. Fury lands another good jab on Wilder. Wilder misses with a jab. Fury is tagging Wilder with his jab and dodging out of the way of his power shots. Fury goes to the body of Wilder. Wilder lands a good jab. Wilder sticks two jabs in the body of Fury. Fury with a good right hand followed by a right cross. Tyson Fury is looking very confident.
10-9 Fury; 80-72 Fury.
Fury has Wilder backing away. Fury gets touched with a jab. They both land a jab at the same time. Wilder is still a danger with his power. Wilder barely misses with a two punch combination. Wilder lands a right hook and Fury gets to the mat. Fury gets up before the count of ten. Wilder is looking for bombs and Fury ties up. Wilder barely misses with a wild right hand Fury lands a good right cross. Wilder misses with another bombs. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Wilder throws some bombs but misses. Fury just took a deep breath. Fury puts his arms up and begs Wilder to come forward. Fury lands some short shots inside and makes Wilder miss again. Entertaining round.
10-8 Wilder, 88-82 Fury
Fury looks recovered. Fury lands a good short right hook on Wilder. Fury has Wilder backing up. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Fury lands a good jab. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Good jab by Fury again. Wilder lands a good jab. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Wilder lands a good right hand of his own. Fury lands another good two punch combination. Fury flicks out a quick jab. Wilder misses with a lot of combinations.
10-9 Fury; 98-91 Fury
Wilder lands a jab to the body of Fury. Wilder lands another jab to the body but Fury lands a jab upstairs. Wilder probably needs a knockout to win. Fury lands another good jab on Wilder. Wilder misses with a combination and Fury lands a short hook. Fury lands a good jab followed by a combination to the body. Fury lands another short jab on Wilder. Wilder lands a good left hook on Fury. Wilder landed a good body shot on Fury that appeared to slow him down a little bit. Fury gets tagged by a short uppercut by Wilder. Wilder may have stolen that round.
10-9 Wilder; 107-101 Fury
Both fighters are bouncing on their feet as round starts. Fury looks to have a little more energy than Wilder. Fury barely misses with a jab. Fury lands a good right cross and Wilder answers with a two punch combination but Fury gets back to his feet. Wilder throwing bombs and Fury ties up. Wilder lands another good shot on Fury. Fury backing up. Fury puts his hands behind his back. Fury lands two good shots of his own and then ties up. Fury coming forward and throwing good shots. Fury is coming forward on Wilder. Wilder looks tired. Fury tags Wilder with some shots to the body.
10-8 Wilder. 115-111 Fury by Boxing Insider.
Both fighters embrace each other at the end and exchange words of respect after a highly entertaining bout.
The judges scored the fight 115-111 Wilder, 114-110 Fury, and 113-113 for a split decision draw.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Mental Warfare
By: Kirk Jackson
“He goes on about he’s beaten this person, he’s beaten that person,” says Tyson Fury 27-0 (19 KO’s), who’ll challenge Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39 KO’s) in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event December 1, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I’ve seen him knocked out before, spark out, by a little fat fella, that big [raises his hand] – out. In the amateurs, he boxed America versus Russia and the little Russian fella cleaned him out. Bam! The ‘Bomb Squad? The Bomb Squad’ was on his back. Like a dead fly, he was on his back, legs and arms in the air, sparked out. There ain’t no videos around the world of Tyson Fury ever getting knocked out.”
Photo Credit: PBC Twitter Account (@premierboxing)
As predicted the verbal back-and-forth, mental warfare, leading up to the biggest heavyweight bout of the year, featuring two undefeated champions, has been nothing short of entertaining.
Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion and Fury, the last recognized Lineal heavyweight champion aim to battle for heavyweight supremacy this weekend. The unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, will certainly watch the two combatants intently.
If you ask Fury, it appears he doesn’t care if Joshua is watching and doesn’t think much of Joshua’s current standing as unified heavyweight champion. Fury has plenty of venom for Joshua as well.
“Listen, I’m already number one,” Fury said. “So I don’t need to beat Deontay Wilder to prove that, because I’m not any old champion. So I can’t move up any more spaces. But if he beats me, he can become number one. But if I beat him, I stay where I am. The belts that AJ has are only belts he picked out of the garbage tin, because they were all given to him by me – every single one of them.”
