It was in the McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov fight that I heard the two American commentators talk about the next fight for Wilder after he beats Tyson Fury on the 1st of December. This instantly made me question whether they had forgotten who the ‘Gypsy King’ is.
Tyson Fury has been on an emotional roller coaster ever since his defeat of Wladimir Klitschko, winning the WBO, WBA and IBF titles in 2015. He has recently spoken out about his battle with depression and drug abuse which left him suicidal. He described it as the “worst place anybody could go” and that he grew to hate the sport he once loved. He turned to alcohol and cocaine in a lifestyle that left him rock bottom. By speaking out about these issues he admirably used his experience to show that even some of the world’s ‘tough guys’ can struggle with mental health and nobody should be afraid of getting help.
“he’s “spiced it back up again, bought her some sexy lingerie””
Fury was charged by UK anti-doping in June 2016 after testing positive for a banned steroid. In his absence Anthony Joshua has ascended into the limelight in the heavyweight division, currently holding Fury’s old titles. However, the Gypsy King is finally back and has re-found his love for boxing, or as he put it about his marriage with the sport, that he’s “spiced it back up again, bought her some sexy lingerie and we are back at it, better than ever.”
Fury reached 27 stone at his heaviest and since stating that he was coming back into the ring he has lost 7 stone, training 11 times a week. This transformation is a remarkable feat, and one which shows his determination to be back to his best. This is exactly why I think Wilder should be a lot more scared of the Mancunian fighter.
His unorthodox style and his deceiving speed could work effectively against the power of Wilder. Whilst the American will be looking to pull off one of his trademark KO punches that even the heavily built 6 foot 7 inch frame of Fury will struggle to deal with, Wilder will have to be aware that he is not fighting an inexperienced fighter but a previous world champion. Fury will certainly have a fight plan in mind that will work to the weaknesses of Wilder, particularly with the criticism the American has received for sometimes being too offensive and leaving himself open to a counter attack – a weakness that the experienced Tyson Fury will be keenly aware of.
However, Wilder holds a magnificent record. The very fact he has never lost a fight is daunting to any opponent, as well as the fact he has knocked out 39 of his 40 opponents. This emphasises the sheer power that he holds, and if Fury lets down his guard at all throughout the fight, he could find himself face down after being on the end of one of his punches. Fury does love to showboat but he’ll have to be careful in this fight, a slip up of any sort could be detrimental.
“Wilder will have to fight extremely well to prove his record and reputation are deserved.”
Despite this, I don’t think Wilder’s opponents have ever looked challenging enough for him. He’s had big fighters, but never someone who really had a good chance of defeating him. His fight against the experienced Povetkin in 2016 was cancelled the week before due to the Russian testing positive for a banned substance. This was going to be his toughest fight and one which was going to be a serious challenge, but other than that Wilder, considering his experience and quality, has never really been tested.
This is why I believe dismissing the fight as already won against Fury, simply due to his record, would be a significant weakness for the American going into the fight. A fully fit Tyson Fury from 2015 would test any top fighter in the world, it is just whether his body has recuperated and he is as fit and ready as he says he is. If this is the case then Wilder will have to fight extremely well to prove his record and reputation are deserved.
After such a long absence away from the ring, and after a difficult period, it’ll be interesting to see how Fury fares, but I do feel optimistic ahead of the fight. He has certainly still retained the confidence that was key to his success, staring down the face of Wilder with the same glint in his eye of the champion we used to know. He claims he is, “in the prime of my life, and have never felt fitter, stronger or better,” and after shedding the serious level of weight he had gained, I don’t doubt that Fury is serious about coming back to retain his belts.
It would be a fairy tale storyline to see the Gypsy King defeat the WBC heavyweight champion after his struggle these past few years. He’s struggled through the lowest of lows and this courage in itself should be applauded. I genuinely think that as long as he is determined, confident and back to full fitness that he could make Deontay Wilder the first stamp of his ‘second career’.