Image Credits: REUTERS/Steve Marcus
The long-awaited WBC title fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder spectacularly delivered as the Brit was able to clinch the belt in a decisive and furious manner. In Pre-fight conferences Fury declared he would set the pace and put Wilder on the backfoot, but many in the boxing world believed this was a front, or at least a tactic to keep Wilder guessing. Fury is not known as a hard-hitter by heavyweight standards, and most of his big-fight victories have come from 12 rounds of evasive movement and well-timed shots.
At the weigh in Wilder came in at 231lbs, whilst Fury had gone up to 273lbs. The last time these two went head to head Fury was at 256lbs, and the major weight disparity between the fighters caused many to think that Fury would be slow and his movement hindered. It was also claimed that in the later rounds, his extra weight may reduce the potency of his shots and tire him out faster than previously. This was not the case.
From round 1, Fury did as he said he would and immediately pressed the champion. His movement was precise and quick, his extra weight had obviously made his shots harder, and it was evident from the beginning that Wilder realised he would be in for a much more aggressive opponent than before. Fury’s pre-match claims to ‘rough up’ the champion were coming to fruition.
In the 3rd Fury downed Wilder with a strong over the top right-hand. From this point on Wilder’s legs were extremely wobbly, and it seemed as if it would be a matter of when, not if, Fury would be declared champion. Yet credit to Wilder, his persistence and refusal to give up has to be commended.
For the following rounds, Fury schooled Wilder. He was too strong and at points completely dominant in the clinch. The “Gypsy King” downed Wilder again in the 5th with a well-aimed body shot, and it became an onslaught of one-way traffic from then on. Fury barraged Wilder with relentless attempts to finish him, and in the 7th round the champs corner threw in the towel of surrender, Wilder clearly on the brink of being knocked out. Ever the showman, Fury serenaded the Vegas crowd with a rendition of ‘American Pie’ after the victory.
Despite Anthony Joshua having more belts, he has a loss on his record, and it’s also arguable that Fury has consistently fought a higher standard of opponent throughout his career, leaving him the dominant fighter in the division. For Wilder, he is left now to either accept the rematch clause and go for the trilogy, which is the most likely outcome, or to rebuild his reputation against one of Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz or Joseph Parker. But at 34, his championship days are nearing the end, and a 3rd encounter may be his last opportunity to solidify himself as a boxing great.
This fight has placed the UK at the forefront of the boxing world as the two reigning heavyweight champions hail from London and Manchester respectively. Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is the fight that the fans want and definitely deserve, the numbers for Fury vs Wilder 2 were a record $17 million on gate and an estimated 2 million pay-per-view buys. The demand is clearly there. Promoter Eddie Hearn aims to match the two up in winter 2020 or early 2021 depending on the rematch activation by Wilder.
Fury’s dominant victory puts him at the head of the heavyweight table. He dealt with the most feared puncher in the division with precision and quality, marking a truly great boxing display from one of the enigmatic fighters to ever grace the sport.