Tag Archives: Tyson Fury

Zab Judah Stops by Boxing Insider Radio to Give His Take on Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2


The crew over at Boxing Insider Radio, was gifted with a special present when former multiple division world champion and former undisputed Welterweight titlist Zab Judah stopped by. The Brooklyn, New York, native gave his take on Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2, as well as who he believes is going to come out with the victory in their third contest. 

Like always, Boxing Insider brings in yet another high profile guest to the show to share their thoughts on the boxing world. To join in on the conversation, make sure you subscribe to Boxing Insider Radio on iTunes, Spotify or on Boxinginsider.com.

When former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder was knocked out during his Heavyweight rematch against Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 22nd, it felt like the entire world stopped. Even if you believed Fury was going to win, in no way shape or form could you have anticipated the beatdown that was going to take place. 

Regardless of the outcome, the majority of the world got this one wrong. Wilder didn’t just lose, he got destroyed. The predictions of a Wilder victory via stoppage or a Fury win on points were valid, but of course, all wrong. 

If you were amongst those who believed that Wilder was going to get the job inside of the distance, don’t feel too bad. Your prediction couldn’t be nearly as bad as former undisputed Welterweight champion Zab Judah.

“I predicted that Deontay Wilder would win within three rounds by knockout,” said Judah on Boxing Insider Radio. “So I was surprised to say the least. Tyson Fury made me eat my words.” 

Even with Fury leaving him with egg on his face, the multiple division world champion isn’t changing course on the outcome for a third contest that is set to take place in July, later on this year. 

“I’m taking my last pick for the third fight, so if anybody asks me for my pick this time, just remember the pick I made last time. That’s what I believe is going to happen.”

So essentially Judah is expecting Wilder to get the job done this time around. Unlike his prediction for their second contest, Judah will be on an island all by himself. Not many are expecting Wilder to regain his championship status in the next few months. 

At the moment, oddsmakers have Fury as a -275 favorite. Meaning, to win $100, you would have to risk $275. Wilder on the other hand comes in at +235. So with a $100 bet, you could bring back $335 total. 

Zab has always been known as a bit of a gambler. His infamous Miami Beach dice game fight will live on the internet forever. 

A 20 something year old Zab Judah, made his way down to Miami Beach to enjoy himself as he served a one year suspension during the mid 2000s. What was supposed to be a night of fun, turned out to be a night of fighting and gambling, which is exactly the way Judah likes it. 

At the time, a young woman and what appeared to be her boyfriend at the time, attempted to hustle Judah out of a few thousand dollars. Let’s just say it didn’t end well for the pair. When you’re from Brooklyn, New York, you see the hustle coming a mile away. 

So yes, when it comes to gambling, Judah takes pleasure in doing it, so if given the choice, the former champ will place it all on the line in favor of Wilder. 

But before he does, he gave a bit of advice, from one former champion to another.

“Don’t think. Go in there and push two jabs in his face then throw that right hand like you’re in the strip club throwing money,” said Judah while he burst out in an uncontrollable laughter. “Fast and hard.”

Aside from handing advice on what to do inside of the ring, Judah also had a few words for Wilder in terms of what to do outside of it. 

By now, you’ve all seen it. From the moment Wilder suffered the first defeat of his career, he chose to skip over accepting the responsibility of accepting the blame for himself. Instead, he pointed his fingers square in the direction of his pre-fight outfit which reportedly weighed more than 40 pounds. Judah, like everyone else, isn’t exactly falling for it.

“I mean first off, I’m not paying $40,000 and not trying it on but that could have been a downfall. But that is the wrong excuse. He lost his undefeated record and Heavyweight title because of his 40 pound suit? Nah.”

Although Judah did critique Wilder for his pre-fight outfit choice, he went in the opposite direction in terms of the stoppage which occurred during the seventh round. During the period, Wilder was taking an absolute pounding. The reprieve for the former champion came in the form of a white towel which was thrown in by cornerman and former Welterweight titlist Mark Breland. The backlash quickly followed as many questioned Breland’s decision. 

With all due respect to those with a negative opinion for the choice that Breland made, you have no idea what you’re talking about. 

