In the weeks leading up to his rematch with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas, NV, Tyson Fury, was, as usual, talking.
The blabby Englishman often leaves loquacious journalists speechless. But there’s a method to his madness, as he proved Saturday night when he stopped Wilder to capture the WBC heavyweight crown.
I picked the gigantic Fury to win. His added weight didn’t bother me. The guy, all six-foot-nine of him, could probably move well even if he tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. The scale might not like it, but it wouldn’t matter. He’s got real skills. I could see him use the extra weight to maul Wilder. Tire him out. Smoother him. I even said he’d be more aggressive, but NOT in the way he was Saturday night.
Fury went full metamorphous in Sin City. The boxer turned into a slugger. Instead of backing up, he came forward behind a snapping jab. He also mixed up his attack with some of the “old” Fury boxer moves. He twitched and feigned. His legs moved him around when necessary. He fired straight punches. Not from England, straight, and down the pipe.
Wilder, undefeated in 42 fights with 41 knockouts, didn’t know what hit him. I’ll tell you what “it” was. Solid right hands. Thrown with 273 pounds behind them. One, which floored Wilder, and likely broke his eardrum, if not his spirit, hurt bad. Wilder, shocked and confused, got up and looked at referee Kenny Bayless, demanding an answer.
Bayless didn’t have it, and neither did Wilder.
This was a nightmare Wilder never dreamed. Can’t blame him. Forty-one knockouts in 42 fights can make a fighter feel invincible, but Wilder has always been a flawed fighter.
When he fought Fury the first time, he almost knocked him out. A vicious right and left collapsed Fury like the British economy. He was on his back and not moving. Then, he was. He beat the count and jarred Wilder a few seconds later. Perhaps that was when Fury said to himself, ‘If I fight this bloke again, I know what I have to do.’
He did it. First, he fired good friend and trainer Ben Davison. Davison had taken on Fury when most figured he was done. Fury weighed over 400 pounds and was indulging in a dark dance of self-destruction. Davison worked him back into some semblance of shape. They had four fights together, including the first go around with Wilder.
Everyone was complimentary of the 26-year-old Davison. Fury wanted something else in the sequel with Wilder. He gently let Davison go and hired Sugar Hill, nephew of legendary trainer, Emanuel Stewart.
Boxing folks scratched their heads. What was the big guy doing? He had, at least to me, clearly won the first fight, even with the knockdowns. All he had to do was replicate his performance from fight one and stay away from Wilders TNT right.
Fury had other ideas. Think a guy who marches to his own tune. That’s Fury. He worked and talked. Most scoffed.
Until they witnessed what he did to Wilder. The beat down was dominant, a classic country whuppin’. Wilder was bleeding from his ear and mouth. Almost every punch Fury threw appeared to daze him. He lolled on the ropes, his eyes glassy, like an intoxicated bar hopper.
Fury’s victory was definitive. He made all the right moves. Nothing anyone else said bothered him.
He said it, and went out and did it, just like a real world champion.
Source: John J. Raspanti