A lot of questions were answered Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
There was a lot of symbolism added for good measure. Lennox Lewis (another former lineal champion), Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson graced the opening ceremonies together in the preamble.
Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) looked immense in the ring in compared to Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
Wilder came in heavier at 231 lbs, while Fury came in at 273 lbs, concerning many critics. The idea was that like Andy Ruiz in his rematch with Anthony Joshua, came in fat. But early on in the fight, it was evident that Fury’s camp strategy was to improve his cross further and build more muscle to punish Wilder.
The first two rounds saw both fighters throw lots of jabs, which, for a heavyweight bout, was nice to see. Wilder attempted to get inside Fury’s head, trying to land his trademark right hand and overhand right. Fury was in control, firing off long snappy jabs, but Round 2 was probably Wilder’s only and best round. He did land the right hand there, but Fury ate it and kept moving forward.
Wilder is also fighting backwards, on his back foot. He is used to making his opponent’s back-peddle and Fury had to see Wilder squirm trying to appear comfortable.
Fury maintained control in the third round, landing his one-two’s and his double jabs and crosses consistently, dropping Wilder for the first time in the bout. He continued to keep his foot on the gas in the fourth, leaning on Wilder in the clinches to wear him down further.
Round 5 sees a mother Wilder knockdown, courtesy of a nifty Fury inside body shot. Credit to Wilder for getting up and trying to strike back with the overhand right, but much like earlier was stymied by Fury’s footwork and clinching.
Wilder is bleeding from his left ear, blood is also seen in his mouth, and his jaw is looking rather swollen during the top of the sixth round. His body language is bad, but Fury continues to press on.
Not many critics foresaw this kind of beatdown from a 273-pound “Gypsy King.”
In the seventh round, Wilder’s mouth and ear bleeding is more pronounced. The constant pressure and strikes are too much for Wilder and is ready to go. Another big flurry from Fury and Wilder’s co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel to stop the fight. Wilder immediately storms to his own corner, clearly stating, “why did you do that?”
But in my opinion, Breland did the right thing.
His fighter was getting beaten up with a likely ruptured eardrum with Fury continually swarming on him. Yes, Wilder always has a chance with the right hand, but Breland cannot be blamed for saving Wilder from further punishment.
Wilder can now live to fight another day. Probably in the contractual rematch.
And now we will see the true test of greatness, as Wilder will have to go back to the drawing board. Maybe take a tuneup fight or two, like Fury did.
As I said earlier, the fight answered a lot of questions.
Fury is now the undisputed best heavyweight in the world, as he is the lineal champion and the WBC champion. Plus, he previously held all of Anthony Joshua’s belts, without ever losing them in the ring.
That’s quite a comeback from just a few years ago, when he was suicidal and drug infested.
We still need to see Fury and Joshua though to perfectly wrap up the heavyweight picture.
I predicted Fury to win a decision, but the “Gypsy King” won it in seven.
Not bad, eh!