“As a fighter who had brain surgery last year due to a dirty fighter, I’m all about safety. After my brain surgery I sat down with a lot of doctors and I learned about the brain. The brain is not meant to be hit on. So every time a fighter takes a shot to the head it’s not good. So for Mark Breland to sit back and watch Deontay Wilder take numerous shots to the head and jump in to stop it, then hey you can’t blame him.”

If anyone understands the frustrations of Wilder after losing the first fight of his career, then it would be Zab Judah. 

In 2001, Judah was on top of the boxing world. He was a perfect 28-0 and held the WBA, WBC and IBF Super Lightweight world titles. He looked just about unbeatable. But then, out of seemingly nowhere, his aura of invincibility vanished into thin air. 

A 2001 contest against Kostya Tszyu looked like an easy matchup on paper for Judah. The first round played out like most of his contest as Judah dominated. The second round however, saw him get caught with a clean shot and never recover. 

The number one spot, along with his fame and money was all momentarily snatched from under him. When most fighters pick up the first loss of their careers, they either cry or sulk around in disbelief. Judah did neither, he went completely berserk.

“Man before I lost I always thought they would have to kill me before I allowed that to happen. When I lost that fight to Kostya Tszyu I went crazy. Remember I threw the chair across the ring, I wasn’t with any of that,” said Judah as he could stop himself from laughing as he recalled one of the most chaotic moments in boxing history. “No disrespect to the ref but I went after him when he stopped my fight. When he said the fight was over I said no, no, no, no, no the fight just started. Now it’s between me and you.”

Moments like the 2001 incident between Zab Judah and one of the referees is what helped make the multiple time champ an icon in the sport. He may have taken a brutal loss against Tszyu, but he managed to bounce back to not only win multiple titles in several weight classes, but also to become an undisputed Welterweight champion. So it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about bouncing back from defeat. 

With Fury holding onto both the WBC and Lineal  titles, many have him as the best in the Heavyweight division. But not Judah. He believes that another Heavyweight titlist is currently being slept on by everyone else in the division.

“Right now Joshua beats Tyson Fury. Anthony Joshua went through the worst embarrassment of his life in New York City at the hands of Andy Ruiz. He’s never going to let that happen again. So I think that loss made him a better fighter.”

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Bernard Hopkins Gives His Take On Wilder vs Fury 2 and Offers Wilder Advice


In an interview that was aired on Boxing Insider Radio, newly inducted hall of fame boxer Bernard Hopkins, sat down with the crew to give his take on Wilder vs Fury 2. He also gave his opinion on what Wilder has to do in order to win the trilogy. To tune into the conversation, make sure you subscribe to Boxing Insider Radio on iTunes, Spotify or simply head to Boxinginsider.com. Every Tuesday, some of the biggest names associated with the sport, drop by to give their take on some of the most interesting topics in the boxing world.

When it comes to big fights and the bright lights that are associated with it, not many are more familiar with that setting than former multiple division world champion Bernard Hopkins. 

In a career that stretched over four decades, it’s safe to say that Hopkins has seen and done it all. From his wins over Roy Jones Jr and Oscar De La Hoya to becoming the oldest man in boxing history to win a world title at the age of 48, Hopkins knows a thing or two when it comes to not only participating in big fights, but also winning them. 

Speaking of big fights, just a few short weeks ago, boxing was treated to one as a rematch took place between former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder took on Lineal champion Tyson Fury. 

For years, the boxing world has gotten accustomed to focusing their attention on the smaller weight classes. Hopkins, a champion in both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions, enjoyed plenty of the spotlight as well. Yet, now that the limelight has returned to boxing’s glamor division, Hopkins believes it is exactly where it should be.

“The Heavyweight division had been sort of in a coma for quite some time,” said Hopkins on Boxing Insider Radio. “Even though Fury dominated the fight, until the fight became final, there was plenty of drama and suspense. It brung the Heavyweight division back into the spotlight. It lived up to all the expectations. It was a great success based on getting boxing back into the forefront of sports.”