Wilder by all accounts is an emotional fighter; his feelings fueled from past experiences in life inspires the rage he unleashes inside the ring. He described in an interview leading up to the fight the desire to share his pain with Fury, to inflict as much damage as possible and that Fury will understand his story through absorbing this pain.
“As fighters, people don’t understand how much it takes to break your body down days, weeks and months at a time. As a fighter, you’re forced to absorb pain and inflict punishment on your body every day you wake up,” said Wilder.
The damage inflicted inside the ring. That’s what it ultimately boils down to. But often overlooked is the psychological war leading up to the fight and the mental warfare once the physical battle begins.
Fury displayed his mental prowess over opponents in the past and even across the promotional tour with Wilder displayed a measure of command many observers believe provides him advantage heading into the fight this weekend.
“He knows he can’t win and it’s clear for everyone to see now. He’s a very nervous character and by the looks of it he doesn’t want to fight. He talks a good game but he talks nonsense really,” said Fury.
Fury continued, “Wilder hasn’t always been this brash, colorful character we see today. Up until he had 30 fights he was quite shy and reserved. This is why no one knows him. Now he has a bit of swag about him, but it’s not genuine, it’s fake.”
“He’s snide, a fraud, and when he gets in there with the real deal on Saturday night he’s going to know what it looks like. When you see a bad man, you know what one looks like. I look at him and I don’t see a bad man, I see a pretender.”
Come fight night we’ll find out if what Fury states holds any weight. Both fighters overcame tremendous personal and professional obstacles and adversity to reach the pinnacle of the sport and to arrive at this special moment upon us.
From a professional standpoint tough heavyweight challenger Luis Ortiz hurt Wilder badly during the seventh round of their March 3 fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but couldn’t finish the job. Wilder withstood the onslaught and roared back to floor Ortiz twice more in the 10th round, stopping the Cuban southpaw to retain his title in Rocky-esque fashion.
Former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham knocked down Fury in the second round of their March 2013 battle in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Fury overcame that difficulty to knock out Cunningham in the seventh round.
From a personal standpoint, the hurdles each man overcame and still battle to this day are well documented. Both guys’ endured tough upbringings, Fury has battled depression, mental illness and drug abuse most recently. Wilder cares for his daughter with special needs and that’s an everyday battle.
As far as the trash talk and mental tactics, Wilder welcomes it.
“I very much enjoy it. I enjoy the confrontation that we have; I enjoy the rumbling with the mouth that we have,” said Wilder. “We try to see who has the bigger motor and the mouth. Call him a motormouth.”
But will this be his undoing? Wilder acknowledges Fury’s mental toughness and how that can be a factor.
“One thing about Tyson is he’s mentally tough,” Wilder said on a recent conference call. “He’s the Gypsy King. If you know about gypsies, you know they’re traveling people and they’re fearless. So when I knock him out, I can say I knocked out someone that was fearless.”
Can Wilder implement the right game-plan, stay focused and ultimately win the fight? If Wilder is too “Wild” in his approach and too focused primarily on the big one-punch knock-out and head hunting, he will lose.
For Fury if he loses focus for one moment, it can all end due to Wilder’s punching power. Fury must not underestimate Wilder’s ability to adapt; he’s underrated with that aspect.
Fury is a nightmarish match-up, as is Wilder, which is what makes this bout so intriguing. Can Wilder deal with someone bigger and taller than him? Plus Fury is awkward, has long arms, uncanny rhythm and reflexes, great boxing instinct, high boxing intellect and strong mental strength – as does Wilder.
These fighters mirror many traits but provide different versions from a stylistic standpoint.
Again, this may boil down to who can preserve through the mental war waging in the ring come fight night.
“That’s why I don’t really get excited when I knock somebody out, because I’ve already fought that person multiple times in my mind before ever stepping into the ring,” said Wilder in an interview leading up to Saturday.
“That’s through visualization and meditation. I do it with every fight. As it relates to Tyson Fury, I’ve already fought him 75 times in my mind at this point. On December 1st, when it’s time for the realization to happen, it won’t be a surprise to beat him because I’ve already seen it happen. I’ve spoken it, I envisioned it and I believe it.”
