Boxing’s Hard Problem: Observations from the Wilder Fury Fight
By: Rahat Haque
Any new fan who becomes interested in boxing learns quickly that the sport is immensely subjective in nature, and that judges take a lot of heat regularly for controversial decisions. It makes sense then, to score every fight, as you would want a basis of comparison in case there was public outrage over a decision. Learning the art of scoring and then practicing it via judging fights gives the viewer a certain weight of expert authority compared to the fan who does not partake in judging. However, it does not address the root cause of controversial decisions, which arise because of varied opinions between judges and fans alike. It does not address the issues of subjectivity, which permeates the sport. As long as there is boxing, there will be subjectivity.
One should try to be a human compubox, keeping a mental tab of punch count. But no one ever gives you straight answer on how to assign weightage to the quality of punches. Should a light jab be worth ¼ of a more thudding power shot such as a hook or cross? Should a cleanly landed punch be worth twice than that of a punch landed half landed and half absorbed the glove? We do not have such conversations in boxing, that is, the quantifying of something that is supposedly subjective. But without a quantitative framework, we cannot continue to act as if there is a right or wrong score. This is a real problem of boxing which never is discussed, as it exposes the sweet science’s lack of scientific rigor when it comes to assessing performance. When scoring fights, one should also consider the three other main factors in scoring, namely: aggression, ring generalship and defense. But again, it is absolutely shocking how certain media personalities will simply say that judges favor one over another, when in reality, they are supposed to take all three into account! One can even hear Max Kellerman say, that the way to score a round is to assess “who would you rather be in that round”. It is as subjective a criterion as there could be! It is madness.
Let us turn our attention to the fight that took place on Dec 1st. Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury. I scored it 114-112 for Wilder. Does that shock you? Well, if you did not score the fight, and 99% of the viewers do not profess to have any method which they use to score, then you must forfeit your right to be shocked. In a round by round sport, it is critical that one assesses a winner for every round. If one do not participate in this process, then they check in their right to be shocked at another scorecard at the door. If one did score the fight, then the next logical question arises: what was the criteria of scoring? To which, there is no universal agreement.
I gave rounds 1, 2, 4,9,11 and 12 to Wilder. Rounds 9 and 12 of course were 10-8 rounds because of the knockdowns. Hence, my score was 114-112 to The Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. I thought I would find some commonality with my scoresheet and Alejandro Rochin’s scoresheet, the only judge who had it for Wilder. While he gave all first four rounds to Wilder, to my surprise, he gave rounds 8 and 9 to Wilder as well! This is not the first such case either where a judge who scored it the same as me had different rounds for different fighters. This demonstrates the subjectivity that exists even amongst judges who have the same result.
As long as we have the three judge panel, we will continue to have decisions that people will disagree with. Whether it is a classified a robbery or not depends the percentage of people who did not agree with the decision. What this also means is that there are “robberies” every weekend in the perspective of those who are in the less popular cohort of a decision. The solution to all this, if there needs to be one, is another matter. Perhaps I will write a piece in the future about how to reduce the subjectivity in scores in boxing, thus ensuring a more accepted and trusted method agreed upon by all. However, let us assume for a minute that nothing is going to change. What is the best scenario in such a case? If things continue the way they are now, one hopes that every fan embraces the subjectivity of the score and takes it upon themselves to score the fight. Is that what is happening now? No. Does the media play a role in swaying the fans one way or another? Yes, most vehemently!
The boxing media despite being in the same ecosystem as everyone other stakeholder of the sport, seem to think that they are beyond subjectivity. We can argue about our scorecards, if you also happened to score the fight. Like with the Wilder-Fury fight, we can go back and forth as to why scored a certain round for a certain fighter. But to say that one party is somehow committing a grave sin if they do not agree with another is unacceptable! Yet, that is precisely what the Showtime commentators did for the whole fight. They all seemed to be in unison over Fury’s success, which is all right. But to then impose their own subjectivity to the whole world as the real McCoy was not right. It surely swayed many fans who might have been otherwise on the fence. Many of those fans then surely parroted what they heard on their TV screens, thus enhancing the drumbeat of the robbery narrative. The Wilder Fury fight was only one example of course. This will continue to happen unless we all first address the hard problem of boxing, the subjectivity of scoring.
© Roey Haque
Hearn Claims Fury-Wilder Not Great
By: Michael Kane
Matchroom Promotions head Eddie Hearn has had his say on the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder fight.
Hearn, who represents WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua claims the fight wasn’t great.
Photo Credit: Eddie Hearn Twitter Account
Hearn told IFL TV, “I’ll say something a little bit controversial, because it wouldn’t be an interview without it. It weren’t a great fight.
“If you watch it back, some rounds – look at the punch stats – there were very, very few punches thrown.”
Hearn did admit it was dramatic.
“But what it was, was dramatic. With the knock down in the ninth, which was a weird one, and the moment in the 12th was unbelievable.”
Several former champions, including Lennox Lewis and Paulie Malignaggi have said the result should have been scored for Fury and the general feeling in the UK is that Fury was robbed. Not so says Hearn.
“I had Fury winning by two rounds, so is a draw a robbery? No, not really. But Fury won the fight. But if you’re scoring it two rounds to someone. One round the other way and it’s a draw. But in my opinion Fury won the fight.”
Hearn had been vocal in the run up debating whether the Fury v Wilder fight would actually take place and speculating whether it would sell out the arena or sell pay-per-view. He has conceded Fury proved him wrong, at least.
“I’m holding my hands up, Fury proved me wrong. Again.
“I didn’t think he’d beat Klitschko, he did, I didn’t think he’d beat Wilder, he should’ve.
“So I give him the respect, and getting up in the 12th was great.”
Winners and Losers From a Wild and Furious Weekend
By: Kirk Jackson
A legendary late, great trainer informed the public six years ago about the greatness awaiting the heavyweight division.
Before his untimely passing in 2012, Emanuel Steward spoke highly of two rising heavyweights geared to take over the division once Wladimir Klitsckho’s reign ended.
“There’s one kid in America no one speaks of and that’s Deontay Wilder. He was on the Olympic Team (United States) he lost but he’s a big kid,” said Steward.
“I’ve had the fortune of; he has trained with me before, he’s a big kid too, bigger than Wladimir (Klitschko) and he’s got good speed and power and best talent… and best talent is going to be Tyson (Fury) and Deontay Wilder.”
This past weekend exhibited the rare instance in which the main event matched or arguably exceeded the pre-fight hype building over the course of several months.
The WBC heavyweight champion Wilder 40-0-1 (39 KO’s) battled the Lineal heavyweight champion Fury 27-0-1(17 KO’s) over the course of 12 exhilarating rounds.
Although the bout ended in a draw, there were winners and losers for this event. We’ll start with the losers.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 2, 2018
It’s hard to be considered a loser when you’re the unified champion of the division, holding three of the coveted world titles and undefeated. But for Joshua, who wasn’t in attendance due to business obligations, appears to be an afterthought amidst the excitement and controversy stemming from the past weekend’s event.
The perception amongst many boxing circles suggests Joshua or his team is avoided possible unification with Wilder for quite some time now. These very same circles of people may possibly add Fury to the list for Joshua.
Fury spoke his piece on the potential of facing Joshua in the near future post-fight with Wilder.
“That’s me and Joshua, everybody wants it and the only people who don’t seem to be his team,” said Fury. “We are the two best heavyweights in the world right now. I am No. 1 and he (Wilder) is No 2. We had the balls to put it all on the line.”
