Why Deontay Wilder Turned Down Such A Massive Offer
By: Hans Themistode
For years now the two biggest stars in the most historic division have yet to see eye to eye. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and unified titlist Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) have been verbally attacking each other on social media and whenever a camera is in front of them. Although it’s entertaining to the fans, what would be even more satisfying to see them square off.
With Joshua making his U.S. debut this upcoming June against Jarrell Miller it seems like the stage is finally set for the two to settle things in the ring. Joshua is of course associated with Eddie Hearn’s DAZN platform and Wilder is a free agent that can do as he pleases. His upcoming fight against Dominic Breazeale is taking place on Showtime but going forward he can return to that network or whichever he chooses.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
Hearn has recently extended a hand to Wilder and his team to negotiate the terms of a bout with Joshua. It was then reported that Hearn made a substantial offer of 100 million to Wilder for a three fight deal. Those fights would include Wilders mandatory bout against Breazeale and two fights with Joshua. To the surprise of many Wilder and his team turned the offer down.
On the outside looking in it is easy to criticize Wilder for his decision to not accept the offer. However once he was given a chance to explain exactly why he did not take the offer it is a valid reason.
“They made a very subnational offer but at this point in his career what he has accepted to go forward in a different direction,” said Shelly Finkel who is Wilders co-promoter. “We also feel that when Deontay knocks out Joshua we want millions to see it and right now DAZN doesn’t have that.”
Finkel would also go to discuss some of the unfairness that took place during the negotiation process.
“I don’t want to get into specifics of the contract but if we’re getting offered a dollar it may seem like a lot but you also want to hear what the other guy is getting but we were never told. If the other guy is getting five dollars then that one dollar you were given doesn’t seem like much now does it? They just would not tell us more about the specifics of what Joshua would make in comparison to Deontay.”
It’s hard for fans to stay patient when this could be the biggest fight in boxing today. Nonetheless take a step back and look at things from a financial standpoint. Essentially he would be getting 40 million for both Joshua fights and 20 million for the Breazeale contest. Finkel went on to explain that although that is a high offer, that the number will only continue to rise and the demands of Wilder would need to be compensated as well.
“Look a year ago he was willing to take 15 million flat to fight Joshua. Today he’s not willing to take 40 million. The conditions must be right.”
Wilder summed everything perfectly.
“I’m betting on myself.”
He sure is taking a massive gamble on himself but it is working thus far.
NY Press Conference Notes: Wilder vs. Breazeale
By: Hans Themistode
The New York City Press conference to announce the Heavyweight title clash between WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) was a feisty affair. Both men have a long lasting feud that stretches far beyond the squared circle.
In 2017 the two fought on the same card and both picked up impressive victories. Breazeale’s coming against then Izuagbe Ugonoh and Wilder’s coming against Gerald Washington. Ironically enough both men scored stoppage victories in round five.
Sometime after their contests they got into a dispute that ended in a bit of a tussle. Ask both men what happened and they will both tell you completely different stories. Regardless of what they have been saying, the time for talk is over as they will be squaring off on May 18 at the Barlcays Center.
Wilder has become a staple at the Barclays as it has become some what of a de facto home for the Alabama native. The WBC champion expressed his admiration for the venue as well.
“It’s a blessing to be back in Brooklyn and back at the Barclay Center. You know how dear this place is to me. I’ve been here so many times. Out here they call me the Bronx Bomber instead of the Bronze Bomber and I love it. I’m looking forward to fighting here again.” Said Wilder.
Seems as though it was a calm press conference doesn’t it? Think again. These two bohemians wasted no time expressing their dislike for one another while also giving warnings of what exactly will happen come fight night.
“I finally get a chance to get this chump in the ring. I’m tired of hearing you talk. It’s time to get in the ring and square off.” Said Breazeale.
In the world of boxing it is common place that two fighters don’t like one another but normally there is a healthy level of respect. For Breazeale however there seems to be none there.
“It’s hard for me to believe that Wilder is the Heavyweight champion. How can a man with a lack of boxing skills be the champion? Come fight night he’s going to bring everything that he has. He’s gonna feel my right hand and I might feel his but I guarantee if he feels mines then he’s going down.”