The hype surrounding the contest was about as high as any other contest in boxing history. And no, that isn’t hyperbole either. With both FOX and ESPN backing the promotion, it was billed as one of the biggest fights in Heavyweight history. 

By all accounts, it lived up to the hype. At least numbers wise. Fury vs Wilder 2 broke the all-time Heavyweight gate in Las Vegas, Nevada, with $16,916,440. The pay-per-view numbers were impressive as well. With nearly one million buys, it’s safe to say that the world fell into the hype. 

But in terms of the contest itself, it was a one-sided affair that lacked any real drama. Fury pummeled Wilder to the run of two knockdowns and a seventh round stoppage. That aforementioned stoppage however, came with a ton of backlash. 

Fingers of criticism were pointed in the direction of Wilder’s assistant coach Mark Breland. While many placed the blame right on his shoulders, don’t count Hopkins amongst them. Not only does Hopkins believe he did nothing wrong, but he also fully understands the game plan that Fury went into the ring with.

“I agreed with the stoppage. I thought Mark Breland did the right thing. Lemme tell you, I picked Wilder to win a decision but Fury proved a lot of people wrong. He had a game plan to put pressure and come forward. Make Wilder smother that right hand. He didn’t try to box him, he came forward and Wilder had to try to keep him off him and he couldn’t.” 

Whenever a fighter suffers defeat for the first time, particularly one with the stature of Wilder, it can be devastating. An undefeated record can become the entire identity of a fighter, so bouncing back isn’t easy. While many fighters do their best to hold onto their precious zero in the loss column, Hopkins didn’t care much about his. 

Hell, Hopkins lost the very first fight of his career anyways. But unlike most fighters who would have lost their way the moment they received their first loss, Hopkins not only rebounded from it, but he also managed to carve out a hall of fame level career as well.

Wilder, in his own right, has built up an impressive resume that could very well land him in the hall when he decides to hang up the gloves for good. So it came to the surprise of no one when he activated his rematch clause less than 24 hours after his brutal loss. 

Ambitious? Yes. 

Wise? Maybe not so much. 

Rematches are always tricky to call. Just because one fighter wins the first contest, it doesn’t exactly mean that history will repeat itself. If anyone can provide an educated guess as to how the third contest will go between them, then it’s Bernard Hopkins. 

Forget about the multiple world titles he’s won. Also cast aside his recent hall of fame induction. Simply take a look at track record in rematches. 

In 1993, Hopkins lost a lopsided decision to Roy Jones Jr, 17 years later, Hopkins cruised to lopsided win of his own. In 1994, Hopkins took on the unheralded Segundo Mercado. Surprisingly, Mercado managed to pull out a split decision draw. The next contest however, Hopkins took care of business by knockout. In 1998, Hopkins took on Robert Allen. The results? A no contest. In the very next fight, Hopkins went on to win via stoppage. Jean Pascal was yet another former champion who fell victim to Hopkins after their first contest was ruled in a draw.

So what does all of this say about Hopkins? He flat out knows how to dominate when he’s in there with a familiar face. With that being said, Wilder is no Hopkins. 

So if Wilder could is down and talk to the hall of famer, what type of advice would he give him?

“If you ask me do I think he should have exercised it now? I would say no. I would say let him fight Joshua and you fight the winner. Now you get two instead of one. I’m not surprised he took the immediate rematch because Wilder wants to get back in the mix and he wants to redeem himself, but I would have advised against it. I just think he has Wilder’s number.”

Having someone’s number happens sometimes in the sport of boxing. But that doesn’t mean Wilder can’t call up his service provider and request a number change. 

Even Bernard Hopkins dealt with fighters that seemingly had his number such as Jermain Taylor who defeated him in back to back contests in 2005.

Yet, according to Wilder, he doesn’t have a matchup problem with Fury. The former champion has been adamant that the reason behind his loss was simply his 40 pound pre-fight costume. If you are currently shaking your head at Wilder’s excuse, then you aren’t the only one.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me. But nevertheless, excuses weigh thin after the fact. You can go to any fitness group or any fitness facility and find a trainer. But a teacher? A teacher that can teach you the sweet science? Wilder didn’t have a teacher there. There is no way in the world that a teacher would let you come out with a costume that heavy and go in there and fight 12 rounds with a guy that can fight. Not only can Fury fight but he’s also 6 foot 9 and weighs 270 pounds. He’s gonna lean on you and you’re gonna go in there with all of that armor?”