Now for the winners. The first obvious choice is the Gypsy King.
Battling depression, ballooning up to 400 lbs., over two year lay-off, battling substance abuse, Fury’s struggles are well recognized at this point.
“I think it’s all been well documented. But it didn’t get me. I found a way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, more determined. My story has got more pain in it now. I believe that rain has passed and the sun is shining brightly,” said Fury about his struggles and comeback.
For anybody who’s ever been knocked down in life, that was for you. You can get up too! #andstill lineal heavyweight champion of the world
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) December 3, 2018
Realistically, Fury entered this situation as a win-win opportunity. Some of us within the boxing community believed in Fury’s boxing ability and mental capacity to come back and defy the odds – in which he did successfully.
If he were to lose, the narrative casted was he supposed to be destroyed by the knock-out artist Wilder and there would be no shame in losing.
Contrary to Showtime commentary, Skysports commentary and other observers, Wilder is the winner because he walks away with his title.
“I think, with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said after the bout.“We poured our hearts out tonight. We both were warriors. We both went hand to hand. But, with those two drops, I feel like I won the fight. I don’t think he had control of the fight. I wasn’t hurt. I came out slow. I rushed my punches.”
We must remember, rounds are scored subjectively and judges do not have access to punch stats. While analyzing the punch stats, cumulatively and round-by-round, Fury has the edge regarding accuracy and efficiency, but the statistics are closer than you would think and Wilder was the aggressor.
Kevin Iole from YahooSports.com, scoring the fight 113-113, provided excellent analysis of the fight:
“I thought Fury was clearly the better boxer, but he wasn’t active enough. And while I vehemently disagree that Wilder won the first four rounds, I also disagree with the contention I’ve heard that Fury dominated those rounds. There wasn’t a lot to pick from in a lot of rounds.”
Either way, there’s a compelling case for a rematch.
Ultimately, the fans won Saturday night as well. No matter the result of the fight, it was highly entertaining.
The walk-out introductions for each fighter was captivating, with Fury walking out to a mixture of three songs and capturing the support and adoration of the United Kingdom contingent travelling to U.S. soil to support their fighter.
The pitch-black setting for Wilder, walking out to large bombastic sounds and accompanied by budding Hip-hop star Jay Rock, performing his popular song “Win.” The fitted golden mask/crown was a nice touch as well.
Each fighter throughout the course of the event whether it was the walkout entrance, post-fight interviews and most important through-out the course of the fight exhibited their showmanship as fighters and displayed their contrasting, unique personalities.
How often do we get to see large, stylistically awkward, elite level fighters? They’re mirror images of each other regarding uniqueness, but obviously their styles and stories are different.
But when blended together the equation is pure entertainment. The ultimate winner was the sport of boxing.
Fury vs. Wilder: A Tale of Skill vs. Power
By: Daniel Smith
Fury’s proficient boxing skills should’ve earned the victory, while Wilder’s power was his saving grace that grabbed the draw.
Last night’s Fury vs. Wilder fight was like a clash from the classic exhilarating days of heavyweight boxing. The thunderous blood-pumping adrenaline that whammed and thrummed throughout the rip-roaring crowd. The sheer electricity and enthralment that speared through the arena like lightning bolts as the two heavyweight giants danced, jabbed and salted one-another with steely shots for twelve wonderful rounds of professional boxing.
From the announcement back in August, throughout the build-up to the fight itself; this match had everything all classic bouts should possess. The story of a lineal champion struggling with issues relating to mental health and a return to the sport that defied the odds.
Return for title contention:
Fury was the underdog in this fight, with nearly three years on the couch and a 250lb ballooning. Not many envisioned he could actually present as a worthy opponent and possibly beat the wrecking-ball knockout merchant that is, WBC heavyweight champion, Wilder.
Boxer vs. Brawler:
Pugilsitc intelligence vs. raw, brutal strength – what or who prevails? A clear example of the sweet science against power and barbaric scrapping.
The lineal heavyweight champion proved he’s still the slick and hybrid-style boxer he always was, as he schooled the champ for ten of the twelve rounds, despite opinions that Wilder would blast him out of the square jungle by round 6.
After having his face speared with solid jabs, Wilder puts Fury on the canvass with a beefy right in round 9 and briefly unconscious in 12 with a monsterous right and brass-knuckled left.
Off the canvass to battle some more:
Fury, clearly ahead on points until a chilling five second knockout in 12, somehow manages to hurl himself to his feet before dishing out some more thudding jabs and a further schooling to Deontay Wilder.
The final bell clangs and a split decision is the call without too much complaining from both fighting men. A respectful embrace closes the bout as the boxing world salivates with the juicy prospect of yet another thrilling fight between Tyson ‘the gypsy king’ Fury and Deontay ‘the bronze bomber wilder’.
Here’s to the REMATCH in 2019.
Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder: Precise or Preposterous Result?
By: Waqas Ali
On Saturday night, Tyson Fury produced one of the best comebacks in a world title bout as a British heavyweight in this century.
After suffering personal setbacks with depression and mental illness, Fury said after the bout in a heart-felt interview with BT Sport that his comeback was in the name of those who suffered from personal trauma like his.
“It’s an iconic comeback isn’t it?,” Fury said.
“After two-and-a-half years out the ring, ten stone ballooned, mental health problems.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
“I just showed the world tonight, and everyone suffering with mental health problems, you can come back and it can be done.
“Everybody out there suffering from the same problems, I did it for you. If I can comeback from what I’ve been through then you can do it too.”
Fury coming in as the challenger was on steady ground with Wilder, who was defending his WBC heavyweight title for the eighth time.
Wilder was coming in throwing jabs to the body of Fury but did very little effect. Fury kept moving his head side to side avoiding the big right hand of Wilder.
Fury also known as the Gypsy King was using his jab really well against the 6 foot 7 Wilder and was certainly catching the eyes of many spectators.
Despite the first sign of Wilder making Fury suffer from a bloody nose in round four, Fury was on the lead with his crisp and flurry combinations, jabbing to the body and taunting Wilder from time to time.
After the fifth round ended, Floyd Mayweather was interviewed by Showtime and said that he had Fury winning and that Wilder had to up his game.
He said: “Wilder is dependent on just one shot – he’s looking for one big shot – and as a fighter, you have to use other weapons.
“Fury has the combinations, and a very, very fast jab and is taking his time so it’s looks like, if Wilder doesn’t do anything else, Fury’s going to win if it goes the distance.”
Fury in round six around the 1:50-1:46 mark, landed a bursting amount of combinations that set Wilder back on his tracks.
They were sweet on sight to see but sour for Wilder to taste.
In round ten, Wilder threw 31 and landed only one, whereas Fury threw 38 and landed ten.
The only two major standouts for Wilder in the second half of the fight was the two knockdowns in round nine and twelve.
The 12th in particular stood out the most when Fury went down from a 1-2 combination and looked to be out cold. Wilder was celebrating but thanks to referee Jack Reiss he initiated the count and by God’s grace, Fury got up.
Despite the knockdowns, it clearly looked like that Fury had won.
But the outcome of this bout went as a draw, with California’s Alejandro Rochin, scored the bout for Wilder 115-111. The lone British judge, Phil Edwards, scored the action even 113-113 and Canada’s Robert Tapper scored their fight for Fury 114-112.
Just like the reminiscent of the first bout between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield back in March 1999, in which Lewis out-fought and out-punched his opponent all the way, he too got a draw at the end of it.
