Publish Date: 12/01/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury challenges WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder, live from Staples Center on Showtime pay-per-view. December 1st marks the biggest heavyweight championship clash staged since Vitali Klitschko defeated Chris Arreola in 2009 at Staples Center. Can the true lineal champion upset the applecart by out-skilling the WBC belt-wearer and claim the last belt in Fury’s collection? Or will one deadly punch land for Wilder?
Much has been made of Tyson Fury’s readiness for what is a true test in Deontay Wilder. Although Fury already passed a significant test 3 years ago in Düsseldorf, Germany shocking lineal champ Wladimir Klitschko. The main sticking point for most is the 2 1/2 year stretch of inactivity from Fury. Having a serious injury or needing to take an extended break to help recharge mentality and physically is one thing. That’s not how it played out for Tyson, who struggled with mental health Fury and abused his body horribly, ballooning all the way up to 400 pounds.
Here we stand just hours away from the most important heavyweight fight to be staged in America since Lennox Lewis ruled the division. Literally a year ago, Tyson was in the early stages of dropping the weight he had added during the layoff. He admits to failing numerous times in his effort to mount a comeback for the ages. The news broke of Tyson Fury nearing a decision from UKAD, which definitely helped jumpstart his ambition. Once he knew his suspension was over he would be free to begin the 2nd stage of his career.
Day after day, week after week the pounds were shedding off Tyson, which proved evident by his posting of video blogs and pictures, showing the former heavyweight champion made significant progress. Is Tyson Fury over-trained having worked damn-near nonstop for over a year? Will losing all the weight and jumping in with such a high-level fighter compared to his last near exhibitions have a negative effect? Those are legitimate questions that can only be answered truly on December 1st.
Looking at this weight-loss situation from a glass half full point of view is essential to at least give Fury a fair shot. As we’ve seen and read from the past, a fighter’s training camp and overall preparation for a fight shouldn’t include a fat camp scenario. That’s not to say the majority of fighters across the world don’t struggle or sacrifice to make weight, it just can’t be the main focus especially in a high-profile fight.
You could say the first 6 months of Tyson’s comeback was an extended fat camp. The main objective was to cut most of the weight in order to get to a good place to resume his boxing career. During this period Fury did spar at times, but mainly still in cleaning-out-the-cobwebs-mode from a boxing perspective. Once the initial bulk of the fat was off it became about fine-tuning his body and skills. To be honest, even when Tyson looked like he had a fat suit on, he still moved quite naturally for such a large, out of shape man.
His 7-week training camp started late-spring, unfortunately his bout was a ridiculous sparring session not worthy of labeling it an actual fight. The fight outside the ring seemed far more interesting then the non-action inside the squared circle. Fury remained motivated diving right back into another training camp for an event in Belfast. Tyson’s body and overall fluidity had improved from early June to mid August, losing an additional 18 pounds as well. Just as important as the weight loss was the fact he got to box for 10-full rounds, which did wonders for his ring rust and confidence long-term.
One could make a strong argument that a 3rd training camp prior to his fight with Wilder is more than enough to compete at the top of the world level. Fury’s body looks even better now and this go round he was only a few pounds over his August fight weight heading into camp. All this is speculation and no matter how many boxing fans on twitter give a slim chance to Fury because he’s not ready, it won’t mean anything until the opening bell rings.
Deontay has clearly been the more active fighter although Wilder has faced adversity as well. Injuries to his right hand and opponents failing drug tests delayed possible stardom. Wilder showed a solid chin and tons of heart in March versus Luis Ortiz. He also flipped the script on many of us when he used a solid jab and movement to outclass Bermane Stiverne in 2015.
Tyson’s bouncy movement will force Wilder to cut the ring off as long as Fury stays off the ropes. Tyson needs to beware of overdoing the showboating and not waste too much time or energy clowning instead of scoring points. Fury’s jab, feints, and lead left hooks are all-separately effective. If used in harmony, the ‘Gypsy King’ could make life very difficult for Wilder.
Tyson’s counter right is short and hits the target at close range. Another wrinkle is Fury’s ability to switch to southpaw. Fury’s clinch game will be a hand full in between pot shots. Can Fury maintain moving, grabbing, and being active for a whole 12 rounds? Keep in mind Wilder will give chase much sooner and won’t be timid like Wladimir Klitschko.
Can Wilder win without a knockout or a series of knockdowns that hurt Fury? Wilder will need to mix in some variety on offense by imploring a steady jab and going downstairs to the point it adds up later. Wilder must be aware of Fury’s counter right while reaching to land a punch especially if frustration sets in.
Another layer to add on to Wilder is the fact he will be punching up or even so to speak, leverage is a key factor for a long-lanky knockout artist, just ask Tommy Hearns. This fight could fall considerably short of the hype and expectations. No one should be shocked if it’s fought at a sloppy, snail-like pace.
Deontay Wilder’s track-record of favorable scorecards in the states tells us all we need to know. This fight will be close on the cards regardless of what we think is transpiring in the ring.
Tyson Fury should win the majority of rounds by using awkwardly slick foot and upper body movement matched with an active jab. Fury will land left hooks after setting up the jab along with counter right hands on a reaching Wilder. Wilder’s jab and body attack could pay dividends later in the fight. Down on the scorecards Wilder will finally land that deadly right hand halting Tyson’s momentum, Wilder proceeds to drop and eventually stop Fury late in the fight. Prediction wise it would be a lot less of a headache to pick Fury had we seen him fight a contender in August. That said, it would be wise to throw some loot Fury’s way as a slight-underdog.
My Official Prediction is Deontay Wilder by Late Stoppage.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Net. Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio