The Strange Write Off Of Deontay Wilder
By: Sean Crose
Just over a year ago, Andy Ruiz stunned the world by besting heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua in the towering Brit’s American debut. Just over six months later, Joshua regained his numerous title belts from Ruiz in slick fashion. By changing strategies and employing effective boxing rather than thunderous power, Joshua returned to his previous perch atop the heavyweight division. He wasn’t the first big name heavyweight to make an impressive comeback. Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Mike, Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and George Foreman were all able to return from the depths of defeat, as well. Strangely enough, however, it appears few – if any – feel former WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder can regain past glory the way Joshua and others have.
For the uninitiated: Alabama’s Wilder had been in possession of the WBC’s famed green title belt for five years when he first met lineal champ Tyson Fury in late 2018. Although Fury proved to be the far slicker of the two, Wilder was able to hold onto his portion of the heavyweight crown by putting Fury flat on his back in the 12th and final round. Fury was able to amazingly get up before the count of ten, yet Wilder was able to walk out of the ring in Vegas that night with a draw.
Fast forward to this past winter. In their second go round, Fury completely dominated Wilder by essentially taking away the man’s range. Wilder may be the hardest hitter in the history of heavyweight boxing, but he needs a certain amount of distance to make his punches effective. Fury, fresh from the tutelage of Sugar Hill Steward, took that distance away, beat Wilder up, and won by stoppage in the seventh. Fortunately for team Wilder, a third fight was apparently built into the contract should Wilder lose the rematch. Wilder, needless to say, is eager for a third go round with Fury to transpire.
While there’s little doubt Fury absolutely dominated his man in the second Wilder fight, I find it puzzling the impending third meeting between the two is being written off as an afterthought. Team Fury is so self assured it’s already set up a pair of matches to go down between Fury and Joshua AFTER the third Wilder battle. Likewise, the boxing media has been looking beyond Wilder to salivate over the Fury-Joshua scenario.
Had this February’s Fury-Wilder fight been the first time the two heavyweights had met in the ring, it would make sense that people would overlook Wilder’s chances a second time around. The two men have fought twice, however, not once. If that weren’t enough, Wilder almost won the first fight by knockout. Yes, Fury brilliantly changed strategies, and yes, Wilder is crude in the ring, relying too much on his power. Is Wilder so unteachable, however, that there’s virtually no chance he can employ a strategy to match Fury’s in a third match between the two men? Many, if not the majority, of analysts and fans seem to think so. Don’t count me among their number. Although I certainly favor Fury over Wilder heading into their next bout, I find it silly to completely write Wilder off. Silly and less than insightful.
Fury-Wilder 3 Pushed Back Due To Corona Virus
By: Sean Crose
It what probably comes as a surprise to no one, ESPNs Dan Rafael is reporting that the third heavyweight title matchup between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has been pushed back. Originally, the two men were tentatively set to meet July 18th, less than six months after their last battle. The Corona virus, however, has had an enormous impact on society, and boxing is no exception. Now the match will be on hold until at least the fall. “You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that (original ) date,” Rafael quotes Top Rank’s Bob Arum as saying. “We couldn’t convince them or ourselves,”
Arum, who co-promotes WBC and lineal champ Fury, made it clear that the Corona pandemic is the cause of the delay. “You just have to take a step back,” he said. “How are you going to sell tickets? It’s absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can’t even get there.” Fury, an Englishman, brought a large number of British fans with him to Las Vegas when he soundly beat Wilder in their second match this past February. On top of all important health considerations, the inability of these fans to travel across the Atlantic makes a summer rematch pointless.
Fury and Wilder first met in late 2018. Fury outboxed Wilder through most of the fight, but the Alabama native’s thunderous shots kept him in the bout (late in the battle, Wilder nearly knocked Fury out) leading the match to be ruled a draw. The rematch several weeks ago was far different. Under the tutelage of SugarHill Steward, his new trainer, Fury was aggressive and smothering. After essentially beating Wilder up, he was eventually declared the winner when the fight was wisely stopped in the seventh round. Although some have said (without evidence) a third fight might be pointless, Fury-Wilder 3 would be one of the biggest fights the sport has to offer.
According to Arum, team Wilder is also in agreement that things should be pushed back. “Al and his people are in touch with us all the time on this,” Arum is quoted as saying of Wilder adviser Al Haymon. “We see things the same way.” Like the rest of the sporting world, boxing has essentially been put on hold since the Corona virus reached pandemic proportions. At this point, everyone in the industry is simply hoping the pandemic ends sooner rather than later.
“10 To 20 Million People” Reportedly Streamed Wilder-Fury 2 Illegally
By: Sean Crose
Sports Illustrated is reporting that a whopping 10 to 20 million – that’s million – people illegally streamed last month’s Tyson Fury – Deontay Wilder heavyweight title rematch. The fight, which followed a classic 2018 bout between the two men, was expected to break at least a million pay per view buys. Instead, Fury’s destructive beat down of Wilder brought in one to two hundred thousand less purchases than was expected. Eight to eight hundred fifty thousand buys is nothing to scoff at – but it’s not what most had expected – or wanted – from such a high profile match.