Speaking as a pundit for BT Sport, he said: “They need to get some good judges, these judges were terrible.
“It happened to me and I knew it was going to happen to him. Everybody could see who won. Boxing definitely won and Tyson Fury won the fight to me.
“But that’s why you’ve got to go in and try and knock the other person out, especially if you’re not on home soil. You’ve got to make your fists be the judges.”
Fury with landing 13 more overall punches than Wilder (84-of-327 to 71-of-430). According to those statistics, Fury connected on more power shots (38-of-104 to 31-of-182) and more jabs (46-of-223 to 40-of-248).
Wilder landed 17% of his power shots tonight after landing 54% in his previous 8 fights
According to a poll initiated by Boxing on BT Sport, out of over 25,000 voters 85% of them thought that Fury won.
Nine percent had Wilder winning and six percent had it a draw.
Forget the judges, who do you think won? #WilderFury
— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) December 2, 2018
“How after a fight like this can there not be a rematch? It’s a draw and unfinished business. They’re both still undefeated. He won that fight tonight, everybody knows it. We’ll do our best to get it back on again.
After the bout, Frank Warren stated that a rematch should happen but only in Britain for a second meeting: “In Britain that’s an 80,000 job, there’s no doubt about that. Everybody’s going to come to see that in the UK. Vegas will be drooling over this. When did you last see a great heavyweight fight in the USA? When was the last time?
“Tyson and Deontay have livened this division up.”
This bout resurrected the heavyweight division nationally and globally and these two warriors these two fighters deserve all the praise in the world particularly Fury. Going into his opponent hometown and produces a cynical and clinical performance deserves a huge standing ovation.
The decision of the bout is preposterous.
Wilder-Fury And The Continued Heavyweight Resurgence
By Jake Donovan
Even without a winner being produced in the memorable heavyweight title fight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, or going 12 more months without Wilder and Anthony Joshua colliding in the ring, 2018 will still go down as a year that saw restoration in
the sport’s most storied division.
That’s a very good thing for boxing.
It wasn’t a year where Wilder and Joshua challenged each other—at least where it matters—but where both faced serious challenges and manage to persevere in the face of adversity.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Some 17 months after recovering from the lone knockdown of his career to knock out former World champion Wladimir Klitschko in their 2017 Fight of the Year, Joshua found himself in a tough assignment versus Alexander Povetkin this past September at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
The official scores had Joshua ahead through six rounds, but even many among the partisan crowd of 80,00 in attendance along with those watching live via Sky Sports or DAZN saw the unbeaten, unified champ having a difficult time keeping the former titlist at bay while fighting through the sight of his own blood. It changed in a hurry, thanks to a pair of knockdowns in round seven putting away Povetkin for good.
It was a far more memorable night at the office than was his unification clash versus New Zealand’s Joseph Parker earlier in the year. The fight itself turned out to be a disappointment, especially when playing to the backdrop of a unification bout between unbeaten titlists coming in front of 78,000 in attendance.
The threat of a war never quite broke out, as Joshua was content to box his way to victory in going the distance for the first time in his pro career. The feat came four weeks after Wilder would stare down adversity for the first of two times in 2018, rallying from early struggles versus Luis Ortiz to put away the previously unbeaten Cuban southpaw in the 10th round of a terrific heavyweight battle worthy of Fight of the Year consideration.
The feat was far more definitive—and considerably less controversial—than his relying upon a pair of knockdowns and suspect scoring to escape with a 12-round draw in Saturday’s instant classic versus Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Most had Fury winning, but the unbeaten 6’9” Brit was also forced to rise from adversity—literally, as he twice peeled himself off the canvas following hard knockdowns in delivering arguably the best performance of his wild career.
That Fury survived the 12th and final round simply should’ve been enough to give him the win and Wilder’s alphabet title along with it. Only one judge saw it that way, with Robert Tapper scoring the contest 114-112 for the former unified heavyweight champion.
Mexico’s Alejandro Rochin lived down to every negative stereotype heaped upon the sport, disgracefully turning in a 115-111 card in favor of Wilder, including his inexplicably scoring the first four rounds for the defending titles. England’s Phil Edwards ruled the bout 113-112 to produce a stalemate—and the possibility of a rematch during the first half of 2019.
Of the four aforementioned bouts, only Joshua-Povetkin didn’t feature unbeaten heavyweights on both sides of the marquee. It’s not at all a bad exception, considering that Povetkin had only lost once in his pro career prior to his September showdown versus Joshua—that defeat coming five years prior in an Oct. ’13 points loss to Klitschko.
It’s always a letdown when we can’t get a fight between the two best boxers in the division particularly when they are both unbeaten and in their respective primes. But at least we were given the next best thing throughout 2018—a steady stream of heavyweight fights worth caring about and not even limited to the very top level.
On the heels of his first pro defeat, Parker was eager to remain in the mix and claw his way back toward the too of the divisional heap. In doing so, he agreed to yet another away game in England, his third straight. He’d only go 1-2 on his road trip, having outpointed Hughie Fury in 2017 prior to his loss to Joshua, only to suffer a second straight loss in falling short versus top contender Dillian Whyte this past July.
The win was enough to keep Whyte in the title hunt, as the UK-based heavyweight is the frontrunner to land a coveted showdown versus Joshua next April. Such a bout would give Whyte a shot at avenging the lone loss of his career, having suffered a 7th round knockout in Dec. ’15, Joshua’s final fight as a contender before blasting out Charles Martin in two rounds for his first title win four months later.
Even with the lure of a lucrative rematch, Whyte decided there was plenty of room to make at least one more statement. Rapidly approaching is a December 22 rematch with Dereck Chisora, whom he barely edged in their 12-round thriller in Dec. ’16.
If the sequel is even half as good as the original, then the clash will serve as a fitting close to what was a fantastic year for the heavyweight division. Even better, the final month of the year will figure to set the stage for two more big bouts right out the gate in 2019 in Joshua-Whyte II and Wilder-Fury II.
Given Joshua’s massive drawing power in the United Kingdom and the instant buzz that came with Saturday’s thriller between Wilder and Fury in Los Angeles, the upcoming calendar year will boast two true super fights in what has once again become the sport’s glamour division. That’s what happens when the best in the world consistently square off, even if it stops short of a promised pairing between the very best.
Showtime PPV Round by Round Results: Fury and Wilder Battle to An Entertaining Draw
By: William Holmes
Deontay Wilder (40-0) and Tyson Fury (27-0) met for the WBC Heavyweight Title in the main event of tonight’s Showtime Pay Per view (PPV) offering.
The heavyweight division used to be the glamour division in boxing with the biggest pay per view offerings, and this was the biggest heavyweight fight capable of selling pay per views and capturing the public’s attention since Lennox Lewis was a champion.
A silent tribute was given to former President George H.W. Bush before the start of the fight, and that was followed by the national anthems of tonight’s fighters.
Tyson Fury entered the ring first and he was followed by Deontay Wilder to an enthusiastic crowd.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Wilder throws an early jab to the body. Wilder looks to be in good shape. Wilder with another jab to the body. Wilder misses with two wild shots and Fury clings to Wilder. Fury puts his hands behind his back. Fury backs into a corner and Wilder lands some short shots on Fury. Fury lands two quick jabs on Wilder. Fury puts his hands behind his back again. Wilder hits the shoulder of Fury. Fury lands a body shots and Wilder lands a left hook to the chin of Fury. Fury lands another short jab. Wilder misses with another wild right cross. Wilder misses with another wild right and Fury lands a good combination.