The war of words didn’t stop there as Breazeale explained just how elated he was when he found out that Wilders younger brother Marcellus was knocked out earlier this year.
“Man I was so excited that I sent the guy who did it “Trouble” gear. I wanna take the guy out and buy him dinner, maybe a good steak. I’ve got that highlight in my house.”
There is absolutely no love and no respect shown between these two. In the words of Breazeale, Wilder does everything wrong. But how do you prepare for someone that is so unconventional?
“I don’t know maybe I have to find some tall basketball players to spar against.”
For as much as Breazeale poked fun at Wilder’s expense he made it clear what he intends to do come fight night.
“This fight ain’t going the distance. I’m gonna knock his ass out.”
According to Wilder Breazeale deserved everything that happened to him on that night in Alabama.
“Listen, he sucker punched my brother,” said Wilder to the media. “He hit my brother first and then my brother came around and dropped him. He got embarrassed because my brother was only about 193 pounds. If my bother can do that to him what do you think I’m gonna do to him? I’m gonna knock his ass out come May 18th.”
Whenever Deontay Wilder speaks to the media it is impossible to not address the elephant in the room, meaning Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Wilder made it clear that he is not chasing anyone.
“I’m a king. We don’t chase anyone. I’m not hard to find. They know how to contact me.”
With all of the animosity that was spewed during todays press conference it is safe to say that fans can expect fireworks come fight night.
Wilder-Breazeale Engage In Heated Presser For May 18th Showdown
By: Sean Crose
“The reality is –he’s in charge of his career.”
With these words, Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza made it loud and clear that WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder would rather fight on Showtime than he would on the DAZN streaming service, which had reached out to make a deal with the Alabama native. And so, on Showtime, Wilder will face Dominic Breazeale on May 18th at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.
“I’m sick of seeing this bum walking around with this belt,” said the 20-1 Breazeale, Wilder’s mandatory opponent, during a kickoff press conference Tuesday in New York. “I’m going to put him on his ass.”
“I consider the mandatories like flies,” Wilder quipped, “they’re always buzzing in your ear.” If Breazeale had meant to irk Wilder, he may have accomplished his goal. “This is the only sport where payback is a motherfucker,” the 40-0-1 Wilder said. “Pain is the name of the game in this sport, and we all know who does that the best.”
Many had expected Wilder to have a rematch with Tyson Fury this spring, as the two men had fought to a controversial draw last December. Fury, however, signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, and will now be fighting on ESPN, Showtime’s competition. As for DAZN, a deal with Wilder might have led to a heavyweight superfight with multibelt titlist Anthony Joshua. Team Wilder found the offer unfair, however.
“We’re going to have a lot of people we’re going to satisfy,” said Wilder, “and there’s some people we’re not.”
As for Breazeale, the man had a searing run in with Wilder in a hotel lobby some time back. It was an incident the California native made clear motivates him. “I didn’t have an urban dictionary,” Breazeale said of the melee, “so I couldn’t understand what he was saying.” Wilder, too obviously remains heated over the matter. “I can’t wait to see what this dude’s body gonna do when I hit him in the face,” he said of his opponent.
Wilder jawed throughout the standoff while Breazeale simply stared at his opponent cooly. Wilder then appeared to stalk after Breazeale offstage, yelling the entire time. “Boy,” Wilder had said earlier. “I’ve been waiting for this day.” He certainly seemed to be enjoying the moment. Word had been out that the Wilder-Breazeale fight would go down on Showtime pay per view, so the fact it will air on regular Showtime this spring may come as a surprise to some.
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder Defends Against Mandatory Challenger Dominic Breazeale
Undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will put his title on the line for the ninth time when he steps into the ring against hard-hitting mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, May 18 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Wilder vs. Breazeale promises the type of explosive displays of power that fans have come to expect from the red-hot heavyweight division as the two knockout artists have combined for 57 knockouts in 62 professional bouts. Both men stand at 6-foot-7-inches tall, have engaged in numerous dramatic clashes and are fan-favorites at Barclays Center. Wilder will be fighting at the arena for the fourth time and Breazeale will be making his third appearance.