The publication reports “’Extraordinarily high theft”’ of the heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on February 22nd resulted in a depressed PPV sales total.” While some suspected that the disappointing Pay Per View results were yet another indication of boxing not being able to effectively promote itself, the Sports Illustrated piece suggests that the data presented indicates otherwise. The article goes on:
“VFT Solutions’ Wayne Lonstein (a source who admittedly would benefit from talk of rampant piracy) said that his company tracked between ten million and twenty million ‘live views of the fight on major social media platforms’ and another ten million views in the immediate aftermath of Fury’s victory.”
No small number.
What’s more, Wilder-Fury 2 was a hybrid fight, a rarity in contemporary boxing’s dysfunctional landscape. Wilder is advised by the enigmatic Al Haymon – and England’s Fury is represented by Bob Arum and Frank Warren. What made the battle all the more unique was that ESPN – which is allied with Arum – and Fox – which is allied with Haymon – agreed to air the card as a co-promotion between the two network giants. Clearly neither broadcast entity is happy with this latest bit of news.
Sports Illustrated also highlights Eleven Sport’s Frank Golding indicating illegal streams have to do with more than just simple theft – that the quality of the product may not equal the cost. While this certainly may be true at times, it’s hard to argue that anyone who actually purchased Fury’s brutal seventh round victory didn’t feel they got their money’s worth. On the other hand, Pay Per View boxing isn’t cheap, at least not in comparison to the Pay Per View costs of UFC cards.
Wilder vs Fury 3 Set For July 18th
By: Hans Themistode
When Deontay Wilder was left a bloody mess following his February 22nd, rematch against Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, many believed that their rivalry was over.
Tyson Fury had in essence taken everything away from Wilder. His undefeated record, his WBC Heavyweight title and his aura of invincibility now all belonged to Fury.
For the new WBC belt holder, it was a moment that he believed should have come a long time ago. When the two men met for the very first time on December 1st, 2018, Fury was forced to settle for a draw although many believed he had done more than enough to leave that night with the win. The second time around however, Fury left no doubt.
Although Wilder was left battered and bruised, he was far from broken. Less than 24 hours following his defeat, Wilder’s team informed team Fury that they would invoke the immediate rematch clause for a third fight.
Now that Wilder has officially chosen to go down the path of a third fight with Fury, the time and date has officially been set in stone.
The MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 18th, will once again host both big men one more time. News of the official rematch may have surprised several around boxing who believed Wilder should first work his way back up, but promoter Bob Arum was expecting this decision.
“I figured he would do it because I have had enough experience with rematches to know that anything can happen,” said Arum. “Guys can change their strategy and want the opportunity to avenge the loss.”
With the first fight bringing in roughly 300,000 pay-per-view buys, the second almost tippled that number bringing in more than 800,000. The third installment between them could potentially bring in even more eyeballs because of the selected date which is seemingly ideal for everyone involved.
“We realized that date was the favorite of both ESPN and Fox because it comes at a dead time in sports, which is good for the fight,” Arum said. “It’s after the basketball playoffs, baseball is in the middle of the season and there’s no football. It’s the ideal time. The hotel, MGM Grand, also believes it to be an ideal time.”
Since suffering the first loss of his career, Wilder went silent for several days. He did recently put out a statement claiming that his rivalry with Fury is only just getting started.
“The war has just begun,” said Wilder via his social media account.
In order for Wilder’s words to come true, he will need to win his third upcoming fight with Fury. With many believing Fury won the first fight and with Wilder stopped in dramatic fashion in the second, if the former WBC titlist loses yet again, then the war will officially be over.
Deontay Wilder: The War Has Just Begun
By: Sean Crose
“I just want to let you know,” Deontay Wilder says directly to the camera in an Instagram post released Friday evening, “that I am here, your king is here, and we ain’t going nowhere.” Wilder is obviously referring in the video to the fallout from last Saturday night, when he was soundly bested by Tyson Fury in less than seven rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “The war,” Wilder says in the brief video, “has just begun.” Having now met Fury twice in the ring, drawing once, and losing last weekend, Wilder looks to be making it clear that he’s set on making a third fight with the towering Englishman.
“I will rise again,” he states in the video, where he’s wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and appears to be at home (a young child can be heard talking in the background at one point). “I am strong. I am a king. You can’t take my pride. I am a warrior. I’m a king that will never give up. I’m a king that will fight to the death.” Although he appeared willing to fight to the death last weekend, co-trainer Mark Breland arguably saved Wilder from himself when he threw in the towel in round seven, a fact Wilder doesn’t allude to the in the video. “If anyone don’t understand that,” Wilder continues, referring to his willingness to keep fighting, “don’t understand what it is to go to war, don’t understand what it is to fight, we will rise again. We will regain the title. I will be back. We will hold our heads up high.”
Wilder proceeds to compare himself to a mythological creature. “Your king is in great spirits,” he says, “and we will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and regain the title. I’ll see you in a few months, for the war has just begun.” Although the video, which lasts less than two minutes, comes across as over the top, this is an era of over the top heavyweights. Fury, for instance, has earned himself a well earned reputation for saying absolutely outlandish things over and over again. Perhaps it’s all a sign of the times.