10-9 Fury, but close round
Wilder misses with a jab. Fury is showing some good head movement. Wilder looks a little flustered. Wilder with two more jabs and misses. Wilder lands a right but it was partially blocked. Fury lands a good short right hand to the chin of Wilder. Fury puts his hands in the air and taunts Wilder. Fury lands two good jabs. Good right to the body of Wilder by Fury. Fury’s jab is looking good. Wilder barely misses with a vicious right hand and follows it with a left hook. Wilder barely misses with a right cross again.
Another closer round, 10-9 Fury. 20-18 Fury
Fury lands a quick jab to the body. Fury with another jab to the face of Wilder. Fury lands another jab. Wilder lands a good jab on Fury that gets his attention. Wilder barely misses with a wide left hook. Wilder with a decent hook to the body and Fury answers with a hook upstairs and then two jabs. Fury lands a good straight right hand and then puts his hands behind his back again. Wilder lands a good right hook and Fury then lands a combination to the body. Good short right by Fury and he then ties up with Wilder. Fury with a good right to the body.
10-9 Fury; 30-27 Fury
Wilder has a lot of Vaseline on his face. Wilder with a jab to the body. Wilder barely misses with a straight right hand. Fury lands a short left hook on Wilder. Good jab by Fury, and Wilder answers with a jab of his own. Loud chants of USA in the crowd. Wilder barely misses with a bomb of a right hand. Good jab by Fury. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Fury is still showing good foot movement and lands three good jabs from the outside. Fury looks like he is bleeding from his nose.
10-9 Fury; 40-36 Fury
Wilder is bouncing on his feet. Wilder gets tagged with a quick jab and answers with one of his own. Fury leads with a left hook. Wilder misses with a left hook right cross combination. Fury lands a left hook. Wilder backs Fury into a corner but doesn’t land anything with the opportunity. Wilder lands a jab in the nose of Fury. Fury may be tiring. They both land a jab. Fury with a jab to the body and then head. Fury with a quick little combination. Wilder misses with two bombs and Fury answers with a combination. Wilder just not landing his big shots.
10-9 Fury; 50-45 Fury.
Wilder backing away from Fury. Wilder throws a jab to the body. Wilder misses with two jabs. Wilder misses again with a straight right. Fury with two quick jabs, but Wilder lands a jab of his own. Fury lands a combination and backs Wilder up. Wilder has some swelling by his left eye. Wilder lands a quick jab. Wilder lands a short jab. Wilder gets tagged by two jabs. Fury looks comfortable on the outside. Wilder lands a short right, but then eats two jabs. Wilder gets hit with another jab. Wilder’s jab is effective when he throws it, but he’s not throwing it enough.
10-9 Fury; 60-54 Fury.
Fury is circling away from Wilder’s power hand. Fury lands two jabs followed by a right cross. Fury lands a good right cross. Wilder lands a good jab to the body of Fury. Fury lands a jab to the body and Wilder lands a counter left hook. Fury lands a hard right hand. Fury is throwing a little more power into his shots. Wilder throws some bombs but misses. Wilder lands a good jab. Wilder misses another hard right hand. Fury lands another good hard straight right hand. Wilder lands a good jab on Fury.
10-9 Fury; 70-63 Fury.
Fury lands a quick reaching jab. Fury looks like he wants to press more than earlier rounds. Wilder misses with a straight right hand. Fury lands another good jab on Wilder. Wilder misses with a jab. Fury is tagging Wilder with his jab and dodging out of the way of his power shots. Fury goes to the body of Wilder. Wilder lands a good jab. Wilder sticks two jabs in the body of Fury. Fury with a good right hand followed by a right cross. Tyson Fury is looking very confident.
10-9 Fury; 80-72 Fury.
Fury has Wilder backing away. Fury gets touched with a jab. They both land a jab at the same time. Wilder is still a danger with his power. Wilder barely misses with a two punch combination. Wilder lands a right hook and Fury gets to the mat. Fury gets up before the count of ten. Wilder is looking for bombs and Fury ties up. Wilder barely misses with a wild right hand Fury lands a good right cross. Wilder misses with another bombs. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Wilder throws some bombs but misses. Fury just took a deep breath. Fury puts his arms up and begs Wilder to come forward. Fury lands some short shots inside and makes Wilder miss again. Entertaining round.
10-8 Wilder, 88-82 Fury
Fury looks recovered. Fury lands a good short right hook on Wilder. Fury has Wilder backing up. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Fury lands a good jab. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Good jab by Fury again. Wilder lands a good jab. Fury lands a good two punch combination. Wilder lands a good right hand of his own. Fury lands another good two punch combination. Fury flicks out a quick jab. Wilder misses with a lot of combinations.
10-9 Fury; 98-91 Fury
Wilder lands a jab to the body of Fury. Wilder lands another jab to the body but Fury lands a jab upstairs. Wilder probably needs a knockout to win. Fury lands another good jab on Wilder. Wilder misses with a combination and Fury lands a short hook. Fury lands a good jab followed by a combination to the body. Fury lands another short jab on Wilder. Wilder lands a good left hook on Fury. Wilder landed a good body shot on Fury that appeared to slow him down a little bit. Fury gets tagged by a short uppercut by Wilder. Wilder may have stolen that round.
10-9 Wilder; 107-101 Fury
Both fighters are bouncing on their feet as round starts. Fury looks to have a little more energy than Wilder. Fury barely misses with a jab. Fury lands a good right cross and Wilder answers with a two punch combination but Fury gets back to his feet. Wilder throwing bombs and Fury ties up. Wilder lands another good shot on Fury. Fury backing up. Fury puts his hands behind his back. Fury lands two good shots of his own and then ties up. Fury coming forward and throwing good shots. Fury is coming forward on Wilder. Wilder looks tired. Fury tags Wilder with some shots to the body.
10-8 Wilder. 115-111 Fury by Boxing Insider.
Both fighters embrace each other at the end and exchange words of respect after a highly entertaining bout.
The judges scored the fight 115-111 Wilder, 114-110 Fury, and 113-113 for a split decision draw.
Showtime PPV Undercard Results: Hurd, Ortiz, and Joyce Stomp their Competition
By: William Holmes
The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
The opening bout of the night was between Joe Joyce (6-0) and Joe Hanks (23-2) in the heavyweight division.
Joe Joyce was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics and has stopped every opponent he has faced as a professional.
Joyce was the taller fighter, but looked a little awkward around the ring and was stunned with some decent combinations by Hanks early on. However, when Joyce connected with a straight right hand it hurt Hanks and had him momentarily stunned. Joyce was able to follow that up with a jab and a left hook to the chin that sent Hanks crashing to the mat.
Hanks struggled to get up by the count of ten and protested when the referee waived the fight off, but he looked badly hurt at the time of the stoppage.
Joe Joyce wins by way of knockout at 2:25 of round one.
The next fight of the night was between Luis Ortiz(29-1) and Travis Kauffman (32-2) in the heavyweight division.
Ortiz is an elite fighter with a deep amateur background and the difference in talent was evident early on. Ortiz had Kauffman backing up early on with a stead streak of jabs and kept it up throughout most of the fight.
Kauffman got hit with a low blow in the third round and got some time to recover, but got tagged with a good combination by Ortiz after his break in what may have been the best shots of the night at that point.
Kauffman continued to get moved corner to corner in the fourth and fifth rounds as he was backwards. Ortiz landed a vicious straight left hand in the sixth round that sent Kauffman to the mat and Ortiz celebrating jumping in the corner. But it may have ben premature as Kauffman got back to his feet.
