Last night, at one of boxing’s most iconic venues, The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and the Lineal Champion Tyson Fury met for their much anticipated rematch.
In their first fight in 2018, the ferocious American puncher Wilder managed to hold onto his belt with what most considered an unfair draw. Wilder, who was being soundly outboxed by the evasive, defensive switch hitter brutally knocked down Fury in the 12 round, yet Fury somehow managed to stand and win the rest of the round.
In the build up to their rematch, Fury changed trainers from Ben Davison to SugarHill Steward (nephew of the legendary Manny Steward) and throughout talked brashly of how he planned to take it to Wilder, and knock him out. Like everyone else, I thought this was merely an effort to confuse the American champion, as any attempt to “punch with a puncher” particularly when said puncher is the hardest on the planet, would be career ending.
At the weigh in, Fury came in a stone heavier than last time at 19 stone 7, confirming that Fury’s big claims in the build weren’t just talk and the Gypsy King really intended on out punching the Bronze Bomber. Pundits across the world immediately began to write Fury off, as either out of shape or deluded in his supposed tactics.
As the fight began, the 6ft9 Irish Traveller immediately took the centre of the ring, as he and his father “Big” John Fury had promised. Wilder was immediately forced onto the back foot, with Furys jab and long right hands keeping the WBC champ at bay. Now unable to generate any power going backwards, Deontay quickly became a sitting duck for Furys punishing right hands.
In round 3, a monstrous right hand landed on Wilders ear, dropping him to the canvas for the second time in his career. As he rose he continued to look ragged, confused and hurt as the Gypsy King looked for openings. Dropping Wilder again in the 5th round, Fury was then deducted a point for punching on the break, not that it mattered.
As blood poured from Wilders ear and lip, Fury used his weight advantage to lean on the damaged champion, wearing him down until in round 7, a barrage of punches in the corner saw Wilders team throw in the towel, saving their man from any more punishment.
Fury, now the WBC & Ring Magazine champion has made history, returning from chronic depression to challenge the worlds most feared man twice, totally changing his tactics on the second fight and beating Wilder at his own game. The English/Irish Gypsy King has solidified his place in heavyweight folklore, as both an incredibly dynamic, versatile fighter, and ambassador for mental health.
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