Although he doesn’t mention Breland in the video, Lance Pugmire and Mike Coppinger are both reporting that Wilder does indeed wish to continue to have the former Olympian and welterweight titlist on his team. It had been suspected that Wilder would remove Breland from his camp after Breland stopped last weekend’s title match with Fury.
“I Wear a 45 Pound Vest On Me In All Of My Exercises” Says Wilder in Old Video That Resurfaces
By: Hans Themistode
It was considered the biggest fight of the decade, but it also happened to be the worst performance in the career of former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder.
For years, Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs)was viewed as an unstoppable force. Standing at six feet seven inches and barely cracking 200 pounds, it was hard to see why. There was nothing about Wilder from a physical standpoint that screamed intimidating.
So just what could this scrawny young man from Alabama do? He didn’t have the boxing skills, size or pedigree to give anyone a scare.
But then, he hit someone.
And they didn’t get up.
That pattern continued, and the young kid from Alabama quickly grew to become a champion. His reign on top of the world lasted over five years before it was abruptly put to an end at the hands Tyson Fury this past weekend on February 22nd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The loss for Wilder wasn’t entirely shocking. After all, Fury is a great fighter in his own right, but it was the fashion in which Wilder dominated that shocked everyone. Fury dropped the former champion twice before stopping him in the seventh round.
While all eyes should be on the performance of Fury, many can’t help but wonder, just what happened to Deontay Wilder? Simply put, he looked unnerved.
Shortly after receiving the first loss of his career, Wilder unloaded his bag of excuses on the boxing world. The former champion claimed that his pre-fight outfit was simply too much for his willowy body to handle.
“That my uniform was way too heavy for me,” said Wilder during a recent interview. “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through.”
Needless to say, no one was buying his excuses. At least, not at first.
The explanation by Wilder seemed utterly ridiculous. At this point, there were more questions than answers.
Why pick out an outfit that weighs so much? Did you try it on? If you did, how long did you have it on? Why didn’t you pick another costume?
Fans around the world were simply left scratching their collective heads. It just didn’t make sense.
Yet, to the credit of Wilder, when you pull up the tape of his fight against Fury, you could see that throughout much of the contest he did in fact seem to not have his legs underneath him.
The tape may have aided Wilder in proving his point right about his costume weighing too much but just a few days later, the tape has worked against him.
In an interview that took place over a year ago on the Joe Rogan podcast, Deontay Wilder revealed some of the secrets that has helped him become the fighter that he is today. However, it also revealed that the excuse that Wilder used for his poor performance against Fury was just that. An excuse.
“We do everything with rapid speed so I wear a 45 pound vest on me in all of my exercises,” said Wilder. “Everything that I do, I have that extra weight on me.”
45 pounds? Ironically enough, that is the exact weight of the costume that Wilder wore on the night that he fought Fury.
What seemed to be an explanation for his lackluster performance on the biggest stage of his career, seems more and more likely to be nothing more than an excuse. And a poor one at that.
Fury Earned $93,633 Per Punch Against Wilder
By: Sean Crose
Top level boxers make top level money. This is especially true when said boxers are engaged in top level fights. With that in mind, it’s clear that both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder made a boatload from their heavyweight title rematch last Saturday night in Las Vegas. The fight, which Fury won by what was essentially a one sided beatdown, lasted less than seven full rounds. In an era where many work by the hour, iTech Media has taken the liberty of breaking down Wilder and Fury’s pay for the general public. Those who resent athletes making enormous sums of moola might want to stop reading right about now.
Judging from the amount Fury and Wilder earned last weekend, iTech states that “if both fighters worked a 40-hour work- week, their annual salary for the fight would be 3 billion!” That’s billion, not million. What’s more, “the new heavyweight champion earned $93,633 for every shot he threw at Wilder across just over 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the dethroned American secured $177,305 for every punch he attempted in his maiden professional career defeat.” That, to quote Lee Van Cleef in “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly,” is “a tidy sum.”
Yet there’s more. According to iTech, “Wilder and Fury both earned more than 20 times as much as every other fighter that featured on the card combined.” As for Sade’s dictum that “it’s never as good as the first time,” iTech has provided a counterpoint regarding last weekend’s rematch. “Wilder was assured of $4 million the first time around,” it reports, “with Fury seeing an income of $3 million. But they both were guaranteed at least $25 million in this follow-up encounter, before even getting their 50-50 split of the PPV (Pay Per View) on top.” And the costume Wilder now at least partially blames his loss to Fury on? ITech took a look at that, as well. “Wilder,” the company says, “forked out a massive $40,000 on his extravagant ring walk outfit!” Looks like the getup may have cost the man in more ways than one.
Also worth noting is the fact iTech took a look at the social media presence of the fighters. “Throughout the duration of the actual content,” iTech claims, “Fury saw a rise of 400,000 followers on Instagram and 105,788 on Twitter. Wilder, despite coming up short for the first time, gained 200,000 and 28,762 on Instagram and Twitter respectively.”
