By Xavier Porter | December 2, 2018 | Staple Center, LA
For the past few months, I’ve covered and watched countless boxing matches. Some on television and others by being ringside. As an avid writer, sometimes you develop what is known as “writer’s block.” When covering the sport of boxing it can make you feel as though your voice is not being heard.
However, last night’s heavyweight championship fight between WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder vs Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury moved me to pick up my pen (keyboard so to speak) and share my thoughts on a fight that I believe left many fans and lovers of the sport in awe.
With the scores of 115-111 (for Wilder), 114-110 (for Fury) and 113-113, I was personally left in complete disbelief. Not taking anything away from the current champion, but with all the hoopla that took place prior to the fight, I expected more from Wilder.
The champion came through with certain promises: he did knockdown his opponent, two times in stunning fashion. However, he did not come through with his guaranteed promise of knocking Fury out.
Wilder (40-0-1) floored Fury (27-0-1) in the ninth and twelfth rounds; however, Fury clearly out-boxed Wilder for large portions of the entire bout.
Wilder shared his thoughts on the hard bout after retaining his WBC Championship:
“I was forcing my punches instead of sitting back being patient and waiting for it. I was rushing my punches. That’s something I usually don’t do.”
“We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors,” Wilder said. “When … you have a great fight, we give each other all we’ve got. At the end of the fight, that’s what it’s all about.”
“It was a great fight and let’s do it again. It doesn’t matter to me where we do it. The rematch, I guarantee I’m going to get him.”
What took place last night was a great fight between two champions who appear to be the best fighters in the heavyweight division. But before we put the foot on the pedal and drive fast towards a matchup against Anthony Joshua (current WBA, IBF IBO, WBO Heavyweight Champion) we must truly analyze and assess as to what took place between Fury and Wilder and why a rematch is imminent.
Fury, clearly the quicker of the two, appeared to dominate the early rounds, if not each round that he didn’t suffer a knockdown in. His quickness and athleticism by far was the best that Wilder has ever seen in an opponent.
Fury’s long history of substance use and mental illness is a well-known fact as to why he was stripped of the previous titles that’s currently in the possession of Joshua.
With that being said, the performance that Fury demonstrated throughout the promotion of this fight, as well as his performance on fight night, made him the clear winner by far. Fury did what many cannot do: he beat the champion mentally and in the hearts and minds of everyone else.
Fury showed why the word “recovery” is so powerful. He rose to the canvass in the twelfth round after taking a powerful two-punch combination by Wilder, a combination of punches that usually gives Wilder a knockout victory over most opponents. His grit, heart, and determination to weather the heavy storm of Wilder’s power showed proof to many that you can come back from anything in this world. Not only personal issues, but physical as well.
Afterwards, Fury shared his thoughts on the bout:
“That man is a fearsome puncher, and I was able to avoid that. I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight and I fought my heart out.”
“One hundred percent we’ll do the rematch. We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet. We’re on away soil. God bless America. The ‘Gypsy King’ has returned.”
Going forward I anticipate more back and forth banter from both men, along with Eddie Hearn and media blitz as to if either man will face Anthony Joshua next.
For Wilder, he remains a deadly champion, a frightening puncher, who will always seek to take out his opponent with one punch. That style may not match well against a more technical boxer in Joshua.
For Fury, with a better training camp, closer to home, the adjustment maybe something he needs for him to win the only title that he has yet to have wrapped around his waist.
We’ll have to wait and see who either man will face next. Hopefully the powers that be will make the right decision and give boxing fans a trilogy of fights between these two warriors.