For Fury, this is the road to redemption, to claiming a world title for the first time since losing his belts due to circumstances outside the ring. This is his opportunity, in perhaps his biggest test professionally, to show he is the Gypsy King and the heavyweight king.
“I said that Wladimir Klitschko would be the easiest fight of me career, and he was. Now I’m gonna say that this guy’s (Wilder) gonna be me easiest fight, and I predict he will.”
We’ll see which prediction holds true.
Showtime Boxing PPV Preview: Wilder vs. Fury
By: Sean Crose
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will meet for heavyweight glory this weekend when they face off in a scheduled 12 round bout for numerous accolades. Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title is at stake, as is a claim to the lineal heavyweight championship, which Fury earned in stunning fashion by besting long standing lineal champ Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015. Also possibly at stake is a future battle with widely regarded heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, who holds every other meaningful heavyweight recognition besides those held by Wilder and Fury. Both Wilder and Fury are reportedly earning a combined sum of well over 20 million dollars for their fight. The match will be aired live via Showtime PPV.
Photo Credit: PBC Twitter Account (@premierboxing)
America’s Wilder and England’s Fury are undefeated fighters. Wilder holds a record of 40-0. All but one of his fights has ended via knockout. An incredibly powerful puncher, the Alabama native most recently defeated the lauded and undefeated Luis Ortiz, a crafty and hard hitting contender who gave Wilder a considerable amount of trouble. Wilder was finally able to take his man out, however, proving that he could indeed meet and beat a top level contender. Although awkward, Wilder arguably works to land his big punches, rather than simply relying on them to carry or rescue him on the road to victory.
Fury, on the other hand, is known to rely on a slick skill set. Boasting of a record of 27-0, Fury’s greatest win was the victory over Klitschko. Afterwards, Fury lost his belts and also descended into a black hole of booze, drugs, food and depression. Fortunately, the fighter was able to pull himself out of the mire and went on to win two fights in the past year (against less than top opposition). He has reportedly lost over a hundred pounds since deciding to return to the ring after his over two-year absence, and has looked quite sharp in training for this weekend’s fight.
Although Wilder is favored to walk away with another win on Saturday – he isn’t favored overwhelmingly, as Fury is known to fight in a quirky, frustrating style that stopped future Hall of Famer Klitschko in his tracks. Fury is also a master of mind games, and has been said to have gotten into Wilder’s head in the leadup to this weekend’s bout. The general consensus, however, seems to be that Fury, slippery though he may be (especially for a man of his enormous size), can’t avoid Wilder’s devastating power all night, and that the American’s punches will ultimately tell the tale.
Also on the Pay Per View portion of the card will be a junior middleweight title bout between the 22-0 Jarrett Hurd and the 24-6 Jason Wellborn. At stake are Hurd’s IBF, IBO, and WBA titles. This fight is expected to end in a Hurd victory, as Wellborn isn’t a top name in the division and Hurd, who is coming off of surgery, recently bested the very impressive Erislandy Lara last spring. Wilder victim Ortiz will appear on the card, too. He’ll be facing the 32- 2 Travis Kauffman in order to improve his own record to 30-1. This will be Ortiz’ second fight since his lost to Wilder, having knocked out Razvan Cojanu last summer.
Saturday’s Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury Pay Per View Card will begin airing at 9 PM Eastern time, bringing with it a price tag of $74.99.
Tyson Fury: The Path to Heavyweight Clarity
By Thomas Choong
Lennox Lewis versus Vitali Klitschko, held on June 21, 2003, was the last time I recognized the winner of a bout as being boxing’s “true” heavyweight champion of the world.
How Lewis obtained that status is up for debate. For some, such status was obtained when he unified the 3 major belts of his era (those being the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts – the WBO still straddled the line of relevance at the time).
For others, Lewis’ championship status was derived from having earned his place in the lineage of this sport’s great line of heavyweight kings. Lewis defeated Shannon Briggs, who defeated George Foreman, and further preceded by Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, so on and so forth – a line of champions that had remained unbroken since the Floyd Patterson defeated Archie Moore to claim the championship mantle after the retirement of Rocky Marciano in 1955.
The latter is a title of status that stands above sanctioning bodies or politics. If anything, the path is simple: the champion is “the man who beat the man,” and in doing so, is cemented in the annals of boxing history.