Ortiz picked Kauffman apart for the remainder of the sixth round and landed some solid straight right hands but wasn’t able to finish Kauffman off.
Ortiz had Kauffman backing up in the seventh round and sent him to the mat again in the eighth round with an overhand right to the temple. Kauffman got back to his feet again and took several more hard shots, including a left uppercut, but was able to survive the round.
Ortiz went for the stoppage in the final two rounds, an landed a low blow and a near knockdown in the ninth round that was ruled a push. He did land a left hand in the tenth and final round to score his third knockdown of the fight, but Kauffman got up to his feet again, only to get tagged with another left hook that had him badly hurt before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Louis Ortiz at wins by TKO at 1:58 of the tenth and final round.
The final fight on the undercard was between Jarrett Hurd (22-0) and Jason Welborn (24-6) in the super welterweight division.
Welborn was pressing the pace in the opening round and kept his head in the chest of Hurd and fought the fight in close and appeared to do well.
Hurd pressed behind his jab in the second round and appeared to throw a large number of left jabs and hooks. Hurd was rolling well with the punches of Welborn in the third round, but Welborn may have stolen that round with a flurry at the end.
Welborn opened up the fourth round with some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes and connected with some clean hooks to the head while Hurd’s back was against the ropes. Hurd covered up and took the shots of Welborn before unloading a right uppercut to the body that sent Welborn to the canvas.
Hurd took some heavy shots in the process, but wins by knockout at 1:55 of the fourth round.
Rd 4: Weblron landed some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes. Some hard combos. Hurt taking on some good shots. Hurd fighting back. Body shot sends him down. For ten. KO!!
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury Weigh In Recap
By Jake Donovan
Through all the screaming, shoving and taunting in the buildup to the titanic heavyweight encounter between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury came a source of familiarity in an otherwise disposable part of any heavyweight fight: the official weigh-in.
Friday’s festivities—which included a mob of fans and media, as well as a host of past heavyweight champs and contenders—marked just the latest occasion where Wilder will give away a significant amount of weight to an opponent. The defending titlist checked in at a near career-lightest 212.5 pounds, a full 44 pounds less than Fury who tipped the scales at a fighting ready 256.5 pounds.
The two will finally collide on Saturday night, airing live on Showtime Pay-Per-View (9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. In fact, it will mark the first time since Wednesday’s wild pre-fight press conference where they will literally stand face-to-face, as the two were kept at a considerable distance on Friday.
It was a wise decision given their numerous shoving matches and near-riot offerings any time they’ve shared a stage over the course of the past two months. Fury did his best to taunt the defending titlist, but Wilder—donning his signature pre-fight mask during the weigh-in and all the way through his on-stage interview with Showtime’s Steve Farhood—refused to take the bait, saving his energy for when he will actually get paid to punch.
“Talk is cheap; tomorrow is time,” Wilder insisted in explaining his decision to not entertain Fury’s tactics. “Action speaks louder than words. Come tomorrow, I can’t wait to unleash everything I’ve kept inside of me.”
All of Fury’s talking was limited to the comments he hurled at Wilder while the two were far separated on stage. The unbeaten Brit left without conducting an interview.
Wilder (40-0, 39KOs) attempts the 8th defense of the heavyweight strap he acquired in a Jan. ’15 decision win over Bermane Stiverne. The bout marked the lone time that the 33-year old has been extended the distance, having since scored seven straight knockouts, including a one-round drubbing of Stiverne in their Nov. ’17 rematch.
A win inside the distance on Saturday will earn Wilder a significant piece of boxing history, tying Larry Holmes and Tommy Burns for the most consecutive knockouts (eight) in heavyweight title fights.
Fury (27-0, 19KOs) enters his first official title fight since his massive Nov. ’15 upset win over Wladimir Klitschko in Nov. ’15. The feat earned the 6’9” Brit a slew of alphabet titles along with the World (lineal) championship, although never making a single defense as he spent the next two years combatting mental health issues and drug and alcohol addiction.
A celebrated ring return came this past June, with Fury halting Sefer Seferi in four rounds. A follow-up points win over Francesco Pianeta in August was a forgettable affair, in fact memorable only in it setting the stage for Saturday’s showdown. Wilder was ringside for the affair, joining Fury in the ring in revealing to the world their plans to eventually collide.
Should the upset occur, it will make Fury the first Brit to win a title fight on U.S. soil in more than 15 years. The last to do so was Lennox Lewis, in the final fight of his Hall-of-Fame career and in this very venue when he rallied to stop Vitali Klitschko on cuts after six rounds of heavyweight warfare in June ’03.
Jarrett Hurd headlines the preliminary portion of the evening, as the unbeaten and unified 154-pound titlist fights for the first time since his Fight-of-the-Year-level split decision win over Erislandy Lara this past April. He attempts the third defense of at least one title as he faces Australia’s Jason Welborn in the evening’s chief support.
Hurd (22-0, 15KOs) checked in at a career lightest 152.6 pounds, while Welborn (24-6, 7KOs)—fighting for the first time both for a major title and in the United States—was slightly lighter at 152.5 pounds.
Their title clash marks the lone non-heavyweight entry of the four-fight bill.
Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25KOs) looks to win his second straight following a heartbreaking 10th round knockout loss to Wilder this past May. The once-beaten Cuban southpaw faces Pennsylvania’s Travis Kauffman in a scheduled 10-round affair.
Neither will ever be mistaken for bodybuilders, but both carry their frames particularly well in the ring. Ortiz weighed 241 pounds—the same weight for his last bout, also at Staples Center in scoring a 2nd round knockout of Razvan Cojanu in July—while Kauffman tipped the scales at 229 pounds, his lightest weight in eight years.
Opening the show, 2016 Olympic Silver medalist Joe Joyce (6-0, 6KOs) takes on Newark, NJ’s Joe Hanks (23-2, 15KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout.
England’s Joyce checked in at 262 pounds, just one pound lighter than his U.S. debut exactly two months ago when he knocked out Iago Kiladze in five rounds this past September. Hanks weighed 247.5 pounds, the lightest he’s weighed since returning to the ring in 2017 following a 2-½ year break. He’s won two straight in his current comeback.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Mental Warfare
By: Kirk Jackson
“He goes on about he’s beaten this person, he’s beaten that person,” says Tyson Fury 27-0 (19 KO’s), who’ll challenge Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39 KO’s) in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event December 1, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I’ve seen him knocked out before, spark out, by a little fat fella, that big [raises his hand] – out. In the amateurs, he boxed America versus Russia and the little Russian fella cleaned him out. Bam! The ‘Bomb Squad? The Bomb Squad’ was on his back. Like a dead fly, he was on his back, legs and arms in the air, sparked out. There ain’t no videos around the world of Tyson Fury ever getting knocked out.”
Photo Credit: PBC Twitter Account (@premierboxing)
As predicted the verbal back-and-forth, mental warfare, leading up to the biggest heavyweight bout of the year, featuring two undefeated champions, has been nothing short of entertaining.
Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion and Fury, the last recognized Lineal heavyweight champion aim to battle for heavyweight supremacy this weekend. The unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, will certainly watch the two combatants intently.
If you ask Fury, it appears he doesn’t care if Joshua is watching and doesn’t think much of Joshua’s current standing as unified heavyweight champion. Fury has plenty of venom for Joshua as well.