Deontay Wilder: Crossing the Rubicon
By: Kirk Jackson
There’s a fork in the road with two paths to take. One false misstep, can lead towards an ill-fated pathway of no return.
One path, is opting into an immediate rematch against the highly sophisticated, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs. plus sized behemoth. The scenario of overcoming this measure of adversity to some, may appear as the first step in a thousand-mile march. Some may deem the task impossible altogether.
The other path opposite of an immediate rematch, is to meditate over the previous defeat, aim towards improvement, grind towards craft refinement, while fighting different, (and in most cases) lesser opposition, working towards redemption.
This is the scenario former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s) is faced with. Pride and competitive nature may suggest to him, seek an immediate rematch.
According to terms of the two-fight contracts Wilder and “The Gypsy King” Tyson Fury signed in 2019, Wilder is owed a third bout against Fury, without any bouts for either boxer between their second and third encounters. Wilder has 30 days from Feb. 22 to exercise that contractual right. That proposed third bout would take place at some point during the summer.
While there is dissension amongst Wilder’s team at the moment, his head trainer Jay Deas, hinted at the third bout transpiring in the immediate future.
“My guess is knowing him like I do that he will absolutely want to rematch,” said Deas. “And, I mean, these guys have put on two tremendous fights already. So, I certainly think that the public will want it. And I think we’ll want it. And I think Fury’s team will want it. And so, it seems a natural. So, I think that’s what you’ll see happen.”
Wilder’s team seemingly wants the third fight, but one of Fury’s handlers appears opposed to it at the juncture.
“I prefer to go straight to (Anthony) Joshua, but that is the contract,” Frank Warren said to English publication, BBC Sport.
“It has to be honored unless we can reach some accommodation for him to step aside. We could pay him to step aside if he wants to do that, but that is his choice. It would be lucrative for (Wilder), but I have spoken to his manager and Deontay does believe he has the beating of Tyson, and he can knock him out. I don’t believe that. I fancied Tyson to stop him before the fight at the weekend. If he insists on the fight, we’re locked into it.”
Joshua is the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion and a unification bout with Fury would be historic and should be financially lucrative. However make no mistake, the third bout between familiar foes would be lucrative for Wilder AND for Fury. Due to the performance of the rematch this weekend, the third bout would trend towards favorable numbers as well.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena was packed to capacity with a sellout crowd of 15,816 and the live gate produced $16,916,440 in ticket revenue. Also confirmed by a MGM Resorts International official, the live gate for Wilder-Fury II broke the Nevada record for a heavyweight fight.
For competitive and lucrative motives, there is reason to pursue the third fight. On the other end for Wilder, it can be argued, the best decision to make is a non-emotionally based decision.
There is nothing wrong with regrouping and fine tuning your craft. It’s important to remember, Fury did that very same thing after the first encounter with Wilder in December 2018.
Former multi-divisional champion, future Hall of Famer and current ESPN Boxing Analyst Andre Ward, eloquently stated some of the road blocks that stand in front of Wilder and the tall task required to overcome. Ward advocates Wilder to go back to the drawing board, before challenging Fury again.
Either choice Wilder decides to pursue, something to keep in mind is not overreacting to the results of this past weekend.
There isn’t a blank canvas, regarding what Wilder needs to do and to what he can do against Fury. Contrary to popular belief, he experienced success against Fury and “The Gypsy King” himself acknowledged Wilder’s improvements in between fights.
“I felt like Deontay’s jab had improved, and he did take his time more, like he said he would,” Fury said. “Yeah, and he was using his jab quite well, actually. I was very impressed with his double-jab that he was using. And credit to his team for applying that in this fight, because when you’ve got two giant guys, I think the jab is very important. It sets everything up.”
“So yeah, I thought he was definitely an improved fighter to what I fought before. And he was heavier. I wasn’t able to bully him around, as I did last time, in close, because he was a lot heavier than he ever was. So yeah, I did see improvements in his game. But tonight was my night, and I was never gonna let anybody take it from me.”
As documented, following Fury’s first encounter with Wilder, he took two tune-ups against lesser known, lowly rated opposition; Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KO’s) and Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KO’s) respectively.
While it was implied by some analysts and boxing personalities, that Wilder did not want an immediate rematch Fury the first go-around, his actions after their first encounter suggested otherwise. How the rematch unfolded and how he generally carries himself overall, suggests that he wants immediate revenge and retaliation.
But this time around, it may be more beneficial for Wilder to fight a tune-up or two, before hurling back into the fire of Fury. If others have opted for a similar route past and present, why can’t he? If others get a pass for doing so, shouldn’t he as well? Or will double-standards apply?
And if Wilder is to take a subsequent tune-up or two, who would the opponents be against? Premier Boxing Champions stablemates Adam Kownacki, Charles Martin or Andy Ruiz? Or overseas rival Dillian Whyte? Or someone similar to Otto Wallin?
The pursuit of the immediate rematch or the choice of chasing revenge later down the line, is what Wilder is pitted with.
