Oleksandr Usyk Ready To Reign Supreme
By: Hand Themistode
Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) has yet to make his debut at Heavyweight, yet he has his eyes set on the Heavyweight throne.
For this that are not familiar with Usyk, the best way to describe him is a much bigger version of Vasyl Lomachenko. The loud thudding noise must be from your jaw that has currently hit the ground after that description. Lomachenko is wildly regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Usyk is that good.
This comes as no surprise, seeing how Lomachenko’s father/trainer also trains Usyk as well.
The Ukrainian born fighter plowed through the Cruiserweight division. In a short span at the weight, he defeated everyone of note and captured every world title. A move to Heavyweight was warranted as he effectively cleaned out the entire division.
Usyk’s Heavyweight debut was booked against longtime contender Carlos Takam in May. It was a decent first step for Usyk and his new venture into an unknown division. The prevailing thought was that Usyk would get his feet wet in a contest against Takam and assuming he won that bout, he would move on to take on the likes of Alexander Povetkin. If Usyk managed to pull off that victory as well, then a matchup with former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would take place sometime in 2020.
Like often is the case in boxing, things never go quite as planned. Usyk was sidelined with a bicep injury while Joshua lost in a mega upset against Andy Ruiz. The former Cruiserweight star views this as an opening.
Usyk and his legal team wasted no time. Shortly after Ruiz’s major upset, Usyk requested to become the mandatory challenger from the WBO. They obliged.
Tune ups and warm up contest be damned. Like many fans and experts alike, Usyk sees this as a golden opportunity to win more gold. The Heavyweight division seems to be in disarray and Usyk wants to take full advantage.
It is difficult to find Usyk’s place amongst the current crop of Heavyweight fighters. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are rated as the best two fighters in the division. Andy Ruiz has made his mark as a true champion and although Anthony Joshua was defeated in his last outing, counting him out would be foolish.
Currently, Usyk should be rated behind all of these men, but it won’t be for long. This level of skill from a big man a rarity. It seems only a matter of time before Usyk proves that he not only belongs but that he is the best Heavyweight in the world.
Deontay Wilder is Still King
By: Hans Themistode
The Heavyweight division is unpredictable at this moment. Just a few short weeks ago, former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was thought to be ahead of everyone else. It was an understandable thought process. He was after all, the owner of the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles. On June 1st, 2019, everything changed as Joshua was knocked out in the seventh round against Andy Ruiz.
The aforementioned Ruiz looked like a world beater that night. He picked himself up off the deck to drop Joshua four times. In doing so, he became the first Heavyweight world champion from Mexico. Ruiz doesn’t hold a perfect record. His lone defeat came at the hands of former WBO champion Joseph Parker back in 2016. Where exactly does Parker stand in the midst of all of this commotion? It’s hard to tell. He is a former champion, however he was defeated by both Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in back to back contests.
Who can forget about the colorful yet talented Tyson Fury? The undefeated Heavyweight is fresh off a dominant win over the relatively unknown Tom Schwarz. It took Fury only two rounds to dispatch of his man.
There is also a long list of contenders who have yet to taste gold, but seemingly have what it takes to reign atop the division including Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortiz and Jarrell Miller to name a few.
Although the division is mired in confusion, one thing is clear. WBC champion Deontay Wilder is still the king of the division. In his last ring appearance, the Alabama native, absolutely destroyed his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale to the tune of a devastating one punch knockout in the very first round.
Wilder is now expected to rematch Luis Ortiz in the fall. Should he come out successful, he is lined up to take on Tyson Fury in yet another highly anticipated rematch.
The criticism of Wilder is well documented. He isn’t a good boxer, just avoid his right hand and he can’t do anything else. How can someone with such little skill become a champion? Put all of it to rest. Wilder isn’t just the best Heavyweight currently, but he is one of the very best in history. Wilder currently holds the fourth most title defenses in the Heavyweight division’s rich history.
Tyson Fury, Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua are all great fighters and champions, but they are all fighting for second place. Deontay Wilder is still the king of this division.
Wilder vs. Breazeale Media Call Transcript
Thanks everybody for joining us. We have an exciting fight to talk about, certainly one of the biggest fights of the year.
Wilder vs. Breazeale is Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME. It’s the heavyweight championship of the world. It is at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING and it’s presented by Premier Boxing Championships. Tickets for the BombZquad event are available through Ticketmaster, barclayscenter.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Now I’m going to introduce Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks to make introductory comments. Stephen.
Thanks very much, Kelly. We are thrilled to be presenting Wilder vs. Breazeale on SHOWTIME a week from Saturday. Before we get there we are committed to this fight as if it were a pay-per-view because we believe that that’s where Deontay is in his career and this is the level of promotion that a fight of this caliber deserves.
So we will be premiering ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE on Friday, May 10th at 10 p.m. Following that will be a three-fight ShoBox telecast featuring Ruben Villa in the main event.
And those of you who know me know that I’m also a hip-hop music fan so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Wu-Tang documentary, “Of Mics and Men,” that’s premiering tomorrow. So it’s a big lineup tomorrow night on SHOWTIME – 9 p.m. is the Wu-Tang documentary followed by ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE at 10 p.m. and then ShoBox at 10:30.
Next week ALL ACCESS will be active a daily basis debuting new short form episodes every day during fight week. Then we get to the fight itself. Look, I’m not going to give you too much about this.
You have two s6-foot-s7 heavyweights with a combined 90% knockout ratio so you really don’t have to sell too much on this one. Since 2015, SHOWTIME has featured 14 heavyweight world title fights.. We are happy to see the resurgence of the heavyweight division. We’re proud for our role in it. No other network has been as committed to the heavyweight division and no other network has done more to bring about this resurgence.
So we are thrilled to be seeing the heavyweights back on this massive stage once again. As I mentioned combined record of these two fighters, 60 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw, 57 KOs. That is a knockout rate over 90%.
Deontay Wilder, obviously he’s coming off two of his most exciting and certainly career-defining performances – a Fight of the Year caliber fight against Luis Ortiz in March of 2018 and then his pay-per-view debut against Tyson Fury.
Those were two of the most exciting heavyweight fights that we’ve seen in quite some time. In Dominic Breazeale, Wilder will be facing a tall, strong, experienced and very motivated opponent.
At 6-foot-7, Dominic is one of the few heavyweights in the division who looks eye to eye with Deontay so that will be a different experience. With 18 KO victories in 21 professional fights, he has been on the world stage before taking on Anthony Joshua in the U.K.
And it’s no secret that there’s a personal rivalry from these two guys so there is no shortage of motivation. All in all we’re looking forward to this three fight card. Again, ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE will kick it off Friday at 10 p.m. followed by ShoBox and we will see all of you a week from Saturday in Brooklyn.
Thanks Stephen. And yes, now we are going to turn to “Trouble” himself, Dominic “Trouble Breazeale”. He’s 20 and 1, with 18 knockouts. He’s a WBC mandatory challenger. He’s a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Glendale, California.
For this fight it’s his first fight training with Virgil Hunter in the Bay area. He previously challenged Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title in 2016 and he won his last three fights by knockout.
So without further ado, we’d love to hear from you Dominic and if you’d like to make opening comments before we open it up the press and just let us know how things are going and your thoughts on the fight a week from Saturday:
Thank you Kelly. Camp is going great up here in the Bay Area. Virgil Hunter’s done a great job of putting things in and implementing my game plan going into this fight May 18.
I’m definitely excited to be fighting on the world stage again for the WBC title. May 18 is going to be an explosive night. You’ve got two knockout artists, two big six-foot-seven guys.
I’m super excited to be involved with the event. I’m super excited to get a big KO win May 18. Like I said, the body feels great. Camp has gone up and beyond what I expected it to be.
I’m super ready. I can’t wait to get on this plane and get to New York and get this started.
Deontay Wilder has turned out to be a pretty good heavyweight champion. What makes you think you can beat him?
Your opinion on him being a pretty good heavyweight champion, that’s your opinion alone. I don’t think anyone else agrees with you on that one. But I don’t see any fundamental skills. I don’t see any successes on his part.
He’s been champion for about four years. He hasn’t grown. He hasn’t changed. Yes, he’s got a big right-hand but don’t we all in the heavyweight division? We all have knockout power.
So I think I’m walking into a fight where I’m the more skilled, more athletic and bigger, stronger guy.
You’re training with Virgil Hunter now. What has he brought to the table for you?
A little bit of everything. don’t see how I’ve come this far in my career, ten years of boxing now and haven’t learned some of the fundamental basics that he’s used to restructure me.
Yes, they’ve always been there but with this new approach training he was able to bring a lot more out in my fundamentals as far as when I use my jab and how I use it and other things that we plan on using in our game plan on May 18.
How badly would you like a knockout in this specific fight given all the animosity that’s been going on between yourself and Wilder that stems back to your issues a couple of years ago in Birmingham?
Going into every fight is probably the biggest fight of your life. And I’m always looking for a huge knockout, something to impress the fans and impress the boxing community.
At the same time, I’m never looking for it. I’m never trying to surge and try too hard to get the knockout. I always let it come. But this one, it’s going to be a lot better success. It’s going to be a lot better sleeping May 18 the night after I win the title, if I get a knockout.
Don’t get me wrong. A win’s a win but at the same time I want to impress the world. I want to impress the boxing community with a big knockout. When I say big knockout one where my right hand, my left hand is going to make contact and he goes out. Doesn’t get back up.
So what would be the personal satisfaction on that besides just the great accomplishment to win the heavyweight belt?
The personal thing from the outside of the ring makes the revenge factor. You approach myself and my wife and kids in a situation that was not boxing related.
The gratification and the fact that my personal revenge, knocking out Deontay Wilder is a lot bigger than just an actual win or KO on any other given night.
How do you think that you can stand-up to his right hand, if Anthony Joshua was able to get you?
I’ve grown a lot in the last few years. The Joshua fight was an eye opener. It was good experience. I learned then that I was standing there a lot more and taking some damage that I didn’t need to take because of the big guy that I am.
As I said earlier, Wilder’s got a big right hand but so do I and I’ve got a big left hook. In the heavyweight division if you don’t have knockout power, you’ve got no reason to be in the division.
So yes, Wilder’s going to throw some leather and make some contact by all means. Boxing, it’s all about hitting and not getting hit. I don’t plan on getting hit a lot May 18 and if I do, I’ve been there. I’ve done that before.
At the same time I plan on putting on all the punishment. And if the right hand comes, so be it. I’ll deal with it. It’s part of boxing.
We want to see the heavyweight champions fight each other. What is your statement on that as far as the way that people look at the heavyweight division right now?
I don’t disagree with you or the boxing fans just because I’m a boxing fan myself. Of course you always want to see the title holders fight each other.
But right now I think those five names you mentioned, myself, Andy Ruiz, Tyson Fury, Wilder and Joshua, we are the top of the division and the fans are getting exposed to what they want to see. They’re getting exposed to a heavyweight fight.
When I fight Wilder May 18 it’s not going to be boring. It’s going to be action packed. It’s going to be big punch after big punch. And the thing with Joshua and Andy Ruiz, I’m excited to be part of the division. I’m excited to be where I am now standing. I’m also super excited to be the spoiler.
Wilder’s had a great deal on the table, whenever he was working with Joshua and I think he should have taken it because come May 18, I’m going to ruin everything.
I’m going to put my name in that hat with Joshua and I definitely want my revenge against Joshua so we’re going to make some things up in the near future. My way to do that is to get my WBC title and that’s what I plan on doing.
You think that fight against Carlos Negron might have knocked off some ring rust and maybe helped you prepare for the fight against Deontay Wilder?
Yes, anytime you have a little bit of layoff, a little bit of ring rust you don’t want that of course but I was glad I was able to do it December 22 against Carlos Negron.
I’m happy to be getting in the ring as soon as I am now for the WBC title shot. There wasn’t a long layoff between me in the ring December 22, taking a couple of days off for Christmas and New Years and getting right back in the gym in January.
So I think like I said earlier, I’ve had a great camp. I’ve had a lot less layoff than in the past and all cylinders are firing.
Was it tough having to wait before you knew you would get that opportunity to face Deontay?
Yes, definitely tough. I won the WBC title eliminator against Eric Molina and then to be told that it’s going to be sometime, six months, seven months which turned into I think almost about a year.
That was very tough because I’m one of the guys who stayed in the gym. I’m sparing every other day or sparing once a week. I’m always in the gym and I’m always working. Sometimes that can take a toll on you.
But fortunately in my favor it worked out great. I got another fight against Carlos Negron and attended the WBC mandatory and here a year and a half later getting ready to fight for a world title. In a sense, it kept me motivated. It kept me working.
What did you think of Deontay’s performance against Tyson Fury? Did watching that fight kind of give you a better idea of what you need to do to beat Deontay Wilder?
Yes, definitely. It gave me some better things to be focusing on and to hone in on at the same time. I was there in person.
I thought Fury won that fight. I know he got knocked down a couple of times but as far as the boxing, the world looks at him how he scored in a boxing match. Tyson outscored Wilder that night and won that fight.
Fury did some good things. He had some great defensive movements. He did some good attacks as well as counter punching. On the other hand, Wilder did the same thing over and over like he’s done in his last four, five fights – over the last four or five years is throw the one, two and hopefully hope and pray that the right hand lands eventually.
There were some things that I learned from the fight as well as some things I’ve continuously seen over and over, time and time again.
What were your thoughts when you got found by Michael King?
The idea first came across in a phone call. Joe Onowar, he called me, he was the recruiter at the time. I completely thought he was crazy.
`There was no way in hell that I was going to pick up boxing at 23 years old after I’d done football, basketball, track, baseball, hockey, wrestling – all that as a kid. Never stepped foot into a boxing ring, then to pick it up as a sport at 23 years old when I was at the end of my career.
Honestly at the time I thought it was a real dumb idea but three months into it after I had my first amateur fight and 18 months later when I became a 2012 Olympian and now 10 years later now I’m fighting for the WBC World Title, I think Michael King was the smartest man on the planet.
For me to be the one that came out the man on top is special, there were hundreds of athletes that came to the door. I feel like the idea of turning a Division One athlete into a professional boxer. It was crazy then ten years ago but now, I think it’s a great phenomenal idea.
Even Jim Brown thought that with a couple months of training he could fight Muhammad Ali. Why is it that football players have this idea that hey, if I’m good at football I can be just as good at boxing?
I think the idea of the contact was that thinking that I’m a big man. I’m aggressive. I’m powerful, that type of thing. In the football world you’d think of the defensive ends, the linebackers, the running backs, the left tackle, the guys that have the most contact on the football field would be the biggest, baddest guy in the boxing ring. Not true.
Here you are, you’re talking to a quarterback who usually takes all the damage and they always want to put a yellow jersey or a pink jersey on during practice and don’t touch the quarterback type of deal. The tables are turned and I’m actually the aggressor and I’m the knockout puncher now.
The guys in the football world believe that because they can hit somebody with their shoulder or they can make the big tackle that they can throw some gloves on and throw their lives in the ring. It’s a different story man.
And like Mike Tyson said it best. Everybody has a game plan so they get punched in the mouth.
When you were quarterbacking at Northern Colorado, if you had gotten some feedback from
NFL people that you might have been a draftee in the top three rounds, would you have even entertained Mr. King’s offer to go into boxing?
No, not at all. Actually that was be the scenario. I was actually pursuing the NFL. Things didn’t pan out the way I wanted them to. And it turned out that Michael King was still there when the NFL door closed so that’s why I began to venture into the boxing world.
To tell you the truth, I actually started boxing to stay in shape for football camps but soon those doors closed and boxing was the only thing I had. And I’m grateful for it now. God’s put boxing into my life and it’s been a blessing in disguise.
Did you ever doubt you would get back into the title picture and what does it mean now to get another chance at the heavyweight title?
Yes, going into depression sometimes and things like that. I’m a pretty positive, optimistic type of guy. My way of bouncing back from that title shot against Joshua was to study the film day in and day out.
I watched it round after round, minute after minute. I watched it in silence. I watched it with people. I watched it without people. And I guess I can say that the quarterback background in me kind of studying. And I wanted to see everything that I did wrong.
I didn’t want to see anything I did right because I understood there were things that were done right but there were a lot more things that were done wrong. I wanted to capitalize on my mistakes.
That’s what I did at the time. Me and my trainer Manny Robles went back to California and kind of restructured my boxing skills and they grew. And lucky enough that we were fortunate enough to have three big KO wins and here we are back again fighting for the world title.
I’m looking forward. I learned a lot more from that one loss than I learned from all my wins in my whole boxing career and amateur career. So that one lifetime experience in the summer of 2016 against Joshua was a lot bigger for my boxing career than anything could have been.
Do you see the incident that happened with Wilder as motivation right now or do you want to get beyond that so you’ll be able to fight as clearly as possible when you face Wilder on the 18th?
It’s been the biggest motivational tool in this last camp. It’s the one thing that gets me up early in the morning to run. It’s the thing that gets me through the 10th and 11th and 12th round of sparring. It’s the idea of I want to achieve and stay focused.
It’s definitely been a huge motivator for camp. I think I’m going to close here pretty soon, the week of the fight. It’s more or less going to be the mental idea that I’m going into a heavyweight title fight to perform my best, to fulfill my best.
I’m not going to take any of that emotion or craziness into the fight because if you do that you’ve already lost the battle.