“You’re not fighting with that stuff on,” continued Hopkins. “You got that armor stuff on like you’re going to be taking bullets or something. This is insane. There is just no way he should have picked out an outfit like that anyways, and it isn’t just because it weighed too much either. It just costs too much damn money.  I guarantee you that outfit costs at least six figures.”

With Wilder reportedly making more than 25 million for his fight against Fury, a measly six figure check won’t hurt his pockets too much. 

Whether Wilder chooses to wear a pre-fight outfit that weighs 100 pounds or if he simply decides to wear nothing at all, Hopkins believes that Wilder is against the best Heavyweight boxer in the world. 

“I think Fury is probably the best boxer, puncher in the Heavyweight division. He’s tall and he’s the biggest Heavyweight that I’ve seen in a long time that can move like a Cruiserweight. I think he’s the frontrunner to be the face of the Heavyweight division.” 

Difficult is one thing, but impossible is another. Hopkins here, seems to be saying the latter. The game plan is an easy one to follow for the former champ, but will he try to reinvent himself? Or revert back to his old self.

“Wilder must be first, be in position to hit and not get hit. He must use his small frame and athletic ability to make Fury miss. He must get Fury frustrated. He must do a little bit of what Fury did to him. Make Fury feel that he must win by knockout. He has to take him out of his game plan but it is going to be very, very, very difficult to do this. Especially at this stage in his career.”

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Wilder Viewed as Underdog For The First Time in His Career in Fury Trilogy


The ink has barely dried on the agreements for the third contest between former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder and newly crowned champ Tyson Fury. Yet, oddsmakers have already tabbed Fury as the early favorite. 

When Tyson Fury dropped Deontay Wilder twice and ultimately stopped him during the seventh round of their February 22nd encounter at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, many couldn’t believe what they had just seen. Wilder was a dominant champion who had become known for putting his opponents to sleep. 

Fury on the other hand, although also dominant, was thought to be much more of a pure boxer. No one could have predicted the one-sided beating that was soon going to take place. At the moment, Fury leads the scoreboard with one win to go with one draw against Wilder. But many believe that it should be 2-0 in his favor. 

Simply put, when the two met for the very first time on December 1st, 2018, hardly anyone could believe that the three judges scoring the contest ruled it a draw. 

Regardless of the outcome of their first contest, not many believed Fury had much of a chance in the sequel. According to several betting sites, going into both matchups, Wilder had the clear edge. But not anymore. 

With Wilder exercising his right to a third contest with Fury, bettors have officially turned their backs on him.  

Currently, Fury is being tabbed as the -200 favorite. Wilder, contrarily, comes in at +150. In other words, laying down $100 on Fury to win their July 18th, contest will bring you back a profit of $50, while laying $100 on Wilder will net you healthy profit of $150. 

In comparison, Wilder was a -160 favorite while Fury was a +130 the first time around. Even with Wilder getting what many believed was a questionable decision, he was still given the slightest of edges in the rematch. Most betting sites pegged him as a -130 favorite while Fury came in as a +110 underdog for their second fight. 

Now, with many believing that Fury has Wilder’s number, it is virtually impossible to find a sports book that will give the edge to the former champion for their third contest. 

For those who are wondering what are the odds of another draw happening, well, oddsmakers believe that’s a long shot to say the least. Bettors that wanted to lay down $100 on a draw taking place could bring back a cool profit of $2,500. 

Throughout the entire career of Wilder he has never gone into a contest as an underdog, no matter the opposition. With the majority of fans and the betting public counting him out, Wilder will get his chance to prove everyone wrong come July 18th.

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Wife Of Tyson Fury Wants Him to Fight Just Once More: “Beat Anthony Joshua and Then Stop”


The boxing world loves Tyson Fury. 

It isn’t simply because he is regarded as one of the best boxers on the planet. Nor is it because of his recent knockout win over Deontay Wilder. The reason why Fury is loved and adored by so many is because he was never supposed to be here in the first place. 

Back in 2015, fresh off the biggest win of his career when he dethroned then Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Fury fell into a depression. He no longer cared about his health, fitness, the sport of boxing or even his own life. Fury had become suicidal and lost. 

The battles that Fury has engaged in the ring, paled in comparison to what he was facing outside of it. 

It wasn’t an easy road for Fury, but after nearly three years, he managed to get himself back on track. In two comeback fights in 2018, Fury made his way back to the ring and secured victories in both contests. Although the name on the back of his boxing trunks said Fury, it was clear that he was far away from the man who was once considered the best that the division had to offer. 

Fast forward two years later and there is little to no doubt that Fury is the best Heavyweight fighter in the world. An emphatic win over then WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on February 22nd, 2020, has helped fuel his claim as the best. 

The options for Fury are now at an all-time high. Deontay Wilder has already activated his immediate rematch clause for a third fight, and provided he gets through that contest relatively unscathed and with the victory, there will be a long list of options for Fury and his next contest. 

Fights against Heavyweight contenders Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte and Adam Kownacki are possible. Of course there is a massive unification contest against unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on the table as well. Whatever route Fury decides to go down, it would seem as though his career is only just beginning. Or at least that was the prevailing thought. 

Fury is currently under contract with promoter Bob Arum for at least three more fights, and although he fully intends to fulfill his contractual obligations, if it was up to his wife, she would much rather have him face one more opponent and then hang up gloves for good.

“I’d like him to beat Anthony Joshua and then stop,” said Paris Fury. “He’s in the ring with supreme boxers and it is a dangerous sport. We both know the risks. I know one shot can change everything. I’d like him to take that one fight and retire undefeated. He can’t go on forever, he can’t go undefeated forever. I wouldn’t like to see him continue for too long and get hurt.”

Walking away from the sport of boxing at the relatively young of 31, would seemingly leave millions of dollars on the table. The lure of piles of cash would catch the attention of anyone, but for the Fury’s it isn’t the most important thing in the world.

“I wouldn’t like to see him lose his record chasing money or fame. He doesn’t need that. He’s already cemented his name in the history books. He’s 31 now, we’ve always been sensible with money, we’ve invested sensibly. We already have X amount in the bank. It’s a funny one, but getting any more isn’t going to change us. We have a nice, comfortable life. I don’t pay attention to these crazy figures. What are we going to do with it? He even went on at me the other day for buying some fancy cushions. He hasn’t changed and we aren’t going to change.”

With Tyson already set to take on Wilder on July 18th, at the MGM Grand, Arena once again, it seems as though his time in the sport of boxing could be over sooner than any of us would like for it to be.

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Rematch Chaos: Team Klitschko To Take Team Fury To Court


Rematch Chaos: Team Klitschko To Take Team Fury To Court
By: Sean Crose

“Some big news coming in the next few days!”

Wladimir Klitschko vs Bryant Jennings Weigh-in Wladimir Klitschko 241.6 vs. Bryant Jennings 226.8 (IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight championship) Sadam Ali 146.8 vs. Francisco Santana 146.4 Photo credit: WILL HART

So tweeted undefeated heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury this week. Yet there was some other big news that rattled the fight world, and that came from the camp of arch rival Wladimir Klitschko, who Fury is supposed to rematch this fall.

“Unfortunately,” Klitschko claimed on a twitter video, “team Fury is trying to change the terms of an already-signed contract multiple times and it is going on endlessly. To protect my own rights and eventually see the rematch, I am forced to go to court.” Add all this to the PED allegations Fury is facing at home in England and it’s clear this is a chaotic time for the man known as The Gyspy King.

In a sense, however, this almost could be seen as par for the course for the enormous Englishman. While it’s no surprise that Fury isn’t afraid to speak his mind, it was notable earlier this year how much weight the guy had gained while enjoying the fruits of his labor after reaching the peak of the heavyweight mountain. What’s more, Fury spoke of losing interest in the sport of boxing. On top of all that, the Klitschko rematch, which was set for this summer, was pushed back after Fury hurt himself in training.