In theory, filling the vacant spot shouldn’t be difficult. By unifying all of the major belts, there ought to be universal consensus as to who is the world’s top heavyweight. To note, once Lewis retired, boxing fans accepted the relevance of the WBO belt alongside the ones Lewis had held, and the chase began.
While many people recognized Wladamir Klitschko’s status as universal champion through his obtaining of the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, let’s not forget that our acceptance of Wlad’s status was under unique circumstances on account of the impossibility of Wlad unifying the the 4th belt against his elder brother, then WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. Vitali’s retirement did not resolve this issue as a string of mandatory defences for Wlad, alongside boxing’s (unfortunately) accepted political turmoil prevented us all from getting the universal clarity that we sought. Deontay Wilder picked up the elder Klitschko’s former title in April of 2015 and we, the fans, were essentially left with a better known and more established European champion in Klitschko, and a lesser known American Champion in Wilder who still sought a career defining fight.
Tyson Fury, hailing from Manchester, England, defeated Wladamir Klitschko in November 2015, and with that, the belts and adulation of defeating a respected champion. The narrative that followed his triumph was far from epic after his victory, as the promotion for Saturday’s fight has well noted Fury’s fall from grace which includes battling depression, obesity and substance abuse. His journey back from his life’s hellish abyss is nothing short of inspiring, as is his desire to reaffirm his place at the top of the heavyweight heap.
It wasn’t politics that stripped Fury of his belts; he did that on his own. His two comeback fights have been less than inspiring against non-descript opposition. He knows this.
However, as we count down to Saturday’s bout, Fury’s willingness to challenge Deontay Wilder and add the WBC belt to his trophy case is a feat that his “sanctioned” successor, another Brit, and current WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, has demonstrated an aversion to – much to the dissatisfaction of the boxing community.
Respected veteran coach/trainer Nazeem Richardson recently stated in an interview on Fighthype.com that the winner of this bout will be entitled to hold Mike Tyson’s old moniker of being “the baddest man on the planet” by virtue of noteworthy wins on their respective resumes. A win for Wilder would allow him to boast victories against Tyson Fury and his recent, come from behind, triumph over previously undefeated Cuban amateur standout Luis Ortiz in April of this year. Fury’s victory would allow him to cement his legacy by way of having won all four major titles in the ring against Wilder and Klitschko.
For Fury to win this fight, he’ll have to be back to the same form he was when he defeated (and dominated) Klitschko three years ago. While styles make fights, I’d bet the house on that version of Fury to render Joshua’s skillset ineffective. Joshua’s still developing legacy is also highlighted by his own win against Klitschko, though Joshua’s battle with Klitschko was a life-and-death, see saw affair that, although thrilling, showed Joshua struggle against a 41 year old former champion coming off of his loss against Fury and 17 months of inactivity.
As far as the heavyweight picture goes, there is no comeback story that compares to the one Tyson Fury hopes will unfold on Saturday night. History has not been kind to past champions who retired on top and attempted to return to their former glory. However, this story isn’t that of Jim Jeffries coming off a 6 years of inactivity to return as America’s Great White Hope to challenge Jack Johnson in 1908, nor is it the story of a 36 year old Joe Louis returning from a 27 month layoff to challenge Ezzard Charles in 1950. We’re talking about a 30 year old, 6’9” giant who, in this part of his career, has shown the fortitude to overcome near insurmountable adversity, take the steps he felt necessary to return to top form, and challenge the man who many consider the most dangerous boxer on the planet.
As the odds narrowly suggest, Deontay Wilder is expected to come out victorious on Saturday night with many people already prepared to criticize him for facing a man who is merely a shadow of his passed prime. However, the fact that the odds are so close despite Fury’s inactivity signify the level of respect for his boxing acumen within the pugilistic community, provided he’s as ready as he claims to be.
On Saturday night at the Staples Center, the same site where Lennox Lewis made his final successful defence of the heavyweight crown before retiring, this writer will be rooting for Fury to bring clarity to the heavyweight division. Within the modern era of boxing where multiple titles and politics have managed to confuse the masses and push boxing to the brink of fringe status in North America, a win by Fury would not only re-establish his status as being “the man to beat,” but he would also be the reigning, undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World whose trophy case also includes the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles.