Because it will take more than heart and desire to dethrone the king of the hill. It takes more than a right hand, it will take everything including the kitchen sink.
Wilder’s ascension back to the top is figuring out the Rubik’s cube that is Fury. How do you overcome a 6-feet-9, 273-pound virtuoso who can punch? How do you contend with a fighter who is also willing to get physical, tenacious and will use any means to secure victory?
Perhaps the answers lie within the quest. Some of the pieces may be sorted through development and facing others in route to the rematch. To quote American marathon runner and author Kathrine Switzer, “Triumph over adversity, that’s what the marathon is all about. Nothing in life can’t triumph after that.”
One loss should not be a death sentence. One singular defeat should not indicate a fighter is a sucks, especially considering said fighter’s historic accomplishments. But that’s not how the current climate of boxing works. In many cases, all it takes is for one loss to for the fighter to be considered fraudulent.
Not wanting to be ordinary, daring to be great, Wilder wants more. If “The Bronze Bomber” is to reclaim his crown, he must cross that abyss of danger, the cavernous river of peril and stake his claim as king. Just as “The Gypsy King” did before him.
So which path will he take?
Tyson Fury’s Reclamation and Deontay Wilder’s Long Road back to Redemption
By: Kirk Jackson
This past weekend was a coronation for the “Gypsy King,” Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s), his legion of supporters and for detractors of Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s).
Fury, executed his game-plan perfectly, providing life to what he and many others of the Fury camp prophesized leading into the rematch this past weekend.
“A big shout out to Deontay Wilder. He came here tonight and he manned up and he really did show the heart of a champion,” said Fury post-fight.
“I hit him with a clean right that dropped him and he got back up. He is a warrior. He will be back. He will be champion again. But I will say, the king has returned to the top of the throne!”
Yes, Fury has reclaimed his throne as the best heavyweight in the world, pummeling who was considered the other best heavyweight in the process. Although there is another great champion back over in the United Kingdom, unified WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s), the consensus heading into the significant fight this past weekend was Fury and Wilder were the two best fighters in the division.
Even in spite of the criticisms of Wilder’s technical abilities, as many fans, critics, fellow fighters have criticized Wilder often in the past for not resembling a classically trained pugilist. In wake of his defeat, a hailstorm of criticism has unleashed on Wilder, some detractors even questioning how he became world champion in the first place.
Fans, critics and writers from over the pond may want to keep in mind, the more they diminish the skills and greatness of Wilder, the more it takes away from Fury’s accomplishment. For those standing firm behind the assessment of Wilder cannot fight and is unskilled, this very same fighter dropped Fury twice in their first encounter. This very same fighter is an Olympic medalist and earned the praise of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, uncle of Fury’s current trainer Javan “SugarHill” Steward.
The late Steward was quoted as saying, “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.”
“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.”
Funny how Steward predicted what would eventually unfold as reality with Fury and Wilder.
Leading into their first encounter and the rematch, Fury was painted as the sympathetic figure, due to his battles with mental health, depression and self-inflicted drug abuse. He battled back into fighting shape and dethroned another long-term champion/king in Wilder.
Fury is a deserving recipient for his triumphs and serves as an inspiration for many. He displayed class in victory, afterwards wishing a swift recovery and good health to Wilder.
It wasn’t that long ago Wilder sent inspiring words to Fury, when “The Gyspy King” battled depression and thoughts of suicide.
As Fury can attest to, the path to redemption is a long one. As ESPN analyst Andre Ward eloquently pointed out, paraphrasing, Wilder established his reign based on punching power and intimidation. And questioned when facing an opponent who isn’t afraid and can find a way to negate the power, what’s the next option?
For Wilder, people are needed across the team, who will be honest, who will point out and work on deficiencies – even at this late stage in the game (Wilder is 34-years-old). But due to this tall order, that task will be much more difficult.
Part of Wilder’s redemption story is figuring out if he realistically has a shot of defeating Fury in a potential third bout, because word around the campfire, is he will exercise the rematch clause prompting the trilogy.
According to terms of the two-fight contracts Wilder and Fury signed last year, Wilder is owed a third bout against Fury without any bouts for either boxer between their second and third encounters. Wilder has 30 days from Feb. 22 to exercise that contractual right.
When exactly and where is yet to be determined. Who will be a part of the Wilder team, is yet to be determined.
“My guess is knowing him like I do that he will absolutely want to rematch,” Jay Deas, Wilder’s head trainer and co-manager, said during the press conference. “And, I mean, these guys have put on two tremendous fights already. So, I certainly think that the public will want it. And I think we’ll want it. And I think Fury’s team will want it. And so, it seems a natural. So, I think that’s what you’ll see happen.
Crazy how the pendulum switches; now with this sense of doubt, this actually sets the stage for the ultimate comeback, because many experts believe Wilder will lose again and some like Ward and Max Kellerman believe “The Bronze Bomber” needs a tune-up or two before taking on Fury.
What makes this task so dire, is Wilder has to find a way to figure out the puzzle to a 6-feet-9, 273-pound technical mastermind who can punch. He has to contend with a fighter who is also willing to get physical, grimy and will use any means to secure victory; even battling out in the trenches as we witnessed this past weekend.