Tickets for this BombZquad event go on sale Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Beginning Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. ET, tickets can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) is the most exciting heavyweight in the world with a power-punching style that has fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish, knowing the tide of a fight can change in the blink of an eye. He has only gone the distance twice in his career with 39 of his 41 matches ending inside of the distance. He battered Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds to win a lopsided unanimous decision and claim the WBC title on Jan. 17, 2015. In the rematch two years later Wilder crushed Stiverne with a brutal first-round knockout that left the challenger crumpled on the bottom rope.
The 33-year-old Wilder is coming off a thrilling battle with British heavyweight contender Tyson Fury that resulted in a split draw on Dec. 1. Wilder scored knockdowns in the ninth and 12th rounds of the fight. The last knockdown appeared to finish off Fury, but he beat the referee’s count and made it to the final bell.
Born in and still living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Wilder picked up the nickname “The Bronze Bomber” in honor of Joe Louis, who was known as “The Brown Bomber” after he won the bronze medal as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team. Wilder got a late start as a boxer, taking up the sport at age 20 hoping to become a professional and earn enough money for the medical treatments of his daughter Naieya, who was born with spina bifida. He won the U.S. Olympic trials with just 21 amateur bouts under his belt.
“I’m very happy that I get a chance to get a mandatory out of the way, because I consider mandatories like flies buzzing around my head,” said Wilder. “They bother me. I’m busy. I have things that I want to do. I want to get him out of the way. I’m about to smash this fly. This is a personal fight for me. As the universe works this is the perfect time. I haven’t been this excited about destroying an opponent since Bermane Stiverne. I’m also excited to have the very first event for BombZquad Promotions at what I consider one of best arenas in the country, Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s go time baby. I can’t wait.”
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) is nicknamed “Trouble” and that’s exactly what he has been for his opponents. The 33-year-old has a durable chin and a slugger’s mentality, throwing heavy-handed shots that have seen him score 18 knockout victories in his 21 professional fights.
Breazeale, who was born in Glendale, California and now lives in Eastvale, California, was an outstanding high school football player who played quarterback at Northern Colorado University before taking up boxing. The 6-foot-7 Breazeale was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team.
He put himself into position to challenge for the WBC world title by ripping off three straight knockout victories following the only loss in his career, a seventh-round TKO to Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title match in 2016. In December he scored a knockout victory in Brooklyn over Carlos Negron for his second-straight win at Barclays Center.
“I’m excited for the event more so than just fighting Deontay Wilder,” said Breazeale. “I want that WBC title. What I bring to the fight is excitement and consistent action. I’m going to bring the action all night. I’m not scared to stick my nose out there and look for the big shot. I know the big shot is coming as long as I set it up the right way.”
Wilder Offered Big Money 2 Deal with DAZN
By: Michael Kane
Deontay Wilder has reportedly been offered a $50 million two fight deal with DAZN.
DAZN have been in talks with Wilder with a view to securing a fight with Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight unification fight.
World Boxing News have reported that in effect Wilder will receive $25m for each fight which will then lead to negotiations for an improved contract for two fights with Joshua in 2020.
Speaking to Sky Sports Matchroom Promotions supremo has said how he will be keeping his part in negotiations to a minimum with DAZN taking the lead due to bad feeling between the Wilder camp and Matchroom/Joshua.
“There’s an opportunity for someone to be, of you like, a mediator to try and get it done,” said Hearn.
“Clearly the relationship between Team Wilder and Team Joshua isn’t the best. I think this is a route that is going to be very beneficial to making that undisputed fight.
“I think any input from me would be a negative one. In terms of trying to move things forward because of the relationship. So I’ll be leaving it in the hands of the broadcasters to try and effectively be a mediator.
“It’s not just about doing a deal with Wilder, it’s about doing a deal with Joshua, for the fight.
“They’ve got their work cut out. But the pieces are coming together. There’s a long way to go, a long way to go.
“We’ll see where it goes. But there is now a strategy in place and a route in place that could lead us to an undisputed fight.
As things stand Wilder is expected to fight Dominic Breazeale, whether this will be shown on DAZN, Showtime or FOX Sports, no one knows.
If this deal goes through, it would leave Tyson Fury with no chance of winning the World Title for at least a year.
Deontay Wilder: “Fury Did Not Want To Fight Me”
By: Sean Crose
“We knew Fury wasn’t gonna take this fight,” so said WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder on Gerry Cooney and Randy Gordon’s Sirius XM show. “You know,” he continued, “we got to a certain point in time when they were stalling about signing the contract that was already set a week ago. When he was stalling from signing that, we knew something was wrong. We knew it was the problem where Frank (Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter) wasn’t answering his phone anymore. You know it wasn’t no reason for him not to answer. We knew something was up.”
With those words, the undefeated power puncher from Alabama gave his take on “the fight that wasn’t” – a highly anticipated rematch between himself and Tyson Fury, which was widely expected to go down this spring. The first Wilder-Fury battle, which occurred in December and ended in a controversial draw, left fans wanting more, in no small part because Fury went down – then got up, from a ferocious Wilder shot in the 12th and final round. Fury, however, surprised the fight world recently by aligning with promoter Bob Arum and ESPN, a move which arguably put him directly at odds with Wilder, and Al Haymon, who acts as Wilder’s adviser.
The fact that Fury’s decision was announced around the time fans and analysts were expecting word of a Wilder rematch only added to the shock factor. “You know nothing was wrong with the contract,” said Wilder, “that everything was good. But Fury did not want to fight me. Fury signed the ESPN deal to run away from me. You can’t go nowhere. Well, where he gonna go? He’s not a champion. He didn’t win the fight.” Fury, of course, has his own take on things (it’s doubtful he’d even say he didn’t want a rematch with Wilder). The fighter known as The Bronze Bomber admitted that team Fury made him an offer – but it wasn’t the kind of offer he’d be willing to take.
According to Wilder, team Fury was eager to capitalize on the fact that Wilder had admitted he was a “free agent,” which essentially meant Wilder could fight on any network, including ESPN. “That’s where everything went crazy,” Wilder said. “We got a lot of deals on the table. But yeah. They (team Fury) went to four fights or whatever.” In other words, Wilder claimed team Fury wanted Wilder to sign a four fight contract with ESPN before agreeing to a rematch.
WBC: Wilder-Fury II “Not Happening Next”
By: Sean Crose
“BREAKING NEWS: @BronzeBomber vs @Tyson_Fury is officially not happening next. The @WBCBoxing has received communications as our process and while Wilder confirmed its willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do rematch at a later date.”
With the above awkwardly worded tweet, the World Boxing Council essentially let the world know on Tuesday that the much anticipated heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not be happening – at least not for the time being. Although obviously disappointing for many fans, Tuesday’s news came as no surprise. For Fury signed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions last week, politicizing the chance of a second go with Wilder (Wilder is aligned with competitor Al Haymon).
“You sorry muthafucka,” Wilder tweeted at Fury Tuesday afternoon. “We knew you only said this (a previous tweet where Fury claimed he would fight anyone) because you knew you wasn’t fighting me next. #CloutChaser you requested a warm-up fight first I don’t blame you tho, I probably would too if I saw my brains splashed all over the canvas. #Timberrr #Bih #RunHoeRun #NoSmokeWanted”
Fury, of course, had his own ready response for Wilder.
“Get your self a bit more well known in America first kid & then I’ll give you another chance.!,” the Englishman tweeted. “I already beat you & the world knows it & so do you must be hard for you that a British fighter has taken over the USA watch me whippppp #ONLYINAMERICA @espn.” In truth, an announcement of a rematch was expected until Fury teamed up with Arum. Now the 27-0-1 fighter will have his fights broadcast by ESPN while the 40-0-1 Wilder’s fight’s will most likely be aired on Showtime or Fox, which works with Haymon.