For this fan, a Tyson Fury victory will finally bring clarity to who stands on the mountain top of our sweet science.
Tyson Fury: From Despair to Glory
By: Thomas Nicholls
It was November 2017 in lavish Monte Carlo and the Boxing aficionados are congregated around a Blackjack table ahead of the final press conference for Dereck Chisora’s European title bout with Agit Kabayel.
Emerging from the backdrop in what, at that time, was a very rare public appearance, Tyson Fury at 28 stone, wiping sweat from his brow.
Smiling, laughing and joking with his former adversary Chisora, Fury was without a license, without a trainer and without a hope, or so it seemed, of ever stepping through the ropes again.
Since that night in Dusseldorf, Fury has gone to the very bottom, openly confessing that he did not want to live any more. Tales of driving at high speeds towards a bridge, drink and drug fuelled weeks upon months and £50 orders in KFC. Perhaps only a few people ever believed the “mack” would return.
Videos begin to emerge online of a desperately overweight, but still lineal champion, battling through some pad work with soon to be best friend, trainer and “lifesaver” Ben Davison. Could he return?
Stone after stone after stone, Fury is carving out a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels and in the summer of 2018 Fury was back.
Two routine wins over, lets face it, no hopers in Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta and the Wilder fight is made. Yes, just like that. In less than 12 months, Fury has travelled from a sweat soaked white polo shirt in a Monte Carlo casino to being face to face with Alabama monster puncher Deontay Wilder in a rain sodden Belfast.
As Boxing historians preach, to be the man you’ve got to beat the man and whilst fellow British heavyweights Dillian Whyte and of course, Anthony Joshua continue to improve and impress – Tyson Fury is still the man.
In the opposite corner on Saturday night will be stood an almighty task, but nothing like the challenge Fury has overcome since he tearfully sang an Aerosmith number to his wife Paris in November 2015. Deontay Wilder, for all his flaws, has put each of his 39 opponents on the floor. He is a devastating puncher.
Nobody is too sure of how this fight pans out. Journalists, pundits and boxers alike are tipping either a Wilder KO or a Fury points win and understandably so I guess. I imagine that Wilder will try and unsettle Fury very early in the fight, his lightning athleticism, testing the condition of Tyson and his 20 stone weight swing.
Avoiding the go to cliché of anything can happen in heavyweight boxing, I’ll stick with the “what if’s”. What if Tyson Fury is the Tyson Fury that completely outthought and outfought Wladimir Klitschko in 2015? What if he negates Wilder’s wildness and counters using the craft he did/does possess? It’s a fascinating match up.
“Lifesaver” Ben Davison has called upon the experience of Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton to assist him throughout camp and on fight night, which is an interesting dynamic. We all know that one to many voices in between rounds can be of substantial detriment – we’ll see.
For me, despite Fury’s absence, this a 50/50 fight. Ok, maybe a 52/48 in Wilder’s favour. Enormous credit must go to Deontay Wilder for taking on Fury in a voluntary defence. Enormous credit must go to Fury for taking this fight, regardless of the reward, in his first competitive fight of his comeback.
It’s got the hallmarks of a classic and the winner must and will pursue a fight with Anthony Joshua. We can only hope the fight gets made.
I expect early drama, I expect Fury’s skill to rise to the surface and I predict that Fury will counter and finish a, by that point, desperate Wilder in rounds 9-12.
Past And Present Heavyweight Big Guns Weigh In On Wilder-Fury
By: Sean Crose
“Although Wilder’s punch is strong,” says legendary former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, “nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.” And so, with these words, Tyson weighs in on this Saturday’s heavyweight title throwdown between England’s Tyson Fury and American powerhouse Deontay Wilder. The match, which will go down in California while being aired live on Pay Per View, is for Wilder’s WBC title strap. It’s also for bragging rights. Both Wilder and Fury, along with English titlist Anthony Joshua, all have a claim to the title of king of boxing’s top division.
Yet Tyson, who Fury is literally named after, isn’t the only known heavyweight to weigh in on the matter. “If it goes the distance then it belongs to Tyson Fury,” says Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis. “If it’s a short fight it will belong to Deontay Wilder. This is an epic and most-unpredictable showdown. I can’t wait for this fight.” The legendary George Foreman also finds the bout tough to call. “I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder,” he claims, “and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach.”