Okay, great. That’s our last question for you Dominic. We really appreciate you taking the time as you finish up your training today to be on this call. Dominic, any last words?
Thank you Kelly. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate you all having me. I’m looking forward to having an explosive firework night on May 18. The fight week is going to be great.
I’m feeling great. Looking forward to travelling and can’t wait to get started Saturday night.
At this time, I want to introduce everybody to the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, none other than Deontay Wilder.
He is 40 and 0 with one draw and he has 39 knockouts. Representing his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he’ll be looking to make the ninth defense of his heavyweight title that he won back in January 2015.
In 2018 he had two of the most exciting and memorable fights of the year. He defeated then unbeaten Luis Ortiz in March knocking him out in the tenth round of a back and forth war.
Then in December he dropped Tyson Fury twice, including in the 12th round of their clash that eventually ended in a split draw. This Saturday, May 18 he will be defending his title for the fourth time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and he has had knockouts in all three of his previous defenses there.
Also joining him on the line is Shelly Finkel, for any questions you might have for him. I’d like to introduce none other than the Heavyweight Champ of the World, Deontay Wilder to make his opening comments before we open it up to the press.
Hello guys. How you guys doing? Thank you guys for coming along. What can I say that I haven’t already said? I’m excited about May 18. It’s been a long camp. It’s been a hard camp. It’s also been a fun camp. Very interesting as well too.
I broke myself back down to the basics and I’ve invested in myself more than I’ve ever done in my career thus far. It’s crazy this opponent has allowed me to break myself down and get back to the basics because I’ve already stated what I want to do.
I’m going to do what I said I was going to do just like I do all the time. With this particular fight I’m going to make sure I do it in the worst way possible.
That’s why I decided to break myself down and I decided to invest in myself so I make sure I do exactly what I said that I would do in intense fashion, in a painful way and on an elite level. So I’d like to welcome Breazeale to the elite level.
He’s never been in this level before. He thought he did with Joshua but Deontay Wilder is a whole different beast. I come with a whole different mindset. And we already know that I come with the right hand from hell.
Can you maybe tell us some of the things that you did in camp that were different from before?
Well like I said, I’ll start with a simple thing. I started back jump-roping. I started back doing a lot of speed bags, a lot of different things on the heavy bags.
Most of the time my camps, there’s sparring with the mitts and that’s through all of them. If you go into other camps you’ll see them hitting everything in the gym but not hard. I get away with so much because I know my true ability and my training. A lot of these guys, they only look for one particular thing and that’s the right hand. That’s where they go wrong because I have so many different attributes about myself.
I’m athletic. I’m agile. I’m mobile. I’m hostile. I’ve got the heart of a lion. I am a king. I’ve purchased a lot of different equipment to enhance my body and to perform, like a Jacuzzi and strength training equipment.
I’ve got the top of the line Jacuzzi for therapy, different things like that. My home, in my basement I attempted to put a full gym, a personal gym, a real nice one. And it’s been amazing. 24 hours of training.
I had got to the point where I had to stop training so hard. My doctor advised me not to train so hard because it always kept me up. I went off to the gym and then I’d come home. And then when you have a gym at the house it’s like and you’ve got a fight coming up, it’s non-stop thinking.
So if you’re thinking about the fight, your body is going to react and so you go downstairs and start working out or start hitting the bag or start doing a lot of things. I’ve got massage table here and I’ve got a lot of different things here that I never thought about doing before.
But now, like I said, I want to bring the pain. I want to do so much damage to this guy that he’s allowed me to invest in myself, something I should have done a long time ago. But it’s never too late for new things and for me it just relit my career.
It relit the interest in boxing. I’ve been through so much in this sport ups and downs. And it took all this time. It took this motivation right here. It’s paid off outside of the ring
Everything I say I mean. And I do what I say. And that’s what makes me who I am. I’m the realest champion in the business and that’s where I am at this point.
Deontay, what convinced you to make these changes? Is there any one thing that made you do that or is it a combination of things?
I owe it all to Breazeale. I owe it all to him.
Like I said, I’m coming to bring the pain. If you don’t understand that, you’ll see. My actions speak louder than my words. I’m not one of these guys that just talks just to hear myself talk or who’s cloud chasing or just to say some stuff, because I am who I am.
I don’t waste my time. I’ve always been like that. This hasn’t just started because I’ve gotten into boxing. I became a champion.
Anyone that’s grown with me, anyone that’s been around me will tell you when Deontay’s speaking and saying something, even my managers and my trainers, they all will tell you when this guy speaks he means it. He don’t say nothing just to say it. Like he really means it.
And the thing is that when I’m outside of this ring, a man comes to my city and starts chaos like that and then telling a bogus story, try to sell sympathy and wants people to show sympathy and remorse. I don’t like that.
I don’t like that at all. He’s like one of these guys that will come into your establishment and waste water on the floor and slip on it just to sue you. What goes around comes around.
This May 18, it will be my time. It’s punishment time. It’s judgement time. And I am the judge.
You’ve long been a critic of the epidemic of PED’s in boxing. It obviously came to the forefront with this Jarrell Miller and Anthony Joshua situation. What went through your mind when you see a guy fail three tests?
Where do I start with it? I’ve always told people about Jarrell Miller. I’ve always said certain things. I know a lot of things about a lot of fighters, because I know the people that I’ve fought.
Like they tell me, the doctors tell me. They’re not my friend. I’m just here for the business. And that sounds about right. I give out subliminal messages. I’m not a rat. I don’t go around and call names out and stuff. But I’ve been saying a lot of things.
One particular time I said something about Jarrell Miller. I said, you better stop doing this, this and this. Somebody put out the video before. Finally, when things happened, people were saying, hey Wilder’s been saying that.
Yes, I’ve been saying that. Why can’t you believe me in the first place? I’m one of these types of people that people don’t believe things I say happened, which is okay because it’s too late.
Another thing about the situation. There’s so many things you can say about the situation. I’m just tired of talking about it so I’ll leave it as this. I’m always talking about what can happen in the ring. This sport, you know, killing a man in the ring.
This boxing is so dangerous, so brutal. When you get these guys on these PEDs and stuff like that, this is what they’re going to do.
Like I’m natural. I’m natural so I feel like I have the right to speak my peace because I am the one that’s entering the ring. I am the one and my opponent’s the one that’s risking their life.
But when you’re getting guys that are doing PEDs and asking their bodies to do things they’re not supposed to do – no one really just criticizes. Even with the organizations, when is there going to be a time when somebody puts their foot down and shows somebody?
There’s so much stuff you can say with that man. Like I said, it is what it is. It’s a brutal sport that we’re in and I love it. I love it. I signed up so I’ve got to suffer the consequences and deal with everything that comes behind it and I’m here.
Dominic said that he doesn’t think anybody would agree with me that you’ve become a pretty good world champion. What are your thoughts on that?
I mean that was what every opponent I’ve faced has said. Every one of them. If it’s been ten years, then for ten years they’ve been spewing the same thing for ten years – what have I been doing?
I’m still here. I’m still a champion. It’s different when you get in the ring with me then. Any guy that has gotten in the ring with me or that gets in the ring with me – when I say gets in the ring I mean a sparring partner.
The guys that have gotten in the ring with me, being future opponents, they will tell you, this man is not what you think he is. But it’s good that people think that way.
People are simple minded, people like him think that way because when you enter into that ring and you feel that first blow, you know that you’re in for a fight. My mindset is different. My mindset is so big that a spaceship can fit in it.
I am here for the long run. This is not a short run for me. I’m here for a generational one. I’m betting on myself. I’m taking control of my career in my own hands because I am the talent. I know what I possess. A lot of these guys wish they had what I have. That’s just an easy way to cop out. For ten years this is what he’s been doing with his right hand.
We’re going to find out and it’s not going to be long now either. He’s going to find out. So he’s going to realize that he’s never been in a ring with a guy like myself. He’s fought for the world title before and it seemed like he didn’t belong there in the first place.
Now he’s in there with a real killer. A real one who speaks that speaks his peace and I mean what I say. Nobody’s going to stop me. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and come the 18th he’s going to find out.
This guy is very nervous. I know everything that he wants to do. I know it all. And he should be nervous because I don’t mean no good for him. All bad intentions. If you’re a first time viewer of boxing, I don’t know, it depends on how you feel about seeing a body on the ground or seeing blood on somebody. You’re going to be in for a treat.
I hope you stick around for the next one and the next one to come because I’m the most exciting heavyweight in the business, period. Period. There’s no one that’s more exciting that brings the pain and that brings the drama as I. And I can speak it.
A lot of you guys, you know who want to be kind and soft and want to be politically correct and want to talk tough. No, I’ll tell you what I feel in the moment of time. I feel the energy in the room. I feel the energy in myself and I release that.