The first fight between the two men went down in California last December. Fury, who was returning to a heavyweight championship fight for the first time since stunning Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, boxed masterfully while champion Wilder spent much of the fight in hot pursuit. The biggest moment in the bout, however, came when Wilder dropped Fury with a thunderous shot in the 12th and final round. To the shock of many, however, Fury got up and finished the round. The fight was ultimately ruled a draw. The WBC demanded that Fury and Wilder express their intentions by midweek this week, as a rematch was supposedly in the works.
As things stand, Team Fury argues that their fighter will engage in a fight this spring before moving on to challenge Wilder again in the autumn.
Wilder Reacts to Fury’s Top Rank Deal
By: Michael Kane
The boxing world was expecting the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to be sealed this week. Negotiations have taken a twist it would seem after the announcement that Tyson Fury has signed a co promotion deal with Top Rank.
The general feeling is that negotiations will prove difficult with Top Rank aligned to ESPN and Wilder being represented by Al Haymon who runs PBC. With the last fight being shown on Showtime, there was an expectation that the rematch would be shown on Showtime too.
However, that may not be the case as Wilder told ThaBoxingVoice: “If anything, it makes the fight better, it don’t hurt the fight.
“If anything it hurts the other competition with Joshua, that Fury’s signing with ESPN. He [Joshua] is with DAZN, it don’t really affect me.
“At the end of the day, if he wants to fight, then he’s gonna fight. If not, then we’ll move onto the next one. We have enough guys in the stable that we can fight for the next two years.
“When it comes to America, there’s only one American that’s dominant and that’s Deontay Wilder.”
Despite being represented by Al Haymon, Wilder claims he doesn’t have any deals specifically with PBC, Showtime or FOX.
When asked if he would fight on ESPN, Wilder replied, “Of course, it’s always where the money is, is gonna be right.
“I’m a free agent, I can fight anyone, I don’t necessarily have to fight on the networks that I’m on, I can fight anywhere.
“The rematch is still on the table for him if he wants it. If he don’t may God be with him.”
In the event the rematch doesn’t take place on the rumored date of May 18th, Wilder is still aiming to fight on that date.
Wilder stated: “We’re doing our own thing, we’re still gonna have that date. Who knows who it’s gonna be?
“It could be [Dominic] Breazeale, it could be [Adam] Kownacki, it could be [Dillian] Whyte.”
Top Rank supremo Bob Arum believes Fury now has a better negotiation stance than he did last week. The WBC ordered a 60-40 split in favor of their champ Deontay Wilder and even if Top Rank win the purse bid, Wilder will earn more.
Speaking with BoxingScene.com Arum said, “(the purse bid) doesn’t factor into it at all, the WBC wants the fight to happen. Good luck to them but we don’t need them to tell us how the purses should be. That’ll come with reasonable negotiations.”
Arum also distanced himself from the rumored May 18th date at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn which seemed set to be announced only days ago.
“Well, there’s no magic in May 18th,” Arum said. “That’s just one day of the year. When it comes time to pick a date for the fight, as long as the fight happen, what difference does it make if it’s in June? Or where it is. I mean, obviously, Las Vegas would be a good place for it and there are other good places for it. But, I mean, that’s to be decided when the time comes.”
Wilder Believes Fury Rematch Close, Joshua Will Be Next
Deontay Wilder is expecting his rematch with Tyson Fury to be made soon, then he says he will take on Anthony Joshua.
Speaking to UK radio station Talksport Wilder said the deal for the rematch is all but confirmed. Rumours are suggesting an April 27th showdown.
“Unless Fury backs out if it, or anything of that sort of nature, it’s definitely going to happen again.” Wilder said.
“But to my understanding, as of right now, everything is good. It’s looking like maybe Vegas, maybe Barclays Centre in New York, who knows?”
A lot of UK fans had been hoping to see the rematch take place at a stadium in the UK, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Millenium Stadium had all been mentioned as possible venues however Wilder explained why the fight will take place back in the States.
“It will definitely be back here, our pay-per-view prices are just way higher than over in the UK.
“You guys pay only like $25, but we can go from $50 to $100 easy and that’s with everything!”
Moving on to Anthony Joshua, Wilder is ready to take him on if he gets past Fury, for a shot to unify the heavyweight division.