“I love Tyson Fury,” says former top contender Gerry Cooney. “I think he’s a remarkable self-promoter, and he did a great job with Wladimir Klitschko, using his feints and throwing Klitschko off his game plan. Deontay is a different kind of fighter, though. Fury fights at 30 miles per hour. Deontay fights at 100 miles per hour. So, when Deontay catches Fury and gets ahold of him I think it’s going to be over.”
Current top contender Luis Ortiz shares Cooney’s sentiment. “If Fury decides he wants to dip and dive and move, then he can extend the fight,” he says. “But it’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”
While the 40-0 Wilder is perhaps the favorite walking into LA’s Staples Center ring on Saturday night, the 27-0 Fury is wild and unpredictable enough to give the proceedings an air of uncertainty…which is for the best when it comes to the leadup of high level heavyweight boxing.
Fury Joins Line of Former Heavyweight Champions Who Aimed For Comeback Glory
By: Sean Crose
And so this Saturday evening in California, Tyson Fury, undefeated fighter, one-time heavyweight kingpin, and – in the opinion of some, at least – still lineal heavyweight champion of the world, will step back into the ring to attain lost glory. His opponent will be WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder, a thunderously hard punching American who, like Fury, is far more skilled than he’s been given credit for. What makes this bout particularly interesting is the fact that Fury went over two years without a fight after winning the heavyweight crown by shocking Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015. What’s more, he’s only had two matches – against less than stellar opposition – since returning to the sport.
During his time away from the ring, Fury drank, drugged, ate, and fell into a profoundly deep depression. He argues that he’s pulled out of his funk since that time (here’s hoping he truly has) and that he’s ready to shock the world. Perhaps he will. Yet it’s worth considering the fact that Fury is only the latest in a line of former heavyweight rulers who came back to attain past glory. Most have failed – though there’s at least one who was able to return in stunning and glorious fashion. Only time will tell on which side of the equation Furry will end up on. Until then, let’s take a look at some others who have found themselves on the same path Fury does now.
Way back, on the Fourth of July, 1910, a former feared and undefeated heavyweight champion named James J Jeffries stepped back into the ring after more than five years to try to wrest the heavyweight crown away from Jack Johnson, the world’s first black heavyweight champ. Jeffries was able to lose over a hundred pounds before the bout, but he wasn’t able to satisfy the white supremacists who wanted a Caucasian heavyweight kingpin. Johnson easily won the fight. It’s been claimed that Jeffries later admitted that, had he been in his prime, he still couldn’t have bested Johnson. He may well have been right.
Flash forward seven decades, to Muhammad Ali’s nearly tragic October 1980 attempt to win back the title after two years away from the ring. Larry Holmes may have previously been Ali’s sparring partner, but eight years before he himself fell victim to a younger champ, Holmes performed a one sided shellacking of the man known as the “Greatest.” Even the victorious Holmes, perhaps the greatest heavyweight titlist aside from Ali, was said to be profoundly depressed by the experience.
Then, on January 22nd, 1988, it was Holmes who decided to return to boxing, after a span of close to two years, in an attempt to regain his crown. His opponent? The feared and dominant undisputed boss of the big men, Mike Tyson. The world was promised a ready Holmes, but, although the “Easton Assassin” had a brief moment or two, Tyson destroyed the older man within four rounds in Atlantic City.
Yet there was one who was able to come back to the ring after a prolonged absence and regain the heavyweight crown. That man? Big George Foreman. Young people today may see Foreman as a ubiquitous pop culture figure, but as a young man, Foreman was truly a force to be reckoned with. Muahmmad Ali put an end to his glory train in 1973, but Foreman was able to return in the late 80s, and eventually, amazingly, win back the heavyweight championship a full 21 years after he had first won it against Joe Frazier. To put things in perspective:
Foreman was 24 years old and 217.5 pounds when he first won the title. When he won it again, he was 45 years old and a good thirty plus pounds heavier- a stunning feat by anyone’s standards.
A Fury victory on Saturday wouldn’t be nearly as stunning as Foreman’s comeback win against Michael Moorer back in 94, but considering the weight of his demons, and the 150 or so pounds he’s said to have taken off, it would quite the feat nonetheless.
