Walking to the ring in full Roman Legionnaire attire akin to that of Russell Crowe’s character in the movie ‘Gladiator’ Tyson Fury entertained the masses with a gutsy performance to leave no doubt on the debate of best Heavyweight on the planet.
An eleven round slugfest ensued before the ‘Gypsy King’ was for the second time (should be third) announced victor before a partisan American crowd, the Colosseum in this instance taking the shape of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas who bayed for blood from beginning to end.
The fight already is being hailed as one of the best of recent times, for this both men should be proud of the exertion administered to give the fight fans a truly memorable experience.
The plan for myself on Saturday night / Sunday Morning was to power through, coffee being my crutch to help combat the wiriness with expectations following the fight to take a long overdue nap, but like all so called ‘solid’ plans of action that didn’t happen as the fight energized me to the point that sleep evaded me, instead I rocked up to work on Monday Morning looking like an extra from the walking dead.
EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY…
In the run up to the contest, I watched countless hours of fight tape from the previous meetings, press conference footage and more than my fair share of Podcast episodes so had a good understanding of how I thought the fight would play out.
I also did away with our ‘Pick em Friday’ segment for the website because the general consensus was that Tyson Fury would win via annihilation, did that happen? To an extent Yes but for stretches of the contest it was very much in the balance, or more so than I originally envisaged.
So what was the reason for the element of intrigue? My explanation is two pronged, firstly Deontay Wilder was a lot better than we expected him to be, whilst secondly Tyson Fury not so much, the two points I refer to accumulate to bridge the gap in skillset between the two men, thus becoming an engrossing encounter that is sure to live long in the memory.
A GIFT AND A CURSE…
Deontay Wilder stepped onto the scales on Friday evening weighing 238 pounds, a career high which some found quizzical but there was a method in the madness, Wilder stacked on the pounds in an effort to use brute force to get the job done.
On fight night he looked more confident than we witnessed in the second fight, able to take control of centre ring. He jabbed well, went to the body on occasion, generally made Fury second guess his next move, but I believe the adage of weight became a gift and a curse.
In the earlier rounds of the contest like I’ve stated, it gave him a more commanding presence, he was able to back Fury up on occasion, using his famed thudding shots that he set up with a jab to drop the Brit twice in the fourth as the pro American audience sensed an ending in sight.
BUT the moment passed and it was this same weight increase that hindered him later on the contest. He as gone on record in saying numerous times of his neglect of cardio, and it was polarized none more so than on Saturday night, he looked lethargic, heavy legged without any reserves needed to make it competitive to the final bell.
It became a case of not ‘would he’ but ‘could he’ make it to the final bell whereas on more than one occasion, the referee had to take a good long look into the eyes of the Alabama native to warrant the continuation of the contest.
GOOD NOT GREAT…
It’s a fair assessment to say that Tyson didn’t quite look like the version of himself that annihilated Wilder over a year ago. There may be multiple explanations for the showing, Covid, the loss of his baby, the birth of his daughter (Athena) or it could even be an element of over confidence but It was glaringly obvious that his usual head movement that is usually on a spring was sporadic whilst his foot placement also left a lot to be desired, allowing Wilder to land big shots on a regular occurrence.
It’s of course difficult to review a fighter who has just soundly defeated another of the division’s top contenders so I wont spend a lot of time trying to figure it out so that aside, it simply comes down to the plain fact, Tyson Fury is/was the better man, not just on the night but over the course of the trilogy. His sheer levels of determination, the belief and the vast arsenal at his disposal are unmatchable not just by Deontay but the heavyweight division in general.
Sure, Oleksandr Usyk is the better boxer, Yes Deontay Wilder is the bigger Puncher and perhaps Anthony Joshua holds more star appeal but Tyson Fury is the kryptonite to it all, he doesn’t give into suggestion that he could lose, coming from that inhuman determination that is conjured up from a place no other fighter dares visit.
In his own words he has ‘Balls like King Kong’ that’s what separates this man from the rest of these boys