No matter what anybody says or thinks, it will happen
By Max Warren
Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) had the roughest night by far of his boxing career when he faced Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) for the second time.
Fury came forward from the opening bell, and pressured Wilder constantly. “The Gypsy King” outweighed Wilder by a little over 40 pounds, and used the weight to his advantage. He wrestled Wilder on the inside and leaned on the former WBC heavyweight champion in order to wear him down. Fury made it so Wilder never had a chance to rest.
In fact, the clinches were arguably more exhausting for Wilder, since Fury would put him in a headlock and wail away at the body as he held. Fury fought a tactically brilliant fight. He took away Wilder’s right hand. That appendage is lethal when he is coming forward and using all his leverage. But, when Wilder is backed up, he struggles to execute his powerful right.
After being knocked down in the third, Wilder’s chances dwindled significantly. Blood spewed from his mouth as well as his left ear, which may have affected his equilibrium. His power was no longer a major factor, as he could no longer use his legs to fire his power shots.
It was a strange sight to witness Wilder in such a vulnerable state. His dominant aura suddenly vanished. While one could arguably give Wilder the first or second, there is no conceivable way that Wilder could have won any round afterward. His jab wasn’t sharp anymore, and his right was easily eluded by Fury. It was only a matter of time before Fury got him out of there.
Fury did a fine job of going to the body consistently, and even knocked Wilder down with a left hook to the body in the fifth. Wilder continued to wobble, and his power couldn’t bail him out. It was only a matter of time until the fight would be stopped. In the seventh, Fury backed Wilder to the ring post.
Wilder was defenseless, as Fury held out his jab to land more big right hands. One of Wilder’s cornermen, Mark Breland, threw in the towel. It was a smart move, because it protected an already-hurt Wilder and salvaged any chance of a third fight. Despite Breland’s logical decision to stop the fight, Wilder has likely fired him. Breland thought he did what was necessary to protect his fighter, but Wilder’s ego didn’t appreciate the gesture. Also, Wilder claims that his 40-pound costume caused his legs to weaken.
Wilder has decided to exercise his rematch clause. He will make much more money in a third fight. Wilder doesn’t have any more leverage by holding a championship belt, and fans won’t be as excited to see him next time he fights. He can make another 8-figure payday, which won’t be available if he takes another route. “The Bronze Bomber” is now 34 years old, and his window to make big money in this sport is closing.
Interestingly, Wilder’s other trainer, Jay Deas, also disagreed with the decision to stop the fight. But, Deas could be saying this in order to protect Wilder’s image. It’s not a good look for him to acknowledge that his fighter had no chance of winning and he needed to be saved.
Right now, it doesn’t matter what the fans would think of Fury vs. Wilder III. It’s not up to fans; instead, it is up to Wilder and his team. Wilder’s power gives him a chance to win any fight, so that could give him and his staff a reason to face Fury again.
Very few fans have any interest in a third bout. Wilder’s team can promote a third fight by mentioning that he wasn’t in the best condition heading into the last match, and he could have competed if his equilibrium hadn’t been damaged earlier in the fight. Most believe that Wilder needs to get on a win streak and recover before he fights Fury again. The boxing world is now clamoring for a British heavyweight super-fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua. Both men fill up any arena in the UK no matter who they face. Imagine how well a fight would sell with the two of them.
Whether fans like it or not, Fury vs. Wilder III will happen. Boxing is a business, and Wilder will want to capitalize on the financial rewards. It is possible for him to land one big shot that hurts Fury, so his team will have some hope. But, Fury can follow the identical game plan of coming forward and backing up Wilder in order to win once again. The better boxer typically does better in rematches, and it looks like Fury has Wilder’s number. Despite the demoralizing defeat, Deontay Wilder has every right to exercise the rematch clause in order to make millions of dollars without having to get in line and scrap for another title shot. It makes the most sense for his career.