Tyson Fury: Triumph or Trouble Waiting
By: Waqass Ali
The clash is near and the fighters are close to fighting.
It is without a doubt one of the most exciting upcoming heavyweight clash bout between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Tyson Fury.
Fury (27-0) last became champion when he outpointed Wladamir Klitschko in November 2015 to become the unified WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine champion.
Since then he had personal struggle with depression and mental illness which forced him away from the ring for three years.
The 30-year-old graciously fought the battle and came back to boxing with already two warm-up victory bouts in the bag.
The fight is just one week away and both fighters have been training immensely.
The question remains what are some of the strongest assets of the Gypsy King?
The jab in particular is a strong factor for Fury. He utilises it well and is very consistent with it. He applies the jab whilst moving side to side and once it’s used he moves to a different direction to avoid the return.
In the second bout with Dereck Chisora, Fury averaged throwing 47 jabs with connecting 5 per round, according to Compubox punch stat review.
Fighters that are orthodox facing each other find it easier to land the jab depending on the reach and range. But conventional fighters will find it difficult to land the jab when it comes to southpaws.
In the recent fight Fury had with Francesco Pianeta, he landed 7 of 394 jabs at just 2% of connecting. The outcome of the bout had Fury winning every round regardless of the numbers.
The numbers can be quite little but may not be necessary to worry about depending on the context of the bout.
Since both Wilder and Fury are elevated in terms of their height, Fury will be playing the tall man in the fight. The reason why the height method for Fury may be in effect is because the height similarity stands at 6 feet 9 inches while Wilder is 6 foot 7.
This became evidential when Fury fought Klitschko who stood at 6 foot 6 inches and had no solution whatsoever when facing Fury.
The nervousness of the first round, the fact that it took Klitschko 10 rounds to throw an effective right hand but did little damage and the inactivity in terms of volume of punches.
Klitschko threw overall 231, landing at just 52 with a connect percentage of just 23%.
The longevity of the bout is also a strong asset for Fury since 12 of his 27 wins have been past the fifth round. Just six of Wilder’s 40 wins saw him pushed beyond the fifth round and he’s only been the distance once.
Fury has been the distance eight times without any signs of fatigue. He’s always been in control of the bouts even at the later stages.
According to a poll initiated by Boxing News, 47% of fans pick Fury to win by decision whilst 37% pick Wilder by KO. Another poll by a boxing fanatic twitter page called EditinKing, out of 2,800 plus voters, 49% picked Fury by via points and 29% for Wilder by via KO/TKO.
Fight week vote #WilderFury
We made it! Its finally here.
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) November 25, 2018
Fury in the last few years has adopted the switch stance of going from conventional to southpaw. This first became noticeable when Fury fought Chisora back in November 2014.
It has definitely been an effective use of weaponry against fighters and no one has even challenged it.
When Wilder (40-0) fought ‘King Kong’ Luiz Ortiz, who is a southpaw, it became difficult for him to land a decent shot in the first few rounds. In the third round alone, Wilder only landed two.
Whenever Wilder attempted a big haymaker right hand, he was often countered by Ortiz’s over hand left.
Though he managed to stop the Cuban in the tenth round, it left hardcore fans and critics many questions as how well would Wilder against a tactical boxer who switches stances against the likes of Tyson Fury.
Only time will tell.
Showtime Offers Heavyweight Fight Between Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Directly to Consumers Over the Internet Via Showtime, More Tickets Released
For the first time, Showtime Networks Inc. is offering viewers the opportunity to purchase the blockbuster WBC Heavyweight World Championship Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV directly through the SHOWTIME app. Subscribers and non-subscribers will be able to purchase and live stream as WBC World Champion Wilder defends his title against lineal champion Fury via the SHOWTIME app on Apple mobile and AppleTV (4th Generation) devices, Amazon Fire TV devices, Android phones and tablets and directly on Showtime.com for $74.99 or through cable, DBS, telco and streaming providers nationwide. The showdown of undefeated heavyweights will air on Saturday, December 1 live at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. For more information on where the fight is available and pricing per distributor, visit: SHO.com.