I tell you how it is and when the time comes for me to display that I do that as well and I do it in a great fashion.
Is there any kind of competition within you to want to show the boxing public or the fans that you Joshua and Fury are all fighting within a 30 day period roughly and you want to be the one to show as the best performance of those three to sort of let people continue to gauge you against each other?
I never even thought about that. Nor will I think about it after this conversation because I know what I possess. I know who I am and as you can see, I’m the most exciting out of all of those guys.
These guys don’t bring the excitement that I bring. Tyson Fury’s the most boring one of all or of us. So I think I just continue to do what I do and do what I do best and that’s knock these guys out silly. I’m not in competition with none of them.
They’re great guys. They’re great fighters themselves and I expect them to be themselves. Don’t add no pressure onto it. Do what you all do. And Deontay Wilder’s going to do what he does.
How do you explain to the public why those fights are not happening at the moment?
Well it’s simple. If they took the time and took a deep breath and sat back and reflected on their past and what has happened there. I know we’re in the present right now and the future’s bright as well too.
But if you look back in the past and sit back and see what Deontay has already tried to do to him and his team has tried to do, let’s start out with Fury first. With Fury since Fury felt like everyone got that perspective of him beating me from the commentary.
When you get new people come in, they don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t’ know what’s going on so they’re going to look for the so-called experts of the sport and listen to them.
So let’s start from there. They carry away with that. So if I’m a fighter and I’m thinking, hey, I beat his ass, my first reaction is, I want an immediate rematch. I feel like they got that wrong.
You want an immediate reaction rematch because you know the second rematch ain’t nothing. That’s going to be simple. It’s going to be easy.
So what we did – I said, hey, I know what I did. I whipped your ass. I was more aggressive. I want to understand, what was the main highlight of the fight the whole night? I think we all can answer that. It’s Fury being knocked on his ass and getting back up. That was the whole highlight of the whole fight.
So in essence, I’m saying, hey, I won so I want a rematch. As a champion instead of moving forward I want to give you this rematch because I want to bless you. So what did he do? So if you’re a guy that knows that you’re beating me with a wild margin, you immediately take that rematch.
You don’t run or get other fighters. You immediately take that. Fury knows. I gave him a concussion. When you get a man that doesn’t understand how he got on the ground nor how he got up, his brain has been shocked. He don’t want that fight no more.
He don’t want to get in no more. As as a fighter we must promote ourselves. We must carry this type of ego like I’m the man and I did this and that because we don’t want people to look on us as punks or somebody’s that scared.
Because you’re a fighter. You’re not supposed to be scared. Well we’re human beings as well too. So if he’s on his side he knows the real reason. That’s why he’s fighting another guy. That’s why he had the contract in his face for five days to a week.
Then ESPN came along and all of them. He didn’t want that fight or I wouldn’t have had to fight my mandatory. I would have gone straight to Fury and then with Breazeale.
With Joshua it’s easy. Four months we tried. Four different occasions. Maybe five different occasions. 12.5, 15 flat fee. He said, I want 50/50. We gave that to him. Well, no, my country deserves for me to fight here so I’m going to fight here.
So he didn’t want to fight on his own so they had to step in and make the fight and then they had to come back and apologize because they weren’t prepared for us. That’s what – four or five times we tried to make the fight? Now they cry because they don’t have nowhere to do.
Go back and study it. Go back and see, who really is the king of the division? Who really tried to make these fights? Then when you come back you’ll find yourself in a better place and you’ll come with peace with yourself.
The PR people sent this out and I found it to be very interesting. The fight that you’re going to have against Breazeale is going to be your ninth title defense. You’re starting to edge into historical names on the list of heavyweights that have made that many defenses, if you’re successful against Breazeale.
Nin is how many defenses Muhammad Ali made the first time he was champion. It’s the number of title defenses that Mike Tyson made in his first famous title reign. And it’s the number of title defenses that Lennox Lewis made in his second championship reign which was obviously when he was at his very best.
What would it mean to you to sort of put yourself in that list of guys to get to the ninth title defense in the heavyweight division?
It means a lot. I means a great deal to me. It means a lot to accomplish that. It means that I’ve proved so many people wrong and still to this day I’m proving people wrong.
It’s going to be a great accomplishment not only in the past – so many great fighters that came before me but to continue to go forward to be the number one guy. I’ve still got a long way to go to do what I want to do in this sport.
I will accomplish everything I set forth to do. I’m an amazing fighter. I’m an amazing talent and I’ve got an amazing team behind me. And with that combination man, the sky’s the limit.
I feel like this fight is a little more personal to you than maybe some of your past fights, do you agree?
Oh, most definitely. Oh man and that’s not a laugh of joy. That’s an evil laugh. In an evil scene, the evil man’s got to laugh. That’s my evil laugh.
I think this is the most excited I’ve been and the most I wanted to hurt a man since 2015 with Bermane Stiverne. And we all know what happened to him. And the second time was just playing around with him.
With this one right here, the story that comes behind it, people have got to understand when you’re dealing with Deontay Wilder, I’m passionate about what I say. I’m passionate about what I do.
Dominic Breazeale better display himself on that night, because I put him on my card. He didn’t have to be on my card. But you come to my hometown and cause this mess? And like I said before you want to start this drama and act like you were the victim and your wife was the victim? He’s an opportunist and I don’t’ like that.
So I needed this boost as a champion of the division, I needed this boost. Like I said, I never thought of investing in myself the way I’ve done. To be a champion and get away with so many different things, man it’s been crazy.
But now I’ve turned every stone over man. This is the most precise camp that I’ve ever had, in my entire life. I feel it tops all camps and I needed this re-ignition in my life. I needed this extra boost because I will do what I say I’m going to do and that night I’m damn well going to try. I guarantee you that.
Was it frustrating for you to kind of have to reset yourself and now think about preparing for other opponents that are going to be wanting to fight you starting with Dominic Breazeale?
No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t hard for me. You’ve got to look at what I’ve been through. I keep talking about the past. You’ve got to see what I’ve been through with different guys disappointing me.
Failing drug tests. Making me lose out on a lot of money. And stuff like that. So I understand the business of boxing and I know that if you have something in place one minute, the next minute it could be gone just like that.
Once you go through this cycle and you go through it over and over again, you try to get the understanding, a better understanding of fights and what’s to come. Nothing is guaranteed until you’re in that ring and that guy throws the first blow.
As we can see even when the bell rings, it doesn’t start until that first blow is thrown because we’ve got guys that will get out of the damn ring at the time the bell rings.
So things like that have prepared me. I understand as a fighter why he made that decision. I hurt Tyson Fury very badly. I gave him a crushing.
Like I said, the man had memory loss and that’s not healthy. That’s not healthy for you and as a man, as a man with a family, hey, if you need a warm-up, a tune-up to see if your marbles are back in place, go do that. Take as many more months as you need.
We understand. He said he got three more fights and then be out of here. We all know why he’s going to be out of here because one of those fights leads up to me. And I’m going to finish it. I’m going to finish the job.
So I understand it all. I have a guy there that can’t understand things. Even in everyday life there’s someone going through something. I try. My mind, like I said is so big and spacious so when you are describing something and telling me something I try to take my mind in a virtual reality and put myself in your position.
I try to look at every aspect possible and try to go and understand. So I understand why he made that decision. I understand it all. And it’s healthy that I want the best Fury when that time comes, just like I want with all these guys.
Because I don’t want no excuses. I’m the only fighter that can come in with damaged arms and body mashed and still knock you out because I am blessed. My grandma said I was anointed by God. And she was so right.
I’m just wondering if you’ll talk about this topic of betting on yourself and what the plan is on your career to maximize the value you can get out of it?
Yes, most definitely. Like I said, if anybody’s going to take my career, it’s going to be myself. I understand we used to have a promoter and what comes in the contract with having a promoter.
But when you get to a certain point and you know you’re the talent and they’re coming to see your talent. And if you have the opportunity, why not take a chance on yourself?
Why not bet on yourself and I have a smart team that educated me and guided me through. No matter what people say about certain people, I have a wonderful team.
Me and Shelly and Jay Deas, we started together. We’re going to end together. And when we brought Al along, even more it made me and my team strong.
So who I’m with now? It’s who I’m going to end with. And they guided me all the way through. They’re going to make sure that not only do I go in history but they go in history as well as a team and it’s a blessing to have such a strong team in a business that’s so dirty.
That’s why I bet on myself. I have everything established and set for myself. My own promotion. And we’re looking forward to doing great things.
We’re very serious in the promotion. I know a lot of guys, oh, I’ve got a promotion coming up. Well that sounds good but what do you really want to do with it? And I’m in it for the long run.