“Listen, I’m already number one,” Fury said. “So I don’t need to beat Deontay Wilder to prove that, because I’m not any old champion. So I can’t move up any more spaces. But if he beats me, he can become number one. But if I beat him, I stay where I am. The belts that AJ has are only belts he picked out of the garbage tin, because they were all given to him by me – every single one of them.”
Wilder by all accounts is an emotional fighter; his feelings fueled from past experiences in life inspires the rage he unleashes inside the ring. He described in an interview leading up to the fight the desire to share his pain with Fury, to inflict as much damage as possible and that Fury will understand his story through absorbing this pain.
“As fighters, people don’t understand how much it takes to break your body down days, weeks and months at a time. As a fighter, you’re forced to absorb pain and inflict punishment on your body every day you wake up,” said Wilder.
The damage inflicted inside the ring. That’s what it ultimately boils down to. But often overlooked is the psychological war leading up to the fight and the mental warfare once the physical battle begins.
Fury displayed his mental prowess over opponents in the past and even across the promotional tour with Wilder displayed a measure of command many observers believe provides him advantage heading into the fight this weekend.
“He knows he can’t win and it’s clear for everyone to see now. He’s a very nervous character and by the looks of it he doesn’t want to fight. He talks a good game but he talks nonsense really,” said Fury.
Fury continued, “Wilder hasn’t always been this brash, colorful character we see today. Up until he had 30 fights he was quite shy and reserved. This is why no one knows him. Now he has a bit of swag about him, but it’s not genuine, it’s fake.”
“He’s snide, a fraud, and when he gets in there with the real deal on Saturday night he’s going to know what it looks like. When you see a bad man, you know what one looks like. I look at him and I don’t see a bad man, I see a pretender.”
Come fight night we’ll find out if what Fury states holds any weight. Both fighters overcame tremendous personal and professional obstacles and adversity to reach the pinnacle of the sport and to arrive at this special moment upon us.
From a professional standpoint tough heavyweight challenger Luis Ortiz hurt Wilder badly during the seventh round of their March 3 fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but couldn’t finish the job. Wilder withstood the onslaught and roared back to floor Ortiz twice more in the 10th round, stopping the Cuban southpaw to retain his title in Rocky-esque fashion.
Former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham knocked down Fury in the second round of their March 2013 battle in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Fury overcame that difficulty to knock out Cunningham in the seventh round.
From a personal standpoint, the hurdles each man overcame and still battle to this day are well documented. Both guys’ endured tough upbringings, Fury has battled depression, mental illness and drug abuse most recently. Wilder cares for his daughter with special needs and that’s an everyday battle.
As far as the trash talk and mental tactics, Wilder welcomes it.
“I very much enjoy it. I enjoy the confrontation that we have; I enjoy the rumbling with the mouth that we have,” said Wilder. “We try to see who has the bigger motor and the mouth. Call him a motormouth.”
But will this be his undoing? Wilder acknowledges Fury’s mental toughness and how that can be a factor.
“One thing about Tyson is he’s mentally tough,” Wilder said on a recent conference call. “He’s the Gypsy King. If you know about gypsies, you know they’re traveling people and they’re fearless. So when I knock him out, I can say I knocked out someone that was fearless.”
Can Wilder implement the right game-plan, stay focused and ultimately win the fight? If Wilder is too “Wild” in his approach and too focused primarily on the big one-punch knock-out and head hunting, he will lose.
For Fury if he loses focus for one moment, it can all end due to Wilder’s punching power. Fury must not underestimate Wilder’s ability to adapt; he’s underrated with that aspect.
Fury is a nightmarish match-up, as is Wilder, which is what makes this bout so intriguing. Can Wilder deal with someone bigger and taller than him? Plus Fury is awkward, has long arms, uncanny rhythm and reflexes, great boxing instinct, high boxing intellect and strong mental strength – as does Wilder.
These fighters mirror many traits but provide different versions from a stylistic standpoint.
Again, this may boil down to who can preserve through the mental war waging in the ring come fight night.
“That’s why I don’t really get excited when I knock somebody out, because I’ve already fought that person multiple times in my mind before ever stepping into the ring,” said Wilder in an interview leading up to Saturday.
“That’s through visualization and meditation. I do it with every fight. As it relates to Tyson Fury, I’ve already fought him 75 times in my mind at this point. On December 1st, when it’s time for the realization to happen, it won’t be a surprise to beat him because I’ve already seen it happen. I’ve spoken it, I envisioned it and I believe it.”
For Fury, this is the road to redemption, to claiming a world title for the first time since losing his belts due to circumstances outside the ring. This is his opportunity, in perhaps his biggest test professionally, to show he is the Gypsy King and the heavyweight king.
“I said that Wladimir Klitschko would be the easiest fight of me career, and he was. Now I’m gonna say that this guy’s (Wilder) gonna be me easiest fight, and I predict he will.”
We’ll see which prediction holds true.
Showtime Boxing PPV Preview: Wilder vs. Fury
By: Sean Crose
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will meet for heavyweight glory this weekend when they face off in a scheduled 12 round bout for numerous accolades. Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title is at stake, as is a claim to the lineal heavyweight championship, which Fury earned in stunning fashion by besting long standing lineal champ Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015. Also possibly at stake is a future battle with widely regarded heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, who holds every other meaningful heavyweight recognition besides those held by Wilder and Fury. Both Wilder and Fury are reportedly earning a combined sum of well over 20 million dollars for their fight. The match will be aired live via Showtime PPV.
Photo Credit: PBC Twitter Account (@premierboxing)
America’s Wilder and England’s Fury are undefeated fighters. Wilder holds a record of 40-0. All but one of his fights has ended via knockout. An incredibly powerful puncher, the Alabama native most recently defeated the lauded and undefeated Luis Ortiz, a crafty and hard hitting contender who gave Wilder a considerable amount of trouble. Wilder was finally able to take his man out, however, proving that he could indeed meet and beat a top level contender. Although awkward, Wilder arguably works to land his big punches, rather than simply relying on them to carry or rescue him on the road to victory.
Fury, on the other hand, is known to rely on a slick skill set. Boasting of a record of 27-0, Fury’s greatest win was the victory over Klitschko. Afterwards, Fury lost his belts and also descended into a black hole of booze, drugs, food and depression. Fortunately, the fighter was able to pull himself out of the mire and went on to win two fights in the past year (against less than top opposition). He has reportedly lost over a hundred pounds since deciding to return to the ring after his over two-year absence, and has looked quite sharp in training for this weekend’s fight.
Although Wilder is favored to walk away with another win on Saturday – he isn’t favored overwhelmingly, as Fury is known to fight in a quirky, frustrating style that stopped future Hall of Famer Klitschko in his tracks. Fury is also a master of mind games, and has been said to have gotten into Wilder’s head in the leadup to this weekend’s bout. The general consensus, however, seems to be that Fury, slippery though he may be (especially for a man of his enormous size), can’t avoid Wilder’s devastating power all night, and that the American’s punches will ultimately tell the tale.
Also on the Pay Per View portion of the card will be a junior middleweight title bout between the 22-0 Jarrett Hurd and the 24-6 Jason Wellborn. At stake are Hurd’s IBF, IBO, and WBA titles. This fight is expected to end in a Hurd victory, as Wellborn isn’t a top name in the division and Hurd, who is coming off of surgery, recently bested the very impressive Erislandy Lara last spring. Wilder victim Ortiz will appear on the card, too. He’ll be facing the 32- 2 Travis Kauffman in order to improve his own record to 30-1. This will be Ortiz’ second fight since his lost to Wilder, having knocked out Razvan Cojanu last summer.