Fury timed Wilder, dissected him and brutalized the former WBC champion over the course of seven rounds. The hit behind the head causing knockdown during the third round, spelled doom and the beginning of the end for Wilder.
“When I woke up the next morning, I felt so many knots and bruises on the back of my head and neck,” Wilder said. “After the first knockdown, I turned over immediately to look at Kenny Bayless because he just made this speech about how he’s gonna take points from me and disqualify me if I hit in the back of the head and hit after the break. But I guess those rules just applied to me, and not my opponent, because he did it all night long and didn’t get penalized until it was too late.”
While Wilder states he doesn’t fault Fury for trying to get away with as much as he can to win a fight, this is the second time he is questioning the officiating of a referee when paired against Fury.
“I immediately turned around and opened my arms,” Wilder said, referring to what he said to Bayless following the first knockdown. “I was like, ‘What’s going on, bro? Are you serious? Did you see that?’ After that speech that you gave me, you’re supposed to protect the fighter. Fury was putting me in headlocks and still hitting me in the body, leaning over on me and still hitting me in the body. And due respect to him. He’s only doing what a fighter is supposed to do, fight and win. If you’re getting away with dirty tactics, then why not keep doing it? So, I understand that.”
“It’s up to the referee to be a man of his word. You come back here to Wilder’s locker room and you’re doing all this fancy talk, saying you’ve gotta abide by your rules. It just seems like I can’t get the right referee in the ring to save my life. One took too long to count and one allowed dirty tactics, and then took a point when it was too late, when it didn’t even matter no more. And Fury knew it. He knew it. He didn’t come to box. He came to fight dirty and the referee let him get away with it. But I congratulate him on his win and the accomplishment that he’s done. I’m very excited for him and moving on.”
It’s understandable for a fighter, for an athlete, facing defeat for the first time to question everything and to even look for excuses. Some excuses may have validity, but when it boils down to it, an excuse is just an excuse and the champion must find a way to adjust and overcome. While there are bitter grapes, Wilder did find time to praise Fury.
“Credit to Tyson Fury,” Wilder said in a post-fight interview. “I’m very happy for him and his accomplishment, and I wish him many congratulations. And it was a perfect game plan for Fury. But he didn’t come to box. He came to really, really, really make the fight as dirty as possible.”
For an athlete to have overcome so many obstacles to this point, looking at other variables aside from himself, would be doing a disservice to what he stands for. Wilder must look at himself and hold himself accountable. Not a heavy costume, not necessarily his corner for stopping the fight. That is when the true road to redemption can begin.
Wilder has many detractors against him anyway, this defeat can pave the way for true, honest reflection. Hip-hop legend Jay-Z is quoted as saying, “When the grass is cut, the snakes will show,” and this recent set-back can serve as a wake-up call for the Wilder camp.
How genuine this message from Floyd Mayweather may be in question, considering he is one of Wilder’s largest detractors, but Wilder can take positives from the message and gesture.
As it’s well documented, the opponent who handed him his first professional defeat, overcame a high-pile of adversity and is living his redemption story.
This is just another road block and if Wilder wants to continue his story and continue his path to becoming the greatest of all-time or the greatest he can be, he must hold himself accountable, dust himself off like his heavyweight contemporaries (Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz) and re-create his redemption story.
Wilder To Enact Rematch Clause For Third Fury Fight
By: Sean Crose
According to several outlets, Deontay Wilder is going to enact a rematch clause that will allow him to face Tyson Fury a 3’d time. Wilder was thoroughly destroyed by Fury Saturday night in what was the second bout between the two men (a 2018 battle ended in a controversial draw). Although many, if not most, expected the hard hitting Wilder to emerge victorious last weekend in Las Vegas, Fury – under the tutelage of Sugar Hill Steward – started aggressive and stayed aggressive throughout the fight, sending his man to the mat several times before co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel in the 7th round.
Wilder’s other trainer, Jay Deas, publicly stated that the fight should not have been stopped. Yahoo’s Kevin Iole is now writing that Wilder himself is unhappy with Breland’s act of what many consider mercy. To be sure, Wilder is apparently displeased enough with Breland to possibly remove the former World Champion and Olympian from his team. Whether Wilder will seriously sideline the popular Breland or is merely venting frustration after a bitter loss remains to be seen. One thing that’s certain is that team Wilder appeared to have no plan for the aggressive version of Fury that stepped into the ring on Saturday night.
Strangely enough, Wilder is pinning at least part of the blame for last weekend’s performance on the enormous, black, Tolkienesque outfit he wore into the ring. Iole writes Wilder is arguing that the sheer weight of the costume hurt his legs. True or not, this assertion has already led to mockery on social media. Wilder, who is known to wear a mask in the ring, apparently claims entering the ring Saturday in such an elaborate outfit was a way of honoring Black History Month. Fury, it should be noted, literally looked as if he were being carried to the ring while he sat on a throne in a king costume.
