Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury II: “The King and the Clown Prince”
By Gary Todd
Sat, 04 Jan 2020
With the date set and both fighters in their respective training camps, and all the promotional wheels in motion for what is being billed as the biggest heavyweight title fight in the history of the sport, Wilder v Fury II is on. The rematch took a lot longer to make than we expected with both fighters taking their own path, particularly Fury, but now the 22nd of February can’t come quick enough.
The first fight was memorable, exciting, and extraordinary and the rematch should prove to be no different. To this day, I still cannot believe how Fury managed to rise from the canvas in the final round after being hammered by Wilder’s two punch combination. When I spoke to Fury later on, I asked him what was going through his mind and where did the strength, the will, and the guts to get up after being down so heavily? Fury said “I don't know really, but God got me up.”
For me, Tyson Fury [29-0-1] has always been a boxing enigma, a showman, an entertainer, a clown, and a born fighter. If you look at his record since turning professional in 2008, it was underwhelming until he got to Klitschko in 2015. Fury took the fight, travelled to Germany, and outboxed the champion in a messy fight, to take all the marbles, and set himself up for life as champion of the world. From there Fury turned his back on boxing, and went on a path of self destruction as he battled with substance and alcohol abuse, and serious mental health issues that kept him away from boxing for over 30 months. Fury managed to turn his life around with help from his family and friends, and also with the help and companionship of an unknown trainer, Ben Davidson. Fury came back with Davidson in June, 2018 and they both went on a journey of soul searching, massive weight loss, and back to basics boxing, together as a team.
The opposition for Fury’s comeback run was a bunch of hand picked club fighters and as expected, Fury made light work of them, and it was embarrassing to watch. When the Wilder fight was being hyped up and finally announced, a lot of people expected the WBC champion to go in there and blast Fury out. When I did my analysis on the fight, I thought Wilder would eventually catch Fury in the 8th round but I also knew Fury wouldn't go easy as he was evasive, awkward and could switch hit seamlessly from orthodox to southpaw, and I thought Wilder would have to hurt him and have enough to finish him off. We all saw what happened . Fury was down twice, and Wilder had him out but didn't have enough in the tank, and both fighters had to settle for a split draw.
From there, Fury signed with Top Rank and in June 2019, he fought unknown heavyweight, Tom Swartz and after more pre fight “three stooges” comedy routines from Fury [and Swartz] the two fought at the MGM grand in Las Vegas and Fury played and toyed with the German, slapping him silly, busting his nose, and finishing the night off with a TKO and a song to the crowd.
Three months later, he was back in Vegas again, with another relatively unknown fighter. Swedish southpaw boxer, Otto “All In“ Wallin. Wallin was a fringe contender who fought out of New York and he was coming to fight. This weigh in saw Fury coming out with a Mexican wrestling mask on, growling and puffing his chest out, whereas Wallin faced Fury, repeating to him, “I'm ready for you.”
In the fight, it turned out Wallin was ready for him, taking the fight to the “Gypsy King” for as long as he could before being overwhelmed by Fury’s size, heart, and overall boxing skills. Wallin fought the fight of his career, cutting Fury in the 3rd round, to his right eye, but couldn't capitalise on the cut that would need 47 stitches to close up after 12 rounds of boxing.
Since that time, Wallin has been in the gym, and there is talk of him and Dillan Whyte squaring up in March this year. Fury has been doing the publicity rounds, selling himself as the Lineal heavyweight champion of the world, [which is merely a self promoting tool and right now, should not be taken seriously, as a lot of water has passed under that bridge since he beat Klitschko]. There has been a stint in WWE, which was embarrassing, an autobiography, and a Christmas pop song with Robbie Williams.
The most relevant thing that has happened in Fury’s professional life is the split with his trainer, Ben Davidson. Fury needs to be managed to stay grounded and focused, and stable. A lot has been said about Davidson being a weight loss trainer, and not so much of a boxing trainer, which you could argue as being somewhat true, but the facts are Davidson helped Fury get back to a good place by being there for him when he needed someone and something to believe in.
With 2 months out from the biggest fight in his career, Fury has engaged the devices of Sugarhill Steward. He will train out of the new Kronk gym and will be surrounded by old school boxing people in Milton McCrory, and Fury’s cousin, Andy Lee. Sugar hill has been with the Kronk gym alongside the legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward, and is now training fighters [Adonis Stephenson before his tragic in ring injury] at their new location in Detroit. The Kronk gym has always had a reputation for hard, old school training, and sparring. The mind set of fighting was to be battle ready and knock their opponents out and go home. This move has to be a psychological tactic for Team Fury as at this stage in his career, what can you teach him? Fury is a fighting man, from a fighting gypsy family, and he has been boxing all his life, so its hard to believe that anyone can change his style, or his fighting instinct as a boxer, especially in a few months.
A short explanation was given by Fury regarding the split with Davidson, which was he was a bit stale. Gennady Golovkin also brought in another Kronk gym trainer, Jonathan Banks after parting ways with Abel Sanchez and he was brought in to boost and improve what GGG already had, and it has to be said, Banks couldn’t change much at all to improve his style of fighting. Only time will tell if parting ways with Davidson was the right move.
Here is what Sugarhill has to work with:
• hard to hit as he is awkward and has good upper body and • head movement
• tough and has a great chin
• 85 reach so he has big wing span for his slapping jab
• holds and ties up well on the inside and knows every trick in the book
• great footwork
• slips punches well
• 66% knock out ratio
• his feet can also get him in trouble as he moves but doesn't plant his feet for power
• paws out punches in spurts and feints effectively
Deontay Wilder [42-0-1 41 KOs] is a beast of a man. A freak of nature and he is the hardest punching heavyweight of this era. Other heavyweights have been mentioned when talking about Wilder’s punching power, in George Foreman, Earnie Shavers, Mike Tyson, so he is definitely in good company. All were big punching big men, but its hard to believe the power he generates from his long lean body. He is so devastating that when he hits someone cleanly, their body crumbles and falls apart. Only Fury has managed to survive.
What also makes Wilder so exciting is his vulnerability when he gets hit. He has on occasion been wobbled and when he gets buzzed, he struggles to to hold on and try and clear his head inside, as he staggers around the ring. He can be outboxed while trying to find his range and when he does get close, it's normally goodnight Irene! One slip in concentration, one fraction of speed lost, or fatigue setting in, will result in his opponent being removed of their senses. He is the hardest punching heavyweight in the world.
• 83 reach
• one punch power- 96%
• measures distance well
• has great timing
• athletic- wide stance footwork and body movement
• lightning snap in right hand.
Wilder can only fight one way. why change it? can he change it? No. To beat Fury, he will be fighting a man that thinks he can outbox him, and he has to get Fury’s attention early on and he cannot let the English behemoth settle in, fighting his fight. Fury will be pawing, catching Wilders jabs, and will try to stick move, jab, left right hooks, pushing forward using his 40Lb weight advantage. [Fury will more than likely be weighing close to nineteen stone 266Lb for this fight] Wilder knows he can catch Fury, and he knows he can put him down. He also knows that he will need enough left in his tank to finish Fury off this time. The key to Wilder winning and stopping Fury is fighting smart establishing the jab, and he has to be busy using his speed and finish each round strongly. If he hurts the big gypsy, he has to throw educated bombs to the body and head and be patient. Wild telegraphed shots won't get Fury. Wilder knows he has the game changer and he knows he will need it as he wont be getting a points win in Vegas.
Fury basically fights the same way every fight which is to make fighters look bad, demoralise them, and punish them for being in the ring with him. Fury should be targeting Wilder's frame, particularly the body. Lean on him and take his legs away, to gas him out and to take him the distance to win on points, all the while peppering and moving away to the right. I would also think Fury will ask for the biggest ring possible as this will suit his stick and move tactics.
Wilder will obviously have a say in all of this and he should be targeting Fury’s right eye with the jab and left hooks to see how those 47 stitches hold up.
If Wilder can jab and find distance and maintain good offensive position, and don’t let Fury fight his fight, setting the pace to suit him, jab jab, push forward catching , pawing, Wilder’s hooks, and then move out and away to the right side, then Wilder can catch him and win by a thunderous TKO.
The author (L) poses with Tyson Fury.
Gary Todd has been involved in all aspects in the sport of boxing for over 30 years, and he is the proud author of his books on boxing’s world champions, “Workout’s from boxing’s greatest champs “ vol. 1 and 2.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Gary Todd.
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