Saturday’s Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury Pay Per View Card will begin airing at 9 PM Eastern time, bringing with it a price tag of $74.99.
Could Tyson Fury Look to Ali to Beat Wilder?
By: Daniel Smith
Could Tyson Fury deploy an ‘Ali’ style game-plan when he finally squares off against Deontay Wilder, this Saturday, December 1?
“The Kansas City Shuffle” is an old foot-tapping jazz tune that originates from 1920s America. With its chugging beat and colluding instrumental tale of entwining dupery; the song itself refers to an astute form of con-artistry whereby the “grifter” deploys a “bait and switch”-style hustle to a heedless “mark”. In essence, the shrewd con-man hoodwinks the mark into looking to the left while he whips-away to the right, having just swindled a fool from his money or goods.
From 1920s jazz to Muhammed Ali and George Foreman’s 1974, heavyweight clash, “Rumble in the Jungle”. Ali challenged and knocked-out the formidable, power-punching Foreman after eight punishing rounds of boxing. An earthquake result that shook the boxing world, not forgetting a financial sucker-punch for the bookies, too, as Muhammed Ali was a 4-1 underdog.
To an extent, it could be considered Ali utilized the fundamentals of The Kansas City Shuffle’s, “bait and switch” tactic – a game-plan that certainly flummoxed and exploited Foreman over the course of the first round. During the months, weeks, days and minutes leading up to the fight, Ali convinced the world (including Foreman) that he was in fact, too fast and too slick for the slow, lumbering “Mummy” – a nickname he famously gave to antagonize George.
In a fusion of speed, skill and pomp, he predicted: “Big George” would be out-boxed, out-classed, and rendered unable to lay a single glove on him. And it didn’t matter whether it was in front of the world’s media or to a handful of people in a room, Ali declared he was ‘gonna dance’ and sting Foreman all night with lightning-fast jabs and make him look slow and foolish. However, in the opening round, Muhammed Ali didn’t dance. Instead, he let his hands go and tried to knock Foreman out by planting a batch of right-hand leads straight into George’s face, one after the other – the “bait and switch” play no-one saw coming – especially not Foreman.
But for all its genius, Ali’s plan “A” was to no avail, as the more shots he landed the more aggressive Foreman became. By round two, George was thunderously banging away at Ali’s flank with big-powerful, annihilating hooks. At this point, the rope-a-dope; Ali’s plan “B” was immersed into deep, choppy waters. And in round eight, after throwing a torrent of vicious punches, Foreman was gassed-out and exposed to Ali’s five-punch combination and the final right that floored an exhausted George, crowing Muhammed Ali a two-time world champion.
Now, while Tyson Fury and Muhammed Ali are not comparable; in this instance, “The Gypsy King” is the lineal champion, the underdog and a heavyweight boxer about to square off against a ferocious fighter: the WBC champion and division’s most devastating power-puncher, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder. So, some similarities could again be considered.
Like Ali, Fury is the boxer, an underdog, the man who was stripped of his titles and a man who faces a fearsome and heavy-hitting brawler. Wilder’s a man Fury can’t knock-out with one punch and a man who is equally as tall, fast and can take a punch. So, along with his technical ability, awkward-hybrid style of boxing, Tyson Fury will need a solid game-plan that flummoxes Wilder and aids “The Gypsy King’s” victory.
So, when the bell rings for round one, we may well see Fury rush towards Wilder and let his hands go early on. This may completely rattler the WBC champ and force him to make mistakes, providing openings for Fury to dish-out some heavy artillery. If an impression is established from the off, Fury will be up on the cards, leaving Wilder possibly chasing the fight, throwing wild shots and being punished for it in the process.
Fury, from round two, may switch back to boxer-mode and keep moving; occasionally spearing out his thudding jabs.
Round three may see further explosive attacks from Fury, followed by more footwork and a sound defence.
Rounds five and six, Fury may showboat a little in between targeting Wilder’s body – an area not many have charted.
Seven and eight – fundamentals implemented: clinching, holding and leaning from Fury, in attempts to frustrate and wear-out his opponent.
Nine and ten may see Wilder’s best chances to knock Fury through the ropes with his trademark right, accompanied by his wild, windmill punching onslaught.
If both are still on their feet for eleven and twelve, then the busy work early may have generated enough momentum, placing Fury ahead on the judges’ scorecards and producing another massive, shattering upset as “The Gypsy King” becomes a two-time world heavyweight champion – something not many envision.
But this is heavyweight boxing and it could well be all over in the first round (more so for Fury) if Wilder lands a monstrous shot to the jaw – that much is possible.
And whatever the result, a cracking fight should be on the cards come Saturday, December 1.
Tyson Fury: The Path to Heavyweight Clarity
By Thomas Choong
Lennox Lewis versus Vitali Klitschko, held on June 21, 2003, was the last time I recognized the winner of a bout as being boxing’s “true” heavyweight champion of the world.
How Lewis obtained that status is up for debate. For some, such status was obtained when he unified the 3 major belts of his era (those being the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts – the WBO still straddled the line of relevance at the time).
For others, Lewis’ championship status was derived from having earned his place in the lineage of this sport’s great line of heavyweight kings. Lewis defeated Shannon Briggs, who defeated George Foreman, and further preceded by Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, so on and so forth – a line of champions that had remained unbroken since the Floyd Patterson defeated Archie Moore to claim the championship mantle after the retirement of Rocky Marciano in 1955.
The latter is a title of status that stands above sanctioning bodies or politics. If anything, the path is simple: the champion is “the man who beat the man,” and in doing so, is cemented in the annals of boxing history.
In theory, filling the vacant spot shouldn’t be difficult. By unifying all of the major belts, there ought to be universal consensus as to who is the world’s top heavyweight. To note, once Lewis retired, boxing fans accepted the relevance of the WBO belt alongside the ones Lewis had held, and the chase began.
While many people recognized Wladamir Klitschko’s status as universal champion through his obtaining of the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, let’s not forget that our acceptance of Wlad’s status was under unique circumstances on account of the impossibility of Wlad unifying the the 4th belt against his elder brother, then WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. Vitali’s retirement did not resolve this issue as a string of mandatory defences for Wlad, alongside boxing’s (unfortunately) accepted political turmoil prevented us all from getting the universal clarity that we sought. Deontay Wilder picked up the elder Klitschko’s former title in April of 2015 and we, the fans, were essentially left with a better known and more established European champion in Klitschko, and a lesser known American Champion in Wilder who still sought a career defining fight.
Tyson Fury, hailing from Manchester, England, defeated Wladamir Klitschko in November 2015, and with that, the belts and adulation of defeating a respected champion. The narrative that followed his triumph was far from epic after his victory, as the promotion for Saturday’s fight has well noted Fury’s fall from grace which includes battling depression, obesity and substance abuse. His journey back from his life’s hellish abyss is nothing short of inspiring, as is his desire to reaffirm his place at the top of the heavyweight heap.
It wasn’t politics that stripped Fury of his belts; he did that on his own. His two comeback fights have been less than inspiring against non-descript opposition. He knows this.
However, as we count down to Saturday’s bout, Fury’s willingness to challenge Deontay Wilder and add the WBC belt to his trophy case is a feat that his “sanctioned” successor, another Brit, and current WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, has demonstrated an aversion to – much to the dissatisfaction of the boxing community.