Although last weekend’s fight had some truly outrageous aspects to it, there is every indication, from the stunning result, to whispers of huge pay per view numbers, that the affair – which was broadcast by both Fox and ESPN – was a huge success. Although many are now wanting Fury to face fellow titlist (and Englishman) Anthony Joshua, a third fight with Wilder would likely be successful, as well. Iole writes that Wilder will travel to Africa before returning to the Unites States to once again train for Fury.
Deontay Wilder Blames Loss On Pre-Fight Outfit: “Uniform Was Way Too Heavy For Me”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s an expression called doing too much. It essentially means when an individual is doing far more than needed. That line seems to fit perfectly in this situation.
Former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was determined to make a statement, both inside and outside of the ring against Tyson Fury this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since we are currently in the month of February, which also represents Black History month. Wilder wanted to do a special tribute to celebrate the historical time. His choice however, may have led to his downfall.
Wilder made his way to the ring sporting an all black costume with red eyes. It looked pretty cool. Even a bit intimidating, but it reportedly weighed over 40 pounds. While Wilder may have picked up a few cool points for his pre fight outfit, his legs took a major tool because of it.
Wilder stumbled across the ring and was knocked down during the third and fifth rounds. From the outside looking in, it seemed as though Fury was just the bigger, stronger and better fighter on the night. And now the former WBC titlist is just looking for excuses for his poor performance. But that just isn’t the case.
“That my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder told Yahoo Sports by telephone. “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.”
The next question is an easy one. Why didn’t Wilder try on the costume beforehand? He did, but clearly he didn’t leave it on long enough.
“I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything.”
Donald Trump May Invite Fury And Wilder To White House
By: Sean Crose
Although the official pay per view numbers haven’t come in, Saturday’s heavyweight title throwdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has at least one fan of note. “Two great fighters,” US President Donald Trump said of the battle, in which Fury essentially mopped the floor with Wilder, who had sent him to the mat twice in a previous battle a year earlier. “It was really very exciting,” Trump continued. “Maybe we have to bring them both to the White House—I don’t know—because that was really a good one. I think we’ll do that.”
Fury and Wilder certainly wouldn’t be the first major fighters to appear at the White House, nor would they likely be the last. Presidents have reportedly had relationships with top boxers since at least the administration of Teddy Roosevelt. What’s more, Wilder has already been to the Oval Office at least once before. He appeared with Trump, Lennox Lewis (who had appeared on Trump’s show “The Apprentice”) and others when Trump posthumously pardoned former heavyweight champ Jack Johnson in 2018. In an age of easy offense, however, fighters who appear with prominent politicians risk turning off at least considerable parts of their fan bases.
One person who would apparently love to have Fury meet the President is none other than Fury’s father, John. He thinks the visit would be a perfect way for Fury to wrap up what’s become quite the illustrious career. “I want my son to retire now,” the elder Fury told “Good Morning Britain” of Tyson. “That’s just my opinion. That’s what I want him to do.” To Fury senior, a meeting with the American President would be icing on the cake. “That’s good for a Fury, isn’t it?” he said of the possibility of a White House visit. “I’m a big fan of Donald Trump,” he added.
One man who is most certainly not a fan of Trump is Fury’s co-promoter, Bob Arum. A former employee of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, Arum has frequently spoken out against Trump in public. Whether or not Arum would try to convince his fighter not to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, however, is another matter entirely. Neither Fury nor Wilder come across as men who particularly care what other people think of them. It’s hard to imagine either man being influenced, for instance, by a Twitter hashtag.
Wilder vs Fury 2 Breaks All-time Heavyweight Gate Record in Nevada
By: Hans Themistode
The hype surrounding the Heavyweight rematch between Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) and Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) was unlike anything we had ever seen.
Throughout the history of boxing, there have been several big fights inside the sports glamor division. Yet, none seemed to have brung the sort of buzz and attention that Wilder vs Fury produced.
From the moment their rematch was announced, everyone wanted to be a part of the event. Who could blame them? After all, their first contest which took place back in 2018, left many unsatisfied as it was ruled a draw. If the sequel was even half as good, then it would be well worth the price of admission.
Well, not only did Tyson vs Fury 2 deliver in the ring but it also delivered from a financial standpoint as well. There wasn’t a single seat left in the MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas, Nevada as 15,816 screaming fans witnessed Fury drop Wilder twice before ultimately stopping him in the seventh round.
Not only did the fans fill the arena, but they also emptied their pockets as well. Wilder vs Fury 2 officially broke the Heavyweight gate record in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The live gate that was produced on the night in terms of ticket sales was $16,916,440. The previous record holder for a Heavyweight match was ironically enough, the contest that it was most compared to. Evander Holyfield vs Lennox Lewis back in 1999, at the Thomas & Mack Center. That event brought in an impressive $16,860,300.
Not only did Fury vs Tyson 2 produce the highest gate in Heavyweight history in the state of Nevada, but it now ranks seventh on the all-time list. The two highest grossing came in 2015 and 2017 when Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor respectively.
