“Pillow fists” Fury leaves Wilder in boxing wilderness
Tyson Fury is the new WBC Heavyweight champion of the world after defeating the supposedly unbeatable American, Deontay Wilder, courtesy of a 7th round technical knockout. Jamie Mcintosh reports.
In one of the most highly anticipated rematches in sport, it was Tyson Fury who would leave the MGM Grand Garden Area in Las Vegas victorious after the towel was thrown in by Deontay Wilder’s corner.
Fury was carried into the ring on a throne and after delivering his promise to fans of a knockout victory, he had every right to be carried out of the ring on it too.
Fury took the fight to Wilder from the first bell, just like he said he would. He dominated the centre of the ring and immediately made Wilder box on the back foot, snapping his head back frequently with his jab.
Wilder, who came into the fight at a weight of 231kg – the heaviest he’s been in his career – still looked in just as good a shape as he did in the first fight between him and Fury. However, after the first two rounds, he appeared to be breathing heavily and it very quickly became apparent that the extra weight was doing him no favours.
Fury edged the 2nd round on my card, despite it being Wilder’s best round of the fight. While Wilder landed his only punch of any real note in this round, Fury’s jab was again effective and accurate, allowing him to keep control of the fight as Wilder began to fade.
30 seconds into the 3rd round, Fury followed up two jabs with a powerful right and with Wilder breathing heavy at this early stage of the fight, Fury could smell blood.
With 35 seconds remaining in an action-packed 3rd round, Fury set up with a stiff left before sending Wilder to the canvas with a devastating right hook. This wouldn’t be Wilder’s last trip to the canvas before the fight would end.
He survived to see the end of the 3rd round, however his legs were shaky and he was looking increasingly tired. Meanwhile, the Gypsy King had found his range and realistically could hardly have dreamed of a better start.
A loss of footing early in the 4th round from the struggling Wilder was an obvious indicator of how poorly the bout was going for the American. Fury had his way with his opponent for the rest of the round, pounding at Wilder’s body relentlessly and the fear in Wilder’s eyes was becoming more real with every passing moment.
At this point in the fight, it seemed as though all hope was lost for Wilder and Fury would diminish these hopes even further. The 5th round began with a brutal shot to Wilder’s jaw from Fury’s right hand sending the American reeling and leaving him unsteady and shaky as he prepared to endure another round of torment from Fury.
A strong body shot knocked Wilder to the canvas for the second time and, with 90 seconds remaining in the round, and with Wilder’s legs like jelly, Fury locked eyes on his prey and went in for the kill.
A timeout called by referee Kenny Bayless with 22 seconds remaining in the 5th gave Wilder a much needed breather, while Fury saw a point deducted for an illegal strike.
Miraculously, Wilder made it to the end of the round. However, the defending champion looked virtually dead on his feet. With Fury delivering blow after blow without any real retaliation, it seemed as though Wilder would be relinquishing his belts sooner rather than later.
Fury swarmed all over Wilder in the 6th round, peppering him with right hands to both the head and body whilst Wilder was forced back onto the ropes and stumbled around the ring, looking to escape this torment.
Fury said in the lead up to the fight that he wanted to “taste Wilder’s blood” and with blood gushing from the American’s left ear, Fury quite literally licked up Wilder’s blood as the bell sounded to end another comfortable round for the Gypsy King.
By the start of the 7th round, it was a miracle that Wilder was still on his feet – blood was cascading down from his ear and his mouth, and the left side of his jaw had begun to swell after the constant pressure from Fury’s right hand. Fury had battered Wilder from pillar to post with it now being a question of when he would end the fight, not if.
In the end, Fury never truly got to deliver the final blow, as Wilder’s team threw in the towel, maintaining their duty to protect the American from further harm. With Wilder backed up in the neutral corner and Fury splitting his guard, connecting with heavy shots, Bayless intervened. Wilder was bemused until his eyes were diverted towards the towel covered in his blood. As Team Fury invaded the ring in celebration Wilder went back to his corner and said: “What did you do that for?”
Fury was jubliant as he stood in the ring, having claimed Wilder’s titles as he intended. As the announcer’s words echoed around the ring, Fury held his hands aloft and took it all in. As he was interviewed, he spread his charisma around the arena, bringing the near-16,000 people in attendance together in a rendition of Don McLean’s American Pie.
Fury is now back on top of the world. He has earned the respect of thousands during his journey, as he fought his way back to these titles, both in and out of the ring. Weighing 30 stone and questioning his desire to live, let alone fight again, it seemed impossible for Fury to be back in a position like this four years ago. Yet, here we are.
As for the future of the Gypsy King, a unification bout with fellow British heavyweight Anthony Joshua seems inevitable. In what would go down as one of the biggest boxing matches of all time, both sides of the card seem excited by the prospect of such an event, with Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, both fighters’ promoters, expressing their desires to make this fight happen.
However, a slight snag in this seemingly perfect plan is the clause in Wilder’s contract, which allows him 30 days after the fight to call for a rematch. Wilder himself has revealed that he plans to exercise this clause and has blamed the costume he wore for his ring walk for the instability in his legs, describing the 40-pound costume as being too heavy.
Wilder’s future isn’t as clear as Fury’s, although the prospect of a rematch makes things slightly clearer. Despite this, I find it highly unlikely that Wilder will ever make it back to the top of the heavyweight world, simply due to the magnitude of this defeat.
Wilder was completely picked apart by Fury, with the Englishman doing everything he said he would in the process. Strange blood-licking aside, Fury annihilated his opponent from start to finish and while a bout with Joshua remains as a rumour for now, this fight confirmed one thing for certain – the Gypsy King is most definitely back.