It’s been a while since I’ve penned one of these articles but felt the occasion merited its temporary return from exile, the occasion I refer to of course being the brilliance of a certain Mr Fury who’s performance left us all impressed as he defused the ‘Bomb’ which Deontay Wilder had promised to drop on him on Saturday night.
The achievement by the Brit will be hailed as one of its countries finest of the squared circle, where the accolades were appropriately plentiful in the days that followed.
It result came as a shock to some, not so much to see Fury’s hand raised but by the method of it.
Going into the fight the boxing fraternity was split down the middle in thoughts of a winner, the consensus being Wilder by KO or Fury by Decision but on this rare occurrence, I was unmoved in my pick which may I add unlike many times of the past didn’t leave me red-faced.
Fury had told us of his intentions of taking the decision away from the judges, claiming the first encounter between the two men to be unjust when rendering their verdict of a draw, a sentiment shared by most.
Instead, this time he was unmoved in his thought process of getting the job done inside the distance, a tricky tactic knowing the power generated by the man standing across from him, Initially I bet Wilder was licking his lips in anticipation of the prospect of not having to chase him around the ring for twelve rounds.
But to do this he needed a big change, exiting stage right was Ben Davison for the offensive exploits of SugarHill Steward who hails from the renowned Detroit Kronk Boxing Gym, a cornerstone of the sport brought to life by the great Emmanuel Steward.
It was this move that would instigate the adage of weight whilst honing his ability to further sit down on the shots thrown, looking back now we would have to say it was an act of ingenuity.
Wilder also put on weight in an effort to do the same but ultimately it was never going to be enough to move the big frame of Fury backwards, as soon as the bell signalled the start of the round, Fury almost run out of the blocks to have Wilder on the back foot, a tactic used to stop him from setting his feet to unload the equalising right hand which was famed in their first encounter.
Putting Wilder on to the aforementioned back foot was a monumental battle won but the victory would come through landing something substantial, the double feint again opened up gaps in Wilder’s defence where Fury was now able to land hard shots one after another, felling the American on two occasions, before the fight was stopped on the decision of the corner in the seventh.
The call at the time surrounded if the stoppage was appropriate, Jay Deas (Wilder’s Trainer) saying that he didn’t believe it should have been halted, going further to say that Wilder himself had expressed his desire to rather go out on his shield than to the white towel of surrender that Mark Breland thought to be the just decision.
I’m glad the majority (myself included) of the boxing world thought the decision to be correct, we have seen far too many instances of fighters permanently damaged when seconds before could have meant all the difference.
I found It was strange to hear in the aftermath, Deas trying to justify this condemnation of Breland by claiming the Wilder camp operates in the same way an NFL team does, with Breland in charge of certain aspects of the corner work whilst ultimately Deas acts as head coach, making final decisions, so it is rather strange knowing as we now know that he didn’t make the call instead of lambasting Breland for doing so.
Andre Ward came to the defence of Breland today, saying “He is also the most qualified person in that corner to make that decision. He’s been there and done that. What’s popular is not always what’s right.
“A trainers #1 job is to do everything in their power to make sure their fighter makes it home to their family. Everything else comes secondary. Including winning.
“We don’t want any more 10 counts. A fighter may want to go out on their shield, but a good coach won’t let them.
“I respect Mark Breland. We need more trainers like him in the sport of boxing. I stand with you Coach.”
I would also like to take a moment to Thank Mark because without his intervention, Wilder may have been hurt badly whereas now he can spend the time recuperating with his wife and kids.
The outpouring of support for both men was a nice touch in the aftermath, the two men embraced, pleasantries given whilst gone was the circus of the lead up to the fight.
Fury had finally regained his standing as a legitimate World champion following a period of depression that leads to a time of heavy drinking and the usage of drugs, his comeback was nothing short of miraculous, giving hope to all going through similar struggles.
Wilder also took some plaudits for the way he continually tried to fight his way back into a contest that quickly became a beatdown. but I feel he tarnished the sentiment with the excuses that were used after the defeat.
I’ve never been a fan of fighters coming out with excuses following a loss, more of the belief that they had made the decision coming into the fight to compete so whatever the result should be accepted gracefully.
Instead, Wilder claimed an assortment of issues mainly surrounding his leg, which before moving on I may also add so did Tyson Fury who suffered from injuries to both his ankles during fight camp.
Wilder stated “I was ready to go out on my shield. I had a lot of things going on, coming into this fight. My leg was already weak coming in, due to other little things
More bizarrely was Jay Deas opinion of blaming the fighters ring walk costume for the cause going on to say “His legs didn’t look great to me early on. I didn’t think his legs look like they normally look, I know he came to the ring in the outfit, which was very heavy. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it”
It didn’t make the difference Jay but keep looking for excuses instead of giving the victor the props he so rightfully deserves.
Talk now inevitably turns to what’s next? Anthony Joshua’s name quite rightly keeps being brought into conversation for both Fury and Wilder but all that may have to wait with Wilder almost certain to take up the option of a rematch that was added to the contractual agreement.
All that can wait, for now, let’s appreciate the contest, thankfully both men made it back to their families with superficial injuries in Wilder’s case, with the anticipation of another great spectacle for the boxing world in the year to come.