I think I have the talent and ability to display myself in a way that can bring excitement in a way I’ve already done but the next step is to cement outside of the ring.
I think I’m going to be able to promote fighters and be able to talk about them and not talk about myself and be able to really promote fighters and bring the next Deontay Wilder or the next whoever they want to be.
I always say, even as I tell my brother I don’t want you to be just like me. I want you to be better than me. I’m the type of person that even if you do better than me, I’m happy for you.
And a lot of people are not like that because some people you do get equal to them or higher than them. That’s when the jealousy and envy come. I’m not that type of person.
My heart is of gold. I’m a provider and protector. And I love to see people do great even if it’s better than I.
Deontay is willing to take the risk both in taking low money and he’s willing to walk away. One of the most powerful words in the world is no and he is strong enough to say no and believe in himself that whatever he said no to now would be worth a lot more later.
So far that has proven through and I don’t see any reason it won’t be going forward. He’s a very, very strong human, not physically but mentally. And when you’re with him, you’re with him and he’s with you. There’s nothing better.
People have tried to break us up. His strength of who he is, means he knows who was there for him whether it be Jay or Al or myself. And that’s who he sticks with. I’m just very proud of him and proud to be part of his team.
What I’d like to do is ask Deontay if he has final thoughts before we hang up. And we look forward to seeing you next week in Brooklyn for Fight Week. Deontay?
May 18 is the time. I think everyone is being patient with this little thing that we have going on in the heavyweight division.
Just look at it and consider this – the excitement is back in the heavyweight division. The fire is lit. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my career because of everything that’s going on with it.
So I ask people just to be patient. And with patience comes time. And you’ve got to be able to even both out, patience and time, because they all work together.
You’re going to get the main fight that you guys want to see. The great thing about it is that we’re all still in discussion. I can understand if it was a closed door and we’re not having no discussion with nobody. Then it would be something that really would be a laid out or drawn out thing.
But everyone is still in discussion and talking and it’s just going to take a little time but I just tell people, the fans of boxing, people that’s coming in boxing, everyone just to have patience. The big fights are going to happen.
You know that when the big fights happen, you know that Deontay Wilder’s involved in it because most of these guys they live by the motto of less risk with high rewards.
But we know that I’ve taken high risks with low rewards. We’ve gotten smarter. We’ve proven ourselves. And we’re doing our own thing. Like I said, we’re betting on ourselves and when I bet on myself, you’re going to get great response.
You’re going to get great shows out of me. And I’m looking forward to May 18. So I’ll see you guys there and I’m looking forward to you guys. And I also want to announce my new clothing line. I got it coming out that will be sold online. You can look out for that. That way you can get your gear and are ready for May 18 and support me.
TGB Promotions President Tom Brown Discusses the Heavyweight Landscape
By: Hans Themistode
The Heavyweight division is about to heat up in the next few weeks. Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) will make his Heavyweight debut when he takes on Carlos Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs). Unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time as he battles against once beaten Andy Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs). The “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury also takes his undefeated record and Lineal crown on the line when he takes on the obscure Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in Las Vegas. All of these men will be fighting in close proximity to one anther, and will be looking to make a statement.
Before any of these fighters step into the ring however, WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will grace the ring first as he takes on Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) in what is certain to be a barn burner of a fight.
With so many intriguing matchups taking place in the Heavyweight division, who better to ask on their opinion of the Heavyweight landscape than TGB Promotions President Tom Brown. He gave us his thoughts on several of the top names in the Heavyweight division.
The reign of Wilder began in 2015, since then he has continued to dominate his opposition. Outside of a draw against Tyson Fury, Wilder has stopped every opponent he has stepped inside of the ring with. He has been a world champion for over four years which marks him as the longest current world champion.
His level of dominance has lead many to believe that he is in fact the best Heavyweight in the world. Count Tom Brown as one of those that believe’s the Tuscaloosa native is indeed the best Heavyweight fighter out there today.
“I think Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world. He’s a great fighter and I believe he is the best.”
Brown’s thoughts are shared by many. The Heavyweight division is known for its big men with explosive power. Any fighter in the division can end a fight with one punch. Wilder’s power seems to boarder around a freakish level.
His adversary come May 18th, Dominic Breazeale, has only tasted defeat once. He has collected wins against solid opposition such as Carlos Negron, Eric Molina and Amir Mansour. Still, Breazeale is considered a long shot to defeat Wilder come fight night. Brown on the other hand doesn’t agree with that opinion.
“Breazeale is a terrific fighter. He’s only lost once and that was to Anthony Joshua who is another great fighter. People have to remember that Breazeale didn’t start boxing until he was 23 years old. He was good enough to make the 2012 olympic team. Do people understand how difficult it is to make that team? Especially without much amateur experience. He’s only going to get better and he’s going to give Wilder a very good fight come May 18th.”
Wilder vs Breazeale has all the makings of a great fight. These two also have a heated history outside of the ring which is sure to add fuel to the fire. As mentioned previously, many of the top Heavyweights are slated to enter the ring soon after Wilder.
Former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will be looking to make a statement as he enters the ring one week after Wilder.
“I think Usyk is unbelievable. He’s always impressed me, I think very highly of him. I think he’ll be a threat to anyone in the division because he’s so talented.”
Usyk, is on many if not all pound for pound lists. His introduction in to the Heavyweight division will make it an interesting one. He dominated the Cruiserweight division but will he able to do the same as he forays into the land of the big men is a question he must answer.
One fighter who will have his own questions to answer is Anthony Joshua. The unified champion won’t have a soft touch for his U.S. debut as his opponent Andy Ruiz, is as talented as they come.
“I think Joshua has a really tough fight ahead of him against Andy Ruiz. He has really fast hands, very skilled and the heart of a real warrior. I give him a real chance in that fight.”
As for how exactly Brown would go about ranking all of the Heavyweight’s he made sure to not mince words.
“Listen all of these fighters are great but I really believe that Deontay Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world.”
It’s hard to argue with the sentiments spewed by Brown. However, with the big men all stepping inside the ring in short order, they can all stake their claim as the best in the world very soon.
Allen Stops Browne With a Vicious Body Shot
By: Ste Rowen
Adding flames to the already burning rebirth of his career, Dave ‘The White Rhino’ Allen of Doncaster stopped former WBA ‘Regular’ titlist, Lucas Browne inside three rounds at London’s O2 Arena, with a beauty of a body shot and ensured the proclaimed ‘People’s Champion’ would be staying very much in the minds of British fans.
The ‘White Rhino’ has consistently told people that he’s a much better box than it seems, and that was the attitude he started the fight with, standing behind a steady jab with the occasional, wayward overhand thrown in. Browne, dressed in all black was much more accurate with his punches in the 2nd, mainly his right hands, punishing the home crowd favourite when given the opportunity.
A lean looking Allen was trying to time his shots for the finisher and then, in the middle of the third round, the Doncaster native landed a perfect left hook body shot that dropped the Australian, and ensured the fight was won early.
A jubilant Dave Allen, now 17-4-2 (14KOs) spoke immediately after,
‘‘I had to win, it’s all well and good telling your grandkids you headlined the O2 but when they ask ‘Did you win?’ I needed to win. But I’m greedy. I want more.
He (Browne) is a very good boxer but I knew he’d slow down. Everyone I box I beat…Mick Marsden and Darren Barker will take me as far as I can go, how far is that? I don’t know.
David Price, Dereck Chisora, who knows?…99.9% of people have fallen in love with me. I got into boxing to make my dad proud.’’
The feel-good mood was palpable as soon as Allen stepped out of the ring and considering how underwhelming the full fight card was, the ‘White Rhino’ winning, and in that fashion, seemed to make up for it.
Also on the card…
In dominant fashion, Dereck Chisora dealt with Senad Gashi with a 10-round unanimous decision, but it was a disappointing event from beginning to end. The German looked to survive rather than fight for the whole bout. Chisora followed his foe around the ring for the duration, struggling to cut Senad off and end the fight.
The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds and in not one round did it seem like the away fighter would do, literally, anything. Gashi said pre-fight that he’d visualised this fight ten times; nine times he won, one time he was disqualified but there was a serious lack of passion and fight as the bout drew on. Final scorecards were 100-90, 100-91, 99-91 all for Chisora. Gashi never looked like a threat, ‘Del-Boy’ never looked like he had the knockout blow. A disappointing co-main to say the least.
Josh Kelly scored three knockdowns en route to a whitewash victory over the previously unbeaten Przemyslaw Rusnowski. Kelly now improves his record to 9-0 (6KOs)
Lightweight, Joe Cordina claimed the British Lonsdale belt to add to his Commonwealth strap, with an impressive 6th round stoppage of Andy Townend. Cordina, now 9-0 (7KOs) dropped Townend three times before the referee called an end to the bout.
Joshua, Wilder and Fury – Make Greatness Happen
By: Aziel Karthak
Mayweather–Margarito. Jones Jr.–Benn. Bowe–Lewis. Leonard–Pryor. These are fights that could and should have happened but never materialized.
Mayweather–Pacquiao. De La Hoya–Pacquaio. Lewis–Tyson. Tyson–Holyfield. Ali–Holmes. These are fights that did take place but with one or both fighters past their peak.
Which category will potential fights among Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury inhabit? Real boxing fans will hope that they find a place in a third group, graced by Ali, Frazier and Foreman in the 1970s and Leonard, Hearns, Duran, and Hagler a decade later; one where the best fight the best at or near their fighting primes.
Further, the three most accomplished modern heavyweights have the rare opportunity to unify the belts and bring some order to what is presently a circus. Let this sink in: 70 years ago, the sport had one champion each for its nine weight classes. Today, there are 17 divisions and the four major governing bodies have, between them, over 50 belt holders.
In a way, it is out of the fighters’ hands. Promoters rule. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. There are millions at stake and you’d not want your champion to take a loss against a competitor’s marquee fighter. Also, the reasoning is that the more you stall a potential great fight, the greater the demand and the monetary fruits when it finally happens. Not ideal for the sport, but it is what it is.
Still, we hold on to hope of what can be.
When the dust settled on Wilder vs Fury last December, the heavyweight landscape never looked rosier. The possibilities were endless – they could rematch or one of Wilder or Fury could take on Joshua with other to fight the winner. Why were we dreaming? As things stand today, Wilder has a fight lined up with Dominic Breazeale on May 18, Joshua fights Jarrell Miller two weeks later, and a further fortnight away is Fury’s date with Tom Schwarz. This road is fraught with pitfalls though. There are few other sports where the favorite is as vulnerable as he is in boxing. And no chin is infallible. An upset or upsets is not inconceivable. What then?
We’ll all be back to the carousel. Warren, Hearn and Finkel will take the platform and throw practiced rhetoric at the fans, trying to convince us that those were just blips to better days, which will never come. They will do so without fear of a backlash. Besides being the most short-changed audience in sports, the boxing fanbase is, alas, also among the most easily manipulated.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Carlos Takam: Can Usyk Make it as a Heavyweight?
By: Waqas Ali
Former unified world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will be making his first debut as a heavyweight against Carlos Takam on May 25th at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA.
The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
The 32-year-old Ukrainian fighter achieved stardom in the cruiserweight division – holding the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF and the Ring Magazine titles simultaneously.
Without a doubt, Usyk is one of the best talents in boxing today and brings a variety of skills, styles and techniques that really cluster the meat of his talent.
He is praised by boxing writers, historians and hardcore boxing fans.
He currently boasts a record of 16 wins with 12 KOs.
His last fight was against Briton Tony Bellew in November 2018 whom he knocked out in round eight in front 20,000 fans at the Manchester arena.
Usyk does not deny the challenge and wants to aim high in order to achieve greatness in the heavyweight division.
“It’s a tough first fight,” said Usyk.
“But I need to test myself against world-class opposition on my new road to undisputed.”
His opponent Takam (36-5-1) has competitive opponents in the past such as Tony Thompson, Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora and hard-hitting, Anthony Joshua.
Takam took Joshua to ten rounds with good shots thrown at him but lost in the end.
However, in regards to Usyk facing him in May, Takam feels highly motivated for the opportunity.
“I can promise that this will be a great fight and I will provide Usyk with a huge test on his heavyweight debut,” he said.
“I have huge ambitions of my own in the division and this fight will provide me with the chance to prove that.”
But can Usyk, a former Olympic champion and former undisputed champion succeed in a division that is known more for power and will than skill and mindset?
One must keep in mind that Usyk had actually fought in the heavyweight division previously as an amateur.
In 2013, Usyk defeated future Olympic Silver medallist Joe Joyce in a five-round battle without the use of handguards at the World Series of Boxing event.
He used his straight left hand to win points and provided exchanges too. As a cruiserweight, Usyk is known for his high activity level and astonishing footwork.
There was little activity rate in the bout with Joyce and more pot-shots were executed.
Many question if Usyk’s footwork will drastically change in 200 plus division and will the speed remain against the bigger fighters.
Fighters such as Evander Holyfield and David Haye both unified the cruiserweight division. Haye won the WBA heavyweight title and defended it twice. Holyfield went on to also unify the heavyweight division.
Roy Jones Jr, one of boxing’s greatest fighters of all time went from winning titles at middleweight, light heavyweight and at heavyweight.
He became the first fighter in 106 years to go from winning a title at middleweight all to the way to heavyweight.
By the numbers, Usyk throws an astounding 41 jabs per round which is double what the average heavyweight (20) throws.
Usyk has landed 19% of his total punches to the body.
In the power punching department, Usyk throws around 28 punches and connects at a rate of 42%. While the average heavyweight throws around 24 and connects at 40%.
Usyk opponents landed 29% of their power punches which is well below the cruiserweight avg (37%).
Takam relies on the power punch. 10 of his 13 landed punches are power shots. His opponents have landed 38% of their power shots.
The numbers indicate that Usyk does lead slightly ahead than what the average heavyweight throws and lands. However, this will all depend on next how well he does against the heavyweights. The activity level could in question. Sometimes when it comes moving up in weight, the activity level can go down. Fighters like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury weigh a median of 17st 2lbs and a median height of 6 foot 7 whilst Usyk only comes in around 14 stone at 6 foot 3 inches. Even if Usyk comes in a stone up it will be a challenging and a hazardous process to take. Nobody can deny the talent that Usyk brings to the table and no doubt he has made the decision in fighting Takam in order to get a taste of the heavyweight division once again but on a professional level.
Usyk Set to Make Heavyweight Debut Against Takam
By: Sean Crose
“May 25 marks a major moment in my career when I move to the Heavyweight division,” says the16-0 Oleksandr Usyk. “At Cruiserweight I did it all and became the undisputed champion and that is my goal now in the Heavyweights.” The 32 year old Ukrainian fighter is one of the most highly regarded practitioners in the fight game, courtesy of the fact that Usyk took complete ownership of the Cruiserweight division after besting Murat Gassiev last summer in the final bout of the World Boxing Super Series. Since that time, Usyk has been expected to move up to the heavyweight, having no more worlds left to conquer in the division he dominated.
Usyk’s opening bout in the big guy’s division will go down on May 25th at Maryland’s MGM National Harbor and will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. The 36-5-1 Carlos Takam will be Usyk’s first heavyweight opponent. Having given heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua an impressive battle in 2016, Takam (who ended up losing to Joshua in the 10th round) is no one’s tune up fight.
“Usyk has achieved everything in the Cruiserweight division,” Takam says. “I am ready to welcome him to the new world of Heavyweight boxing,” said Takam. “I can promise that this will be a great fight and I will provide Usyk with a huge test on his Heavyweight debut. I have huge ambitions of my own in the division and this fight will provide me with the chance to prove that.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing appears happy with matchup. “Takam is the perfect test for the Heavyweight debut (of Usyk),” he says. “A big strong, all action fighter who will welcome Usyk into the fold with a heavy arsenal.” Yet Usyk is clearly looking beyond his respected foe.
“This is the ultimate challenge,” he says, “and it begins on May 25 against Carlos Takam. It’s a tough first fight but I need to test myself against world class opposition on my new road to undisputed.” The Heavyweight division that Usyk now aims to make his own is dominated by a series of colorful, high level fighters. Aside from Joshua, WBC champ Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury (who many consider to the be the lineal champ) tower above the division’s landscape. At 6-3, Usyk is somewhat small compared to his new peers. His skill set, however, speaks for itself.
Boxing Insider’s Boxing Beffudlements – The Heaviest Boxers of All Time’
By: Oliver McManus
Boxing Befuddlements is a new feature on Boxing Insider as we take a look at some of the anomalous extremities of the boxing world. For this, the first part, we discover some of the heaviest boxers to have ever stepped into the ring.
An obvious starting point to this exploration is with, Russian behemoth, Nikolay Valuev who officially tipped the scales over the 300lb mark on 47 occasions over the course of a 16 year career. Debuting at the age of 20, in October 1993, the heavyweight emerged as a relative road warrior throughout his early years; his first ten fights saw him encompass Germany, Russia, Australia, England, Japan and America.
In his 13th contest as a professional Valuev would weigh in at his career heaviest, all of 158kg (348lbs in traditional currency). His opponent, Alarim Usyal, weighed in at 72 kilos later and was, perhaps predictably, flattened in the second round. Future heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko would also fight on that show, recording a sixth round stoppage victory.