“If he is ready, I am ready,” Wilder said, “like I said, he (got to) be fair, it’s got to be right down and that is the thing about it.
“They thought they were going to be the only people and everybody has to abide by their rules and rotate around them.
“But we had to show them! I had to grab my career and I had to go and do my own thing and that’s what I’m doing ”
Heavyweight Boxing – Out of the Crossroads and Into the Light
By: Aziel Karthak
A thundering right and a follow up left from the most potent hands in boxing dropped Tyson Fury in the 12th round of the WBC heavyweight title fight in December. The die seemed cast. But the hulking Englishman rose up from the canvas, before the fat lady could belt out the first note and just after Referee Jack Reiss had counted “nine.” In a way, his astonishing recovery mirrored the revival of heavyweight boxing in recent times.
The sport overall is healthier than people give it credit. The middleweights have Canelo and Golovkin. Below them in a range of weight divisions are refulgent talents such as Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Mikey Garcia and the incredible Vasily Lomachenko. Old hands like Pacquiao are still around. Yet, it is the heavyweights, or rather DeontayWilder’s classic with Fury that was the apex of 2018.
Sometimes, we make too much of too little. Yet, it’s understandable in this case. For so long, the heavyweight division was the most important in boxing, though fans of Sugar Ray Robinson and Marvin Hagler may take umbrage. To be heavyweight champion was to be the most famous sportsman on the planet.
So, what happened in the 21st century that made the division so forgettable? Was it lack of skill? Was it lack of personality? Was it both? The Klitschko brothers were doubtless amazing, albeit robotic fighters, even if the competition around them left a lot to be desired. Alas, they did not have the fighting style or the controversy to keep the division at par with what the likes of Pacquiao and Mayweather were doing do in the lighter weights. Yet, their most damning issue was the comparison against what came before in the division.
The 1970s had Ali, Frazier and Foreman as champions and a rung below them were accomplished fighters such as Norton, Quarry and Bonevena who were capable of holding their own against anyone. Between them Ali, Frazier and Foreman fought each other a combined six times, some of them wars that are indelible marks on the game’s history. Norton himself fought Ali to three close fights, winning one in the process.
The closest decade to the 1970s in terms of genuinely skilled heavyweights at or close to their prime was the 1990s. There was Holyfield, Bowe and Lewis, with Tyson missing for a large part of the first half of the decade. The one issue with this lot was that, apart from Holyfield who fought the other three a combined seven times, the rest did not meet each other in their primes. By the time Lewis knocked out Tyson in 2002, the latter was a mere shadow of the wrecking ball that had terrorized admittedly average competition in the 1980s. (You can argue Tyson was never the same after he fired Kevin Rooney late in the decade.)
The first 15 years of the new millennium had very few memorable heavyweight fights. Lewis-Tyson was 10 years too late and Lewis–Vitali Klitschko was a case of what could have been. Then suddenly out of the blue like an Ali short right, we were blessed with the surprisingly good Joshua–Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 that provided gasoline to the flickering embers of heavyweight boxing.
The current generation has it in them to make the next few years a special time in what is historically the blue-riband division of the sweet science. For one, as Fury and Wilder showed, they are willing to fight each other. Is Joshua willing to dance with them like he did with Wladimir? Chances are, he is, but boxing promoters have always sought to protect their golden geese from the time of Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.
Joshua remains the most marketable – a good-looking and seemingly well-mannered champion, who has three of the four belts and is the youngest of the triumvirate. The matchmaking though sometimes embarrassing is understandable in this day and age. How wonderful would it be though, if his handlers just bit the bullet and put him in against any of the other two?
What’s amazing to note is that the two Englishmen and the American have never lost in the combined 91 times they’ve stepped into the ring. Also, that the division’s health is peachy is reflected by the competition immediately below them. The likes of Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz are hardly cans and have the skills and the styles to give anyone fits.
Said the immortal Rocky Marciano after besting Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight crown in 1952, “What could be better than walking down any street in any city and knowing you’re the heavyweight champion of the world?”
The answer may still be “nothing” as long as today’s promoters stay out of the way and let these warriors at each other. We shall wait and hope.
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.