A loss to Tyson Fury on Saturday night isn’t going to signal the end for the 34-year-old Deontay Wilder, regardless of the circumstances.
Tyson Fury: now a formidable name in boxing history. Saturday night, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Fury secured part of his legacy with a dominant win over Deontay Wilder in their second fight.
Yes, Fury is now the WBC heavyweight champion. It was hard to envision that a few years ago, as Fury battled a multitude of mental health issues. He was more suited for a career in the WWE.
But now, with a dominant seventh-round stoppage over Wilder, Fury is in command. He has the persona. Fury is a draw. He can box.
In boxing (and with all of those attributes), that will go a long way. Fury has noted that two more fights with a lucrative Top Rank/ESPN contract will be enough though.
It’s clear that after the dominant performance from Saturday night, fans will want to see even more than that.
So now, the prevailing question is this: what is next for Fury and Wilder? A trilogy will have to wait, that is if Wilder opts out of the rematch clause. It’s a move that’s currently expected.
But what the boxing world awaits is a mega unification bout between Fury and WBA/IBF/WBO champion Anthony Joshua. It’s a must, being that boxing deserves a unified heavyweight champion in a division that’s always been the face of the sport.
With two of the premiere English boxing stars, a unification bout is expected to be held across the pond. Rival networks and promoters — Fury with ESPN/Top Rank and Joshua with DAZN/Matchroom Boxing — will work a deal.
In the end, promoters and networks come to an agreement (as they did with the fight Saturday night). They won’t pass on a potential Fury-Joshua fight, especially when you consider the potential revenue that can be gained from it.
Thus, fans will eventually see a mega-fight for the heavyweight title. Fury and boxing overall are healthy with various streaming networks (ESPN, DAZN, PBC, Fox Sports, and Showtime).
The heavyweight division has witnessed a revival since the departure of the Klitschko brothers, who were criticized for picking opponents over their 12-year reign.
But this fight — and the one prior with Wilder and Fury in 2018 — was the most anticipated since 2002 when Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson to defend the titles.
Wilder now drops to the third-best heavyweight. He may be forced to wait in line for a possible trilogy. He lost to an exceptional fighter with a plan that was carried out to perfection.
The safety of the fighter comes first and that explains the actions of Mark Breland, the champion in Wilder’s corner. Wilder had no balance and was simply taking punishment.
As successful as this fight was — and the pay-per-view numbers will show — Wilder did not quit. That does leave room for more of those lucrative title fights and his goal of unifying the heavyweight title.
“Even the greatest have lost and come back,” Wilder said, per Tim Dahlberg of NBC Washington. “This is just part of it, you take it for what it is.”
Therefore, we haven’t seen the last of Wilder. We witnessed those heavyweights that continued after losing the title, such as Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Lewis, Tyson, to name a few.
Wilder is in that category because it wasn’t his night and every fighter will succumb to something that went wrong. Nonetheless, they know how to recuperate and come right back.
The stats from CompuBox tell the story.
Fury out-threw Wilder 267-141 and out-landed him 82-34. This includes the fifth and sixth rounds when Fury landed 16 and 14 power punches, respectively. In round seven, Fury cornered Wilder and unloaded with power punches, which turned out to be the difference. Wilder’s corner thus stopped the bout and the referee concurred at 1:39.
“Fury stuck to the game plan,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. He holds the rights to Fury, while Matchroom Boxing and Ed Hearn possess the rights to Joshua.
Let the negotiations begin, but don’t count out Wilder. He’s definitely still a part of this heavyweight title mix.
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