Respected veteran coach/trainer Nazeem Richardson recently stated in an interview on Fighthype.com that the winner of this bout will be entitled to hold Mike Tyson’s old moniker of being “the baddest man on the planet” by virtue of noteworthy wins on their respective resumes. A win for Wilder would allow him to boast victories against Tyson Fury and his recent, come from behind, triumph over previously undefeated Cuban amateur standout Luis Ortiz in April of this year. Fury’s victory would allow him to cement his legacy by way of having won all four major titles in the ring against Wilder and Klitschko.
For Fury to win this fight, he’ll have to be back to the same form he was when he defeated (and dominated) Klitschko three years ago. While styles make fights, I’d bet the house on that version of Fury to render Joshua’s skillset ineffective. Joshua’s still developing legacy is also highlighted by his own win against Klitschko, though Joshua’s battle with Klitschko was a life-and-death, see saw affair that, although thrilling, showed Joshua struggle against a 41 year old former champion coming off of his loss against Fury and 17 months of inactivity.
As far as the heavyweight picture goes, there is no comeback story that compares to the one Tyson Fury hopes will unfold on Saturday night. History has not been kind to past champions who retired on top and attempted to return to their former glory. However, this story isn’t that of Jim Jeffries coming off a 6 years of inactivity to return as America’s Great White Hope to challenge Jack Johnson in 1908, nor is it the story of a 36 year old Joe Louis returning from a 27 month layoff to challenge Ezzard Charles in 1950. We’re talking about a 30 year old, 6’9” giant who, in this part of his career, has shown the fortitude to overcome near insurmountable adversity, take the steps he felt necessary to return to top form, and challenge the man who many consider the most dangerous boxer on the planet.
As the odds narrowly suggest, Deontay Wilder is expected to come out victorious on Saturday night with many people already prepared to criticize him for facing a man who is merely a shadow of his passed prime. However, the fact that the odds are so close despite Fury’s inactivity signify the level of respect for his boxing acumen within the pugilistic community, provided he’s as ready as he claims to be.
On Saturday night at the Staples Center, the same site where Lennox Lewis made his final successful defence of the heavyweight crown before retiring, this writer will be rooting for Fury to bring clarity to the heavyweight division. Within the modern era of boxing where multiple titles and politics have managed to confuse the masses and push boxing to the brink of fringe status in North America, a win by Fury would not only re-establish his status as being “the man to beat,” but he would also be the reigning, undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World whose trophy case also includes the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles.
For this fan, a Tyson Fury victory will finally bring clarity to who stands on the mountain top of our sweet science.
Tyson Fury: From Despair to Glory
By: Thomas Nicholls
It was November 2017 in lavish Monte Carlo and the Boxing aficionados are congregated around a Blackjack table ahead of the final press conference for Dereck Chisora’s European title bout with Agit Kabayel.
Emerging from the backdrop in what, at that time, was a very rare public appearance, Tyson Fury at 28 stone, wiping sweat from his brow.
Smiling, laughing and joking with his former adversary Chisora, Fury was without a license, without a trainer and without a hope, or so it seemed, of ever stepping through the ropes again.
Since that night in Dusseldorf, Fury has gone to the very bottom, openly confessing that he did not want to live any more. Tales of driving at high speeds towards a bridge, drink and drug fuelled weeks upon months and £50 orders in KFC. Perhaps only a few people ever believed the “mack” would return.
Videos begin to emerge online of a desperately overweight, but still lineal champion, battling through some pad work with soon to be best friend, trainer and “lifesaver” Ben Davison. Could he return?
Stone after stone after stone, Fury is carving out a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels and in the summer of 2018 Fury was back.
Two routine wins over, lets face it, no hopers in Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta and the Wilder fight is made. Yes, just like that. In less than 12 months, Fury has travelled from a sweat soaked white polo shirt in a Monte Carlo casino to being face to face with Alabama monster puncher Deontay Wilder in a rain sodden Belfast.
As Boxing historians preach, to be the man you’ve got to beat the man and whilst fellow British heavyweights Dillian Whyte and of course, Anthony Joshua continue to improve and impress – Tyson Fury is still the man.
In the opposite corner on Saturday night will be stood an almighty task, but nothing like the challenge Fury has overcome since he tearfully sang an Aerosmith number to his wife Paris in November 2015. Deontay Wilder, for all his flaws, has put each of his 39 opponents on the floor. He is a devastating puncher.
Nobody is too sure of how this fight pans out. Journalists, pundits and boxers alike are tipping either a Wilder KO or a Fury points win and understandably so I guess. I imagine that Wilder will try and unsettle Fury very early in the fight, his lightning athleticism, testing the condition of Tyson and his 20 stone weight swing.
Avoiding the go to cliché of anything can happen in heavyweight boxing, I’ll stick with the “what if’s”. What if Tyson Fury is the Tyson Fury that completely outthought and outfought Wladimir Klitschko in 2015? What if he negates Wilder’s wildness and counters using the craft he did/does possess? It’s a fascinating match up.
“Lifesaver” Ben Davison has called upon the experience of Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton to assist him throughout camp and on fight night, which is an interesting dynamic. We all know that one to many voices in between rounds can be of substantial detriment – we’ll see.
For me, despite Fury’s absence, this a 50/50 fight. Ok, maybe a 52/48 in Wilder’s favour. Enormous credit must go to Deontay Wilder for taking on Fury in a voluntary defence. Enormous credit must go to Fury for taking this fight, regardless of the reward, in his first competitive fight of his comeback.
It’s got the hallmarks of a classic and the winner must and will pursue a fight with Anthony Joshua. We can only hope the fight gets made.
I expect early drama, I expect Fury’s skill to rise to the surface and I predict that Fury will counter and finish a, by that point, desperate Wilder in rounds 9-12.
Past And Present Heavyweight Big Guns Weigh In On Wilder-Fury
By: Sean Crose
“Although Wilder’s punch is strong,” says legendary former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, “nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.” And so, with these words, Tyson weighs in on this Saturday’s heavyweight title throwdown between England’s Tyson Fury and American powerhouse Deontay Wilder. The match, which will go down in California while being aired live on Pay Per View, is for Wilder’s WBC title strap. It’s also for bragging rights. Both Wilder and Fury, along with English titlist Anthony Joshua, all have a claim to the title of king of boxing’s top division.
Yet Tyson, who Fury is literally named after, isn’t the only known heavyweight to weigh in on the matter. “If it goes the distance then it belongs to Tyson Fury,” says Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis. “If it’s a short fight it will belong to Deontay Wilder. This is an epic and most-unpredictable showdown. I can’t wait for this fight.” The legendary George Foreman also finds the bout tough to call. “I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder,” he claims, “and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach.”
“I love Tyson Fury,” says former top contender Gerry Cooney. “I think he’s a remarkable self-promoter, and he did a great job with Wladimir Klitschko, using his feints and throwing Klitschko off his game plan. Deontay is a different kind of fighter, though. Fury fights at 30 miles per hour. Deontay fights at 100 miles per hour. So, when Deontay catches Fury and gets ahold of him I think it’s going to be over.”
Current top contender Luis Ortiz shares Cooney’s sentiment. “If Fury decides he wants to dip and dive and move, then he can extend the fight,” he says. “But it’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”
While the 40-0 Wilder is perhaps the favorite walking into LA’s Staples Center ring on Saturday night, the 27-0 Fury is wild and unpredictable enough to give the proceedings an air of uncertainty…which is for the best when it comes to the leadup of high level heavyweight boxing.