The Russian’s career only began to bounce into any sort of tangible rhythm with the turn of the new millenium. Crowned as the PABA heavyweight champion, Valuev would defeat Taras Bidenko (at the time in his third pro fight) and began to build some stability. Settling in Germany, in 2003, would be the catalyst for success as Valuev targeted getting himself in a position to fight for the WBA belt.
By the time such an occasion came about, the Russian had built an impregnable forty-four fight winning streak, albeit without much in way of a stiff challenge. Guided by Wilfried Sauerland for the latter part of his career, Valuev claimed the WBA championship with a controversial majority decision over, ageing, John Ruiz. At 147kg (324lbs) Valuev had secured his place as the heaviest heavyweight champion of all time. Subsequent defences came against, equally questionable, Owen Beck, Monte Barrett and Jameel McCline before Ruslan Chagaev defeated the Russian.
Having reclaimed a version of the title he would bow out with a less than glamorous, for either fighter, points loss to David Haye in 2009. The original Beast from the East had already defeated the odds having suffered with acromegaly from an early age – hence his distinctive wide-jawed look. The heaviest champion the sport has ever known but, don’t be fooled, by no means the heaviest man to step foot in a boxing ring.
Wade Bruins can lay claim to that particular honour with the Illinois resident crashing onto the scales at a gigantic 249.5kg (550lbs) for his only professional contest. The 18 year old, yes 18, had his only fight so far on February 2nd this year when he took on Alfredo Cervantes in Davenport, Iowa.
Cervantes, himself 46, had built up a record of 2-4-1 before taking on this particular bout but, bizarrely, his last fight had come just 36 days before Bruins was even born. You really couldn’t make this story up. Annoyingly there is very little information available about Bruins despite my best efforts to dig some up.
The fight itself was quite a laid back affair, fought in the spirit of an exhibition contest, with Cervantes punching upwards in a relaxed fashion. Bruins, the significantly taller man, resembled a less-muscular Eddie Hall (World Strongest Man, 2017) and possessed a quite spectacular chinstrap of a beard.
Indeed the contest was to raise awareness and money for brain cancer with Cervantes’ wife having been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. A worthy cause that provided a surreal four rounds of boxing.
If we begin to add some rules into this, in an attempt to avoid flukes, and stipulate that the boxers in question must have had more than one professional fight then Frank Finnegan is the man in pole position.
Born in Elkton, Maryland in 1966 it was until Finnegan was 34 years old that he made his professional debut. Though his debut weight is officially unrecorded, Ken Hissner reported him as 210.5kg (464lbs) – 91kg (200lbs) heavier than his opponent, Josh Waters. Finnegan recorded a second round stoppage of Waters, four years the older man.
The Animal , an appropriate nickname, would find himself having to go the distance in his next fight, a rematch with Waters, in a contest that was surely a test of his stamina as much as anything. Joking aside, Finnegan’s short career came to an abrupt end less than four months after it all began.
A lonely Tuesday evening in a now-abandoned Kahunaville Night Club – a venue that had seen Bob Dylan, Green Day and Hall and Oates pass through their doors – housed a mere splattering of people as Finnegan edged his way past, debutant, Brian Aro. A majority decision over four rounds with Finnegan weighing in at a career-high 211kg (465lbs).
He retired thereafter in a bid to shed some of that weight although no-one is sure just how he fared with that mission – Finnegan opted to step away from his fifteen minutes of fame. Aged 49 he passed away, on January 21st 2016, having suffered from an apparent heart attack.
Eric Esch is a name etched, or should I say esched, in the memory of many a fight fan having made his mark across a plethora of combat sports. A kickboxer and mixed martial artist between 2003 and 2011, Butterbean , as he is known in legacy, had 91 professional boxing contest with 77 victories – 58 of those coming by way of knockout.
Regularly weighing in between 136kg (300lbs) and 145kg (320lbs), Esch’s weight ballooned as he reached the tail end of his career, his stature was always imposing despite being just 5ft 11 inches. Never with any misconceptions as to his ability, boxing was more about the love and enjoyment as opposed to achieving materialistic glory – the affection afforded to him is one that resonated across the world.
The majority of his contests took place over the course of four rounds, aside from when Esch was brought in as an “away opponent”, and entertainment was always guaranteed with Butterbean in the ring. Perhaps the oddest honour of his career came when he took on, former world champion, Larry Holmes in 2002 – Holmes, 53 at the time, was spuriously knocked down by Esch but was a comfortable victor.
My personal favourite double-heavy heavyweight, however, “Big G” Gabe Brown . The Pensacola heavyweight, who gave as good as he got in a career full of twists and turns, tipped the scales at 166.5kg (367lbs) for his first fight against Saul Montana. Lasting all of 175 seconds, Brown dropped Montana before succumbing to the power of La Cobra , himself.
This brings us nicely to the conclusion of Boxing Insider’s first ‘boxing beffudlements’, a new series designed to provide some light-reading. It really is quite a crazy sport but, as you’ve seen, it is a sport for anyone. Wade Bruin is, as it stands, the heaviest boxer of all time and it looks like he’ll take some beating – well, on the scales anyway.
Tyson Fury and the Heavyweight Alliances
By: Hans Themistode
When news broke of Tyson Fury’s (27-0-1, 19 KOs) mega deal with Top Rank worth 80 million dollars over his next five fights it sent the boxing in a frenzy. Reason being is that it was so unexpected.
Fury, who is the Lineal Heavyweight champion was thought to be in deep discussion with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) for a rematch of their 2018, December showdown. That contest saw two knockdowns and plenty of back and forth action. The match would ultimately end in a highly debated draw which had the fans wanting to see them jump back in the ring against each other once again. News of this new deal complicates matters to a certain degree.
Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account
Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and current unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) are the very best in the Heavyweight division. All three fighters are also affiliated with three separate networks that don’t exactly play nice with one another.
Wilder is associated with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, Joshua is aligned with Eddie Hearn and DAZN while Fury is now apart of Bob Arum and ESPN.
The news of Fury’s deal is even more perplexing to fans when you consider that Top Rank has no big name Heavyweights that can truly challenge him. Wilder has Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz, the undefeated Adam Kownacki and several others who can provide fun entertaining matchups for the fans. Joshua has quite a few interesting dance partners as well. Dereck Chisora, Jarrell Miller (whom he is fighting June 1st) former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, a rematch with Dillian Whyte and plenty of others can provide a stiff test for Joshua.
Fury on the other hand has a considerably shorter list. In fact it is non existent. One time title challenger Bryant Jennings would represent the best challenge to Fury from the Top Rank stable. With all due respect to Jennings but he fails to move the needle as a true title contender.
Deontay Wilder is a proven knockout artist with a ton of charisma. Anthony Joshua also has a penchant for knockouts but he also has major drawing power as well. Tyson Fury possesses all of those traits and more. He is must see television. Furys deal with Top Rank and ESPN should be applauded as he has seemingly set his family up financially for years to come but the bottom line is that fans want to see him take on the best that the division has to offer.
Both Fury and his new promoter Bob Arum have assured the public that this new alliance will not do away with their plans of hammering out a deal with Wilder to secure their much anticipated rematch. Let’s all hope that these words ring true.
If all three of these networks can somehow work together then fans can finally get there long awaited question answered.
Just who is the king of the Heavyweight division?
Wilder Believes Fury Rematch Close, Joshua Will Be Next
Deontay Wilder is expecting his rematch with Tyson Fury to be made soon, then he says he will take on Anthony Joshua.
Speaking to UK radio station Talksport Wilder said the deal for the rematch is all but confirmed. Rumours are suggesting an April 27th showdown.
“Unless Fury backs out if it, or anything of that sort of nature, it’s definitely going to happen again.” Wilder said.
“But to my understanding, as of right now, everything is good. It’s looking like maybe Vegas, maybe Barclays Centre in New York, who knows?”
A lot of UK fans had been hoping to see the rematch take place at a stadium in the UK, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Millenium Stadium had all been mentioned as possible venues however Wilder explained why the fight will take place back in the States.
“It will definitely be back here, our pay-per-view prices are just way higher than over in the UK.
“You guys pay only like $25, but we can go from $50 to $100 easy and that’s with everything!”
Moving on to Anthony Joshua, Wilder is ready to take him on if he gets past Fury, for a shot to unify the heavyweight division.
“If he is ready, I am ready,” Wilder said, “like I said, he (got to) be fair, it’s got to be right down and that is the thing about it.
“They thought they were going to be the only people and everybody has to abide by their rules and rotate around them.
“But we had to show them! I had to grab my career and I had to go and do my own thing and that’s what I’m doing ”
Heavyweight Boxing – Out of the Crossroads and Into the Light
By: Aziel Karthak
A thundering right and a follow up left from the most potent hands in boxing dropped Tyson Fury in the 12th round of the WBC heavyweight title fight in December. The die seemed cast. But the hulking Englishman rose up from the canvas, before the fat lady could belt out the first note and just after Referee Jack Reiss had counted “nine.” In a way, his astonishing recovery mirrored the revival of heavyweight boxing in recent times.