The numbers might be impressive but the two hard hitting Heavyweights could be given the opportunity to top those numbers once again. According to language in Wilder’s contract, he has up to 30 days to decide whether or not he will elect to have an immediate rematch.
With both men reportedly bringing home more than 25 million for their efforts this Saturday night, the lure of another lucrative payday could prove to be too much to pass up.
Mark Breland Reportedly Acted Alone In Stopping Wilder-Fury 2
By: Sean Crose
Many people expected Deontay Wilder to win when he stepped into the ring to face arch rival Tyson Fury for the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles this past weekend in Las Vegas. There were those who expected Fury to win, as well, as the first match between the two men had ended in a draw over a year earlier. No one, however, expected Fury to beat up Wilder the way the Englishman did at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. For Wilder looked a mess. What’s more, the hard hitting Alabaman looked like he might be in serious physical trouble as the bout wore on. Wilder was bleeding from the ear, and his face was developing that puffy look that often comes before a true medical crisis.
Perhaps fortunately for Wilder, co-trainer Mark Breland indicated that the fight should be stopped in the seventh round. Veteran referee Kenny Bayless took the cue and ended the affair, saving Wilder further damage. Wilder, true warrior that he is, was upset that he wasn’t able to go down swinging. That’s understandable, as many – if not most – professional fighters would react in just such a way in a similar situation. Unfortunately for Breland, criticism has come from an unlikely corner.
Wilder’s other co-trainer, Jay Deas, surprised many people after Saturday’s bout with the following words: “Mark Breland threw in the towel,” he said. “I didn’t think he should have.” Some are openly wondering why. “Deontay is a go out on his shield kind of guy,” Deas explained. That may well be true, but Breland clearly felt it is sometimes a trainer’s job to save a fighter from himself. In a world where fighters occasionally die from their injuries, Breland decided to err on the side of safety. Deas, however, indicated that he was not informed during the moment of truth.
“Mark said something about throwing the towel in,” Deas claimed, “and I said don’t do that. The fight went a little longer and I saw the towel go in.” It’s worth noting that Breland knows what it’s like to suffer a professional level beating in the ring. After seemingly leading on the cards, Breland was brutally knocked out by the vastly underrated Marlon Starling in the fourteenth round of a grueling 1987 throwdown for Breland’s WBA world welterweight title, which the Olympic Gold medalist held at the time.
With that in mind, it’s also worth noting that Deas himself is quite close to Wilder, going so far as to credit Wilder with changing his life for the better. “This man has been the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Business Insider quotes Deas as saying of Wilder. As of press time, Deas hadn’t spoken to Breland after the fight, though he indicated that they would talk soon enough. Although a third fight between Wilder and Fury may be contractually in line, it’s too soon to tell where Wilder, or his team, will go from here.
Promoter of Tyson Fury Reveals Team Wilder Has Already Reached Out For Immediate Rematch
By: Hans Themistode
After sharing the ring with one another on two separate occasions, it seems as though that still wasn’t enough.
Former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and newly crowned champ Tyson Fury, still have a bit of unfinished business.
When the two Heavyweights met for the first time back on December 1st, 2018, at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles California, they gave the fans one of the most memorable contests in recent memory.
Many believed Fury had done more than enough the first time around to warrant a decision from the judges. Yet, two knockdowns from Wilder swayed the judges and much of the public perception into believing that the contest was a draw.
It wasn’t what Fury wanted to hear, but fine. If there was any bit of doubt in terms of who won the first contest, Fury made sure to make things crystal clear the second time around.
In front of 15,816 fans at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fury gave Wilder a one sided beating.
Throughout the entire 12 year career of Wilder, he had grown accustomed to having his opponents staring up at the ceiling lights wondering what happened and how did I end up down here?
On February 22nd, 2020, the roles were reversed. It was Fury who dropped Wilder twice during their contest before ultimately forcing Wilder’s corner to throw in the towel to save their fighter.
With their being zero doubt as to who the better fighter was, many speculated that the rivalry was officially over. Think again.
According to reports, Wilder has 30 days to decide whether or not he wants to pick up his option for an immediate rematch.
After one way traffic, no one would blame Wilder for taking his time to recover from his injuries before making a decision. Well, it’s been barely 24 hours and it seems as though Wilder and his team have already made up their minds.
“Shelly Finkel rang me the morning after the fight to tell me they would probably invoke the immediate rematch,’ said Fury’s co promoter Frank Warren. “So that’s where we’re at right now. I’m assuming that the trilogy fight is going ahead.”
With Wilder picking up the first loss of his career and losing the WBC title that he held onto for over five years, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise to see him opt for an immediate rematch. It also doesn’t hurt that both men reportedly earned more than $25 million for their efforts while also setting the Heavyweight gate record in Nevada.
The interest in a third contest could see them break even more records.
While it seems as though we are heading towards a third fight between them, Fury isn’t expecting it to happen so soon. With that being said, he’ll be ready for either Wilder or whomever else is standing across the ring from him next.
“Deontay will need some time to recover from this fight,” said Fury. “I’m sure sure he’ll take the rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher. Pretty sure we’ll do it again. Whoever’s next will get the same treatment.”