Some are claiming Fury is avoiding the rematch this October. Perhaps this is true, but anyone who followed Fury’s training camp on video this spring and summer would be hard pressed to say Fury didn’t look serious. Indeed, the man took off a ton of weight in a short period of time, seemed to be working very hard and appeared to have his mind in fighting shape. Looks can be deceiving, of course, so it’s yet to be clear what exactly the problem is. Needless to say, queries directed to team Fury and team Klitschko yesterday have so far gone unanswered.

To be sure, this is a match well worth seeing go down. While it’s true, the original fight was a snooze fest for many, it remains one of the biggest upsets of recent times (though not to this author) and fans have a right to be curious as to whether or not Fury’s victory was a fluke, or if Klitschko is truly on the way down as a fighter. It may be easy to write off both men, but their formidable records – Fury is 25-0, while Klitschko is a whopping 64-4 – indicate underrated skill sets. Needless to say, it would be nice to see who the better man truly is in the ring.

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Tyson Fury Annihilates Martin Rogan with Fifth Round TKO


By Johnny Walker

Rising heavyweight contender Tyson Fury of the United Kingdom backed up his trademark brash talk today by stopping veteran Irish heavyweight Martin Rogan with a fifth round TKO at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Tyson Fury had little trouble with Martin Rogan

With the win, Fury (18-0, 13 KOs) picks up the previously vacant Irish Heavyweight championship.

Fury, who normally fights out of an orthodox stance, threw a curve-ball at Rogan right away in round one by fighting as a southpaw. The newly trim-looking Fury was content to bide his time throughout the first two rounds, seemingly getting comfortable with his new style, and Rogan took advantage by pressuring him and throwing some awkward combinations at the 6’9” giant.

Fury basically gave away the first two rounds, but when he did start to attack, it was clear that Rogan would be easily overpowered on this night.

A glancing left hook from Fury, still fighting as a southpaw, sent Rogan to the mat late in round three, and though the veteran beat the count, his momentum on this night was effectively ended.

Round four saw Rogan right the ship somewhat, though his aggression was now muted as Fury used his reach advantage to nullify Rogan’s attempts to get inside.

Fury was becoming increasingly comfortable, while Rogan was becoming increasingly desperate.

Fury had seemingly had enough of the proceedings in round five, and opened up with a stinging body attack on the challenger. A hard left hook to Rogan’s midsection saw the Irish veteran wince and go to the mat. Rogan beat the count, but his corner threw in the towel, and Fury had his victory.

Fury explained his southpaw conversion after the fight as a result of him being “ambidextrous,” and expressed great satisfaction with his physical conditioning–at 245 3/4 pounds, Fury entered the ring at his lightest weight as a professional fighter.

“I’m a world class heavyweight, I’m going to try different things,” Fury said.

“No doubt, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”

Fury, 23, had taunted the 41-year-old Rogan, calling him a “bum” in the build-up to the fight, but he was classy in defeat, attempting to lead the largely pro-Rogan Belfast crowd in a chanted salute to their fallen hometown hero.

“Rogan is a true Irish warrior,” Fury said.

As for what is next, Fury was unusually reserved.

“I’ve done a lot of talking in the past – I’m going to just let my boxing do the talking from now on,” Fury declared.

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Weights and Pictures: Tyson Fury 245 3/4; Martin Rogan 228 1/4


Heavyweights Tyson Fury and Martin Rogan weighed in at 245 3/4 and 228 1/4 respectively today ahead of Saturday’s tilt at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Fury looked soft at 257 pounds in his last fight against Canadian heavyweight champ Neven Pajkic, while Rogan was also heavier at 236 1/4 last time out in late 2010.

The weigh-in results back up each man’s contention that they have trained like never before for this Irish heavyweight battle.

Fury looking trim at the weigh-in

Rogan looking strong at the weigh-in

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Tyson Fury, Stand-Up Comic?


Rising heavyweight contender Tyson Fury of the UK tries his hand at stand-up comedy for a charity event.

