Why Deontay Wilder Turned Down Such A Massive Offer
By: Hans Themistode
For years now the two biggest stars in the most historic division have yet to see eye to eye. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and unified titlist Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) have been verbally attacking each other on social media and whenever a camera is in front of them. Although it’s entertaining to the fans, what would be even more satisfying to see them square off.
With Joshua making his U.S. debut this upcoming June against Jarrell Miller it seems like the stage is finally set for the two to settle things in the ring. Joshua is of course associated with Eddie Hearn’s DAZN platform and Wilder is a free agent that can do as he pleases. His upcoming fight against Dominic Breazeale is taking place on Showtime but going forward he can return to that network or whichever he chooses.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
Hearn has recently extended a hand to Wilder and his team to negotiate the terms of a bout with Joshua. It was then reported that Hearn made a substantial offer of 100 million to Wilder for a three fight deal. Those fights would include Wilders mandatory bout against Breazeale and two fights with Joshua. To the surprise of many Wilder and his team turned the offer down.
On the outside looking in it is easy to criticize Wilder for his decision to not accept the offer. However once he was given a chance to explain exactly why he did not take the offer it is a valid reason.
“They made a very subnational offer but at this point in his career what he has accepted to go forward in a different direction,” said Shelly Finkel who is Wilders co-promoter. “We also feel that when Deontay knocks out Joshua we want millions to see it and right now DAZN doesn’t have that.”
Finkel would also go to discuss some of the unfairness that took place during the negotiation process.
“I don’t want to get into specifics of the contract but if we’re getting offered a dollar it may seem like a lot but you also want to hear what the other guy is getting but we were never told. If the other guy is getting five dollars then that one dollar you were given doesn’t seem like much now does it? They just would not tell us more about the specifics of what Joshua would make in comparison to Deontay.”
It’s hard for fans to stay patient when this could be the biggest fight in boxing today. Nonetheless take a step back and look at things from a financial standpoint. Essentially he would be getting 40 million for both Joshua fights and 20 million for the Breazeale contest. Finkel went on to explain that although that is a high offer, that the number will only continue to rise and the demands of Wilder would need to be compensated as well.
“Look a year ago he was willing to take 15 million flat to fight Joshua. Today he’s not willing to take 40 million. The conditions must be right.”
Wilder summed everything perfectly.
“I’m betting on myself.”
He sure is taking a massive gamble on himself but it is working thus far.
Wilder Offered Big Money 2 Deal with DAZN
By: Michael Kane
Deontay Wilder has reportedly been offered a $50 million two fight deal with DAZN.
DAZN have been in talks with Wilder with a view to securing a fight with Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight unification fight.
World Boxing News have reported that in effect Wilder will receive $25m for each fight which will then lead to negotiations for an improved contract for two fights with Joshua in 2020.
Speaking to Sky Sports Matchroom Promotions supremo has said how he will be keeping his part in negotiations to a minimum with DAZN taking the lead due to bad feeling between the Wilder camp and Matchroom/Joshua.
“There’s an opportunity for someone to be, of you like, a mediator to try and get it done,” said Hearn.
“Clearly the relationship between Team Wilder and Team Joshua isn’t the best. I think this is a route that is going to be very beneficial to making that undisputed fight.
“I think any input from me would be a negative one. In terms of trying to move things forward because of the relationship. So I’ll be leaving it in the hands of the broadcasters to try and effectively be a mediator.
“It’s not just about doing a deal with Wilder, it’s about doing a deal with Joshua, for the fight.
“They’ve got their work cut out. But the pieces are coming together. There’s a long way to go, a long way to go.
“We’ll see where it goes. But there is now a strategy in place and a route in place that could lead us to an undisputed fight.
As things stand Wilder is expected to fight Dominic Breazeale, whether this will be shown on DAZN, Showtime or FOX Sports, no one knows.
If this deal goes through, it would leave Tyson Fury with no chance of winning the World Title for at least a year.
Deontay Wilder: “Fury Did Not Want To Fight Me”
By: Sean Crose
“We knew Fury wasn’t gonna take this fight,” so said WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder on Gerry Cooney and Randy Gordon’s Sirius XM show. “You know,” he continued, “we got to a certain point in time when they were stalling about signing the contract that was already set a week ago. When he was stalling from signing that, we knew something was wrong. We knew it was the problem where Frank (Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter) wasn’t answering his phone anymore. You know it wasn’t no reason for him not to answer. We knew something was up.”
With those words, the undefeated power puncher from Alabama gave his take on “the fight that wasn’t” – a highly anticipated rematch between himself and Tyson Fury, which was widely expected to go down this spring. The first Wilder-Fury battle, which occurred in December and ended in a controversial draw, left fans wanting more, in no small part because Fury went down – then got up, from a ferocious Wilder shot in the 12th and final round. Fury, however, surprised the fight world recently by aligning with promoter Bob Arum and ESPN, a move which arguably put him directly at odds with Wilder, and Al Haymon, who acts as Wilder’s adviser.
The fact that Fury’s decision was announced around the time fans and analysts were expecting word of a Wilder rematch only added to the shock factor. “You know nothing was wrong with the contract,” said Wilder, “that everything was good. But Fury did not want to fight me. Fury signed the ESPN deal to run away from me. You can’t go nowhere. Well, where he gonna go? He’s not a champion. He didn’t win the fight.” Fury, of course, has his own take on things (it’s doubtful he’d even say he didn’t want a rematch with Wilder). The fighter known as The Bronze Bomber admitted that team Fury made him an offer – but it wasn’t the kind of offer he’d be willing to take.
According to Wilder, team Fury was eager to capitalize on the fact that Wilder had admitted he was a “free agent,” which essentially meant Wilder could fight on any network, including ESPN. “That’s where everything went crazy,” Wilder said. “We got a lot of deals on the table. But yeah. They (team Fury) went to four fights or whatever.” In other words, Wilder claimed team Fury wanted Wilder to sign a four fight contract with ESPN before agreeing to a rematch.
WBC: Wilder-Fury II “Not Happening Next”
By: Sean Crose
“BREAKING NEWS: @BronzeBomber vs @Tyson_Fury is officially not happening next. The @WBCBoxing has received communications as our process and while Wilder confirmed its willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do rematch at a later date.”
With the above awkwardly worded tweet, the World Boxing Council essentially let the world know on Tuesday that the much anticipated heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not be happening – at least not for the time being. Although obviously disappointing for many fans, Tuesday’s news came as no surprise. For Fury signed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions last week, politicizing the chance of a second go with Wilder (Wilder is aligned with competitor Al Haymon).
“You sorry muthafucka,” Wilder tweeted at Fury Tuesday afternoon. “We knew you only said this (a previous tweet where Fury claimed he would fight anyone) because you knew you wasn’t fighting me next. #CloutChaser you requested a warm-up fight first I don’t blame you tho, I probably would too if I saw my brains splashed all over the canvas. #Timberrr #Bih #RunHoeRun #NoSmokeWanted”
Fury, of course, had his own ready response for Wilder.
“Get your self a bit more well known in America first kid & then I’ll give you another chance.!,” the Englishman tweeted. “I already beat you & the world knows it & so do you must be hard for you that a British fighter has taken over the USA watch me whippppp #ONLYINAMERICA @espn.” In truth, an announcement of a rematch was expected until Fury teamed up with Arum. Now the 27-0-1 fighter will have his fights broadcast by ESPN while the 40-0-1 Wilder’s fight’s will most likely be aired on Showtime or Fox, which works with Haymon.
The first fight between the two men went down in California last December. Fury, who was returning to a heavyweight championship fight for the first time since stunning Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, boxed masterfully while champion Wilder spent much of the fight in hot pursuit. The biggest moment in the bout, however, came when Wilder dropped Fury with a thunderous shot in the 12th and final round. To the shock of many, however, Fury got up and finished the round. The fight was ultimately ruled a draw. The WBC demanded that Fury and Wilder express their intentions by midweek this week, as a rematch was supposedly in the works.
As things stand, Team Fury argues that their fighter will engage in a fight this spring before moving on to challenge Wilder again in the autumn.
Wilder Reacts to Fury’s Top Rank Deal
By: Michael Kane
The boxing world was expecting the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to be sealed this week. Negotiations have taken a twist it would seem after the announcement that Tyson Fury has signed a co promotion deal with Top Rank.
The general feeling is that negotiations will prove difficult with Top Rank aligned to ESPN and Wilder being represented by Al Haymon who runs PBC. With the last fight being shown on Showtime, there was an expectation that the rematch would be shown on Showtime too.
However, that may not be the case as Wilder told ThaBoxingVoice: “If anything, it makes the fight better, it don’t hurt the fight.
“If anything it hurts the other competition with Joshua, that Fury’s signing with ESPN. He [Joshua] is with DAZN, it don’t really affect me.
“At the end of the day, if he wants to fight, then he’s gonna fight. If not, then we’ll move onto the next one. We have enough guys in the stable that we can fight for the next two years.
“When it comes to America, there’s only one American that’s dominant and that’s Deontay Wilder.”
Despite being represented by Al Haymon, Wilder claims he doesn’t have any deals specifically with PBC, Showtime or FOX.
When asked if he would fight on ESPN, Wilder replied, “Of course, it’s always where the money is, is gonna be right.
“I’m a free agent, I can fight anyone, I don’t necessarily have to fight on the networks that I’m on, I can fight anywhere.
“The rematch is still on the table for him if he wants it. If he don’t may God be with him.”
In the event the rematch doesn’t take place on the rumored date of May 18th, Wilder is still aiming to fight on that date.
Wilder stated: “We’re doing our own thing, we’re still gonna have that date. Who knows who it’s gonna be?
“It could be [Dominic] Breazeale, it could be [Adam] Kownacki, it could be [Dillian] Whyte.”
Top Rank supremo Bob Arum believes Fury now has a better negotiation stance than he did last week. The WBC ordered a 60-40 split in favor of their champ Deontay Wilder and even if Top Rank win the purse bid, Wilder will earn more.
Speaking with BoxingScene.com Arum said, “(the purse bid) doesn’t factor into it at all, the WBC wants the fight to happen. Good luck to them but we don’t need them to tell us how the purses should be. That’ll come with reasonable negotiations.”
Arum also distanced himself from the rumored May 18th date at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn which seemed set to be announced only days ago.
“Well, there’s no magic in May 18th,” Arum said. “That’s just one day of the year. When it comes time to pick a date for the fight, as long as the fight happen, what difference does it make if it’s in June? Or where it is. I mean, obviously, Las Vegas would be a good place for it and there are other good places for it. But, I mean, that’s to be decided when the time comes.”
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.