The bout is currently available for purchase on Showtime.com and will roll out on select platforms via the SHOWTIME app during fight week. Customers who purchase the PPV event through the SHOWTIME app and have never subscribed to the SHOWTIME streaming service will receive a 30-day free trial offer. Viewers can purchase the fight through a number of distributors including ATT U-Verse, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Frontier, Optimum, PlayStation Store, Spectrum, Verizon Fios and more. The Wilder vs. Fury fight will also be available through Fathom Events in movie theaters and at select bars and restaurants nationwide. Showtime Networks will continue to roll out PPV capabilities on additional streaming devices in time for the highly-anticipated SHOWTIME PPV event of Senator Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner on January 19.
Wilder vs. Fury tests the raw power of Wilder against the unmatched size and mobility of Fury. America’s only heavyweight champion since 2007, Wilder has 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, including knockouts in all seven of his title defenses. Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion who is undefeated in 27 professional fights and holds boxing’s coveted lineal heavyweight title.
More Tickets Released at Staples Center
Overwhelming demand has led to more tickets being released for sale to the public at STAPLES Center for the highly-anticipated heavyweight world championship clash presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, December 1 between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV® from Los Angeles.
The newly released tickets are priced at $125 and $75 and are on sale now. All tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.
Wilder vs. Fury tests the raw power of the 6-foot-7 Wilder against the unmatched size and mobility of the 6-foot-9 Fury in the most significant heavyweight event in the U.S. in more than 15 years. America’s only true heavyweight champion since 2007, Wilder has 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, including knockouts in all seven of his title defenses. Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion who is undefeated in 27 professional fights and holds boxing’s coveted lineal heavyweight title.
The PPV undercard features unbeaten unified super welterweight world champion Jarrett Hurd returning to take on Jason Welborn, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz facing-off against Travis Kauffman and rising undefeated heavyweight Joe Joyce battling Joe Hanks.
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The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market
By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.
Breland Training Wilder For Psychological Warfare Against Fury
By: Sean Crose
“Going pretty good,” Mark Breland tells me of his fighter, Deontay Wilder’s, preparation for a December showdown with Tyson Fury. “Looking sharp.” Breland, a former Gold Medalist and world welterweight champ, is sometimes uneasy when a fighter looks TOO good in the earlier stages of training camp, for it’s unwise to peak too soon. As it stands, however, the man is satisfied with Wilder’s progression.
Both Breland and Wilder are aware of the fact that Fury presents a unique challenge. Not only is the former heavyweight king after Wilder’s WBC heavyweight belt, he’s also, like Wilder, undefeated and awkward. What’s more, Fury is the rare opponent who is actually taller than Wilder is. For Breland, though, the concern right now is “basically that little awkward stuff he (Fury) does” in the ring.
Photo Credit: Mark Breland Twitter Account
Anyone whose seen Fury fight knows that he likes to play an elusive game by engaging in herky-jerky movements. “He tries to throw you off,” Breland says of the Englishman’s style. “He tries to get a rise out of you.” Breland’s aware of the fact that it’s a strategy that has worked for Fury on a large scale. “He’s not as stupid as people say he is,” Breland states.
It’s common knowledge Fury likes to get inside opponent’s heads before a fight even begins. Breland agrees that one of the reason’s Fury stunned then champ Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015 was Fury’s acute use of mind games before the bout. Men like Fury, Breland argues “want to see what they get out of you.”
Breland, who himself was always a cool customer in the ring, is preparing Wilder as much for Fury’s mind games as he is for the exchange of punches. “He’s going to try everything in the book to frustrate you,” he says of Fury. Breland isn’t impressed with those who run wild in this era of smack talk.
“These guys,” he says, “take it too far.” Breland advises that one should let the adversary do what he wants beforehand. “Just don’t hit him,” he says. “When you hit him, it’s a lawsuit.” So far, Wilder has seemed impervious to Fury’s taunts, which perfectly suits his trainer. Breland, however, is preparing his man for any contingency.
“I honestly think,” he says of Wilder, “if he catches him, he’s going” to knock him out. Yet Breland is ready for Fury to try to up the frustration level when he meets Wilder in the Staples’ Center ring on December 1st. “It can be a long, drawn out fight,” Breland states. Not that he’s worried. “Don’t get discouraged,” he points out. “He’s not doing nothing and you don’t have to do nothing.” In other words, don’t take the bait.
“Just keep tapping him with the jab,” Breland says. “Anything with Fury is mental.”