The sport overall is healthier than people give it credit. The middleweights have Canelo and Golovkin. Below them in a range of weight divisions are refulgent talents such as Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Mikey Garcia and the incredible Vasily Lomachenko. Old hands like Pacquiao are still around. Yet, it is the heavyweights, or rather DeontayWilder’s classic with Fury that was the apex of 2018.
Sometimes, we make too much of too little. Yet, it’s understandable in this case. For so long, the heavyweight division was the most important in boxing, though fans of Sugar Ray Robinson and Marvin Hagler may take umbrage. To be heavyweight champion was to be the most famous sportsman on the planet.
So, what happened in the 21st century that made the division so forgettable? Was it lack of skill? Was it lack of personality? Was it both? The Klitschko brothers were doubtless amazing, albeit robotic fighters, even if the competition around them left a lot to be desired. Alas, they did not have the fighting style or the controversy to keep the division at par with what the likes of Pacquiao and Mayweather were doing do in the lighter weights. Yet, their most damning issue was the comparison against what came before in the division.
The 1970s had Ali, Frazier and Foreman as champions and a rung below them were accomplished fighters such as Norton, Quarry and Bonevena who were capable of holding their own against anyone. Between them Ali, Frazier and Foreman fought each other a combined six times, some of them wars that are indelible marks on the game’s history. Norton himself fought Ali to three close fights, winning one in the process.
The closest decade to the 1970s in terms of genuinely skilled heavyweights at or close to their prime was the 1990s. There was Holyfield, Bowe and Lewis, with Tyson missing for a large part of the first half of the decade. The one issue with this lot was that, apart from Holyfield who fought the other three a combined seven times, the rest did not meet each other in their primes. By the time Lewis knocked out Tyson in 2002, the latter was a mere shadow of the wrecking ball that had terrorized admittedly average competition in the 1980s. (You can argue Tyson was never the same after he fired Kevin Rooney late in the decade.)
The first 15 years of the new millennium had very few memorable heavyweight fights. Lewis-Tyson was 10 years too late and Lewis–Vitali Klitschko was a case of what could have been. Then suddenly out of the blue like an Ali short right, we were blessed with the surprisingly good Joshua–Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 that provided gasoline to the flickering embers of heavyweight boxing.
The current generation has it in them to make the next few years a special time in what is historically the blue-riband division of the sweet science. For one, as Fury and Wilder showed, they are willing to fight each other. Is Joshua willing to dance with them like he did with Wladimir? Chances are, he is, but boxing promoters have always sought to protect their golden geese from the time of Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.
Joshua remains the most marketable – a good-looking and seemingly well-mannered champion, who has three of the four belts and is the youngest of the triumvirate. The matchmaking though sometimes embarrassing is understandable in this day and age. How wonderful would it be though, if his handlers just bit the bullet and put him in against any of the other two?
What’s amazing to note is that the two Englishmen and the American have never lost in the combined 91 times they’ve stepped into the ring. Also, that the division’s health is peachy is reflected by the competition immediately below them. The likes of Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz are hardly cans and have the skills and the styles to give anyone fits.
Said the immortal Rocky Marciano after besting Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight crown in 1952, “What could be better than walking down any street in any city and knowing you’re the heavyweight champion of the world?”
The answer may still be “nothing” as long as today’s promoters stay out of the way and let these warriors at each other. We shall wait and hope.
Better Chance of Joshua Fighting Fury than Wilder According to Hearn
By: Michael Kane
According to Matchroom supremo, Eddie Hearn, there is more chance of Anthony Joshua fighting Tyson Fury at Wembley in April than a fight against WBC champ Deontay Wilder.
It would seem tentative negotiations are taking place between all the interested parties, with a match up between any two of the three likely to be welcomed by fans.
As it stands the most likely fight to take place is a rematch between Wilder and Fury, with Las Vegas or New York appearing to be the favoured locations, disappointing the UK fans who had hoped for the rematch in one of the UK’s football stadiums.
Hearn however has said both Wilder and Fury have been offered the fight with Joshua.
“Well, to say Deontay Wilder’s camp has gone quiet, that’s saying it lightly,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “Probably up to six unanswered emails now.
“In fact, I sent one a couple of days ago, saying I just want to check these haven’t gone into your Spam items.
“It is frustrating because you walk out there on the street ‘When’s he going to fight Deontay Wilder?’ It’s like, whenever they want it, but sometimes the public want to believe a fighter on Instagram all day.
“If they wanted the fight, they would talk to me. They’re not even talking to us. We’ve made offers, we’ve made percentage splits. Everything we can do, to try and make that fight.
“I think right now, there’s more chance of fighting Tyson Fury. There’s a man that knows he can have this fight, if he wants it. I’ve spoken to him. He knows if he wants to fight Joshua, it can happen April 13.”
Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller are two other names that have been mentioned to face Joshua, it appears Whyte wasn’t happy with the deal offered. There has also been rumours that Anthony Joshua may not appear at Wembley in April but instead make a debut in America, most likely against Miller.
“There’s Dillian Whyte, there’s Jarrell Miller, but Joshua is back from holiday, he’s started training now, he wants to know,” said Hearn. “We’ve probably got 10 days to two weeks before we officially have to pull the trigger.
“All those guys that I’ve mentioned, particularly Wilder, Fury and Whyte – that fight is there for them.
“What I can tell you is, Dillian, I was with him this morning. He wants a great deal to fight Joshua. I don’t blame him for that. He’s been through a hard road to get where he is to No 1.
“He can wait and become mandatory at some point, but if Dillian Whyte wants to fight for the world heavyweight title on April 13, there is the opportunity for him to do so, right now.
“It’s almost like a race against time, particularly for those three, Wilder, Fury and Whyte. They’ve all had offers, they could all sign now today, and get the fight. But do they want the fight? I believe the offers, some have been made, some are about to be improved, it’s put up or shut up time.
“You want to win these four title belts, you believe you can beat Anthony Joshua, then let’s go, but everyone wants to negotiate, and rightly so.”
When Heavyweight Champions Retired with Their Titles
By: Ken Hissner
James J. “The Boilermaker” Jeffries retired as World Heavyweight Champion in August of 1904 with a 19-0-2 (16) record. He had defeated the likes of Australia’s Peter Jackson, 51-3-13, from the Virgin Islands, Ireland’s “Sailor” Tom Sharkey, 26-2-6 (twice), New Zealand’s “Ruby” Bob Fitzsimmons, 55-7-13 (twice & for the title the first time), former world champion James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, 10-2-3 (twice), and Gus Ruhlin, 27-6-3 (reversing an earlier draw).
It was only the demand from his pastor stating “we have a coward amongst us” not coming out of retirement that forced him back. He had gained over 100 lbs and hadn’t fought in a month shy of six years but came back as the “white hope” to dethrone World Champion Jack “Galveston Giant” Johnson, 52-5-11, on July 4th, 1910 in Reno, Nevada before approximately 16,528 in attendance under the blistering hot sun. Promoter and then referee Tex Rickard would halt the bout in the 15th round of a scheduled 45 rounds as Johnson retained his title.
“The Fighting Marine” Gene Tunney, took the title from Jack “The Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, 57-4-11, in September of 1926 at Philadelphia’s Sesquicentennial Stadium before a whopping 120, 557 fans in attendance. One day shy of a year Tunney repeated the win though having to come off the canvas during the “long count” in Chicago, IL. Tunney would retire after his next fight defeating New Zealand’s Tom “The Hard Rock from Down Under” Heeney, 32-8-5 on July 26th 1928, with a 65-1-1 (48) record. His lone loss and draw were with Middleweight great Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 195-10-16, prior to winning the heavyweight title. He had four more bouts with Greb going 3-0-1.
It wasn’t until Rocky “The Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano retired in September of 1955 did another heavyweight world champion retire while still champion. He won the title knocking out “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 51-16-1, in September of 1952, while behind in the fight in the 13th of a scheduled 15 rounds. He knocked out Walcott in his first defense in the first round. He defeated former World Champion Ezzard “The Cincinnati Cobra” Charles, 85-10-1, in back to back fights before ending his career coming off the canvas against Light Heavyweight Champion Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore, 149-19-8, to score a knockout in the 9th round.
The last world heavyweight champion to retire with the title was Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, the 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist Super Heavyweight for Canada, but born and now lives in London, UK. He won the world heavyweight title defeating Tony “TNT” Tucker, 48-1, in May of 1993.
Lewis would lose and regain the title in bouts with Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 24-5, and Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, 34-2. He would retire after in June of 2003 stopping on cuts Ukraine’s Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 32-1.
More Boxing History
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.