Tyson Fury stopped Deontay Wilder in the 11th round Saturday night to defend his Heavyweight title in a classic war. The two fighters combined for five knockdowns in a battle reminiscent of George Foreman and Ron Lyle’s slugfest in 1976. Now I will say I get tired of the comparisons with this trilogy and Ali vs. Frazier, but these two fighters in these three fights did lay it on the line like the past fighters. But in all honesty unlike Ali and Frazier Fury dominated most of the 30 rounds fought between these two and outside of two rounds last night Fury dominated the final fight between these two.
While there can no longer be a debate on who the better of the two fighters is, Deontay Wilder proved that he is a warrior, and while his fans have always made it hard to respect him, it is impossible not to respect him the man and the courage he fought with.
A new trainer in Malik Scott did improve Wilder, and you could tell the difference in the opening round. However, Wilder did revert to many of the issues he had in previous fights as this fight went into deep water. For some reason, he kept moving to his left and into Fury’s power, and he looked gassed from the third round on, but he continued to fight and fight hard.
Fury’s toughness has never been doubted, and he showed why after being knocked down twice in the same round and as always recovered very quickly to continue winning rounds. Fury’s boxing ability has not been seen in the Heavyweight division since the retirement of Lennox Lewis 20 years ago.
Where do these two fighters go from here? My guess is we see Fury vs. Whyte in the UK, where it will be a huge draw. As for Wilder, your guess is as good as mine, and at the age of 35 and with the two beatings he has absorbed at Fury’s hands, you have to wonder how much he will have left. Oleksandr Usyk is still out there, and Usyk will be a handful for anyone in the division, but Fury’s size may be too much for the Ukrainian champion. Usyk will be fighting a rematch with Anthony Joshua, and no matter who wins that fight, a match in England between the winner and Fury would be a mega event.
No matter who you were cheering for last night, make no mistake as boxing fans, we all won, and that’s not something that can be said very often in Boxing.
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