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Power Shots: James “Lights Out” Toney and Tyson Fury Keep Talking


By Johnny Walker

[This is the first of what will be a regular feature of news tidbits and opinion focusing on the most abused – often unjustly, in this writer’s opinion – division in the sport of boxing]

Two true heavyweights when it comes to the art of flapping the gums have been at it again this week: veteran trash talker James “Lights Out” Toney and relative newbie Tyson Fury.

The always irascible Toney will be back in action on April 7 against bare knuckles fighting champion Bobby Gunn, who currently hails from New Jersey, but whose frequent use of the interrogative “eh?” marks him as a native Canadian.

Over the past few years, it has become more and more surreal reading Toney’s bombastic interviews in his obsequious press organ, Fighthype.com (“Hey James, are you OK? Anything I can do for you?”).

Since he got soundly beat in his second fight against Samuel Peter back in 2007, Toney, who really has no business fighting as a heavyweight in the first place, has been a mere shell of his former boxing self. Now 43 years old, his reflexes are not what they were, and the years spent abusing his body have caught up with “Lights Out.”

But you’d never know it by listening to what he says (that’s when you can actually decipher what he is saying – his speech patterns have also deteriorated quite drastically).

When Toney says in his latest piece of Fighthype propaganda, that he is “the real heavyweight champion of the world,” it’s hard to figure if he’s just trying to convince his shrinking fanbase to buy a ticket to his next boxing travesty (he got whitewashed last time out by Denis Lebedev in November 2011, while supposedly suffering a serious injury – not serious enough, however, to keep him out of the ring a mere few months later), or if he’s really so delusional at this point that he actually believes what he’s saying.

“I want to blow this motherf*cker [Gunn] out of the water,” Toney says, “get Lebedev back, the Bitchhko Sisters, and then David Haye.

“Ain’t nothing changed….”

If only that last statement were true.

Then again, I suppose Toney is jealous that heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko recently chose veteran Jean Marc Mormeck of France to destroy, sending the Frenchman into likely retirement with a big payday, when Wlad could just as easily have beaten up on “Lights Out.”

Toney is obviously still hanging on, hoping that the Klitschko Lottery pulls his number and sends him into retirement with a few million dollars, but that scenario seems more unlikely with each passing day.

A loss to Bobby Gunn, and the lights will truly be out on James Toney’s boxing career.

*************

With James Toney fading, there is room for a heavyweight contender with the gift of gab to make an impression, especially as a contrast to the gentlemanly Klitschko brothers, and Tyson Fury of the UK has made a strong bid to fill that void in the last year or so.

Fury, at 23 two decades younger than Toney, bombastically told this writer before his last bout – a tougher than he expected encounter with Canadian heavyweight champion Neven Pajkic last November – that he would quit the sport should Pajkic make any kind of a fight out of it.

“If Pajkic even gives me a good fight, I’ll retire, how’s that? If he even gives me a tidy fight, I’ll retire, because I’m going nowhere,” Fury told Boxing Insider.

“If a guy like Pajkic can even come close to me, that’s a promise. If he gives me any sort of a fight at all, I’ll retire.”

Pajkic, of course, showed up for the fight in spectacular condition, while Fury looked as if he had spent training camp watching television and eating donuts. And in the second round, Pajkic caught Fury with a hard, flush right hand to the face that sent the 6’9” Irish giant to the mat for the first time in his career.

Fury, to his credit, got off the mat and went on to win via a highly contentious quick stoppage in the next round.

And unsurprisingly, he didn’t retire.

Fury laid low for a few months following that near calamity, but now he’s back, preparing to fight fellow Irishman Martin Rogan on April 14 in Belfast.

And he’s talking big once again.

“I believe I will eventually retire as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, like Rocky Marciano,” Fury recently told The Daily Mail.

And Fury, it seems, has already mentally re-contextualized his knockdown at the hands of Neven Pajkic.

“I am a proper fighting man so I’m prepared to risk taking punches and we all know that any heavyweight can be put down by a big shot. But I always get up. In fact, my opponents are beginning to realize that the only way to beat Tyson Fury is to nail me to the canvas if they are lucky enough to knock me over,” Fury boasts.

Call it rationalizing if you will, but that’s an attitude that James Toney himself could admire.

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