I listened to the Chris Mannix podcast today. It was a shock. Why? They concentrated on Wilder.
That hasn’t happened much recently, Fury won the last match with, surprisingly relative ease. He rose from the canvas in the 12th round of their first meeting. Fury seems like a combination of a cyborg and Michael Myers, the way he got up from Wilder’s best in the 1st fight and bested him in the 2nd.
There’s also the feeling that Wilder isn’t a draw, not without the big man with the even bigger turn of phrase anyway. The comments about the issues around ticket sales won’t go away. There won’t be the UK contingent, that’s for sure, travel bans will see to that.
This hasn’t got the Big Fight feel of other heavyweight contests. Why?
It doesn’t seem as though there’s a chance of a close fight.
I don’t agree.
This is going to be closer than we think.
A Different Deontay?
Wilder has to give us something, he has to take some new chances, he has to be do something different. Against Bermane Stiverne, he used his jab effectively and boxed well, not that it was phenomenal, but if he used that to unsettle Fury, this might work and get the range. This is what the Mannix podcast believe and I tend to agree. It wasn’t used at all much in the last match, but he could use it to set up the right hand.
Wilder also needs to come forward and be more aggressive, Wilder accepted to Mannix in a quick interview that he would do that.
Fury is physical and will surely want to show that in this fight, Wilder has to be mobile and get his feet moving. Compared to his opponent, Fury is more of a lumberer, Wilder could dance around him a little. Not the tango, but I’d expect a little cha cha cha.
Bronze Bomber Wilder has a new trainer in Malik Scott, who was a good pro and can make some changes. Wilder told Mannix that he could trust Scott and had the boxing brain to help him. Some of the info coming out of the camp is around how he wants to box more, but Mannix has asked whether he can be reinvented. He noted that Sugarhill Steward worked with Fury to unlock his punching power, which helped him, but that’s just adding, not reinventing.
Will using the jab, will improved movement, will pushing the pace work for Wilder?
Depends which Fury turns up.
The Tyson Fury Puzzle
He walks to the beat of his own drum. With reserves of belief. He rose from the knock out. And dominated the 2nd match. And he’s unusual. He’s difficult to fight because if he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next, how can his opponent?
That’s also a problem. Fury has a surfeit of character. Surfeit only because with a boxing match, he have to suppress those feelings and focus on the camp, the opponent, the outcome. For this fight, Fury got up for battle in the Summer and then contracted covid. He has to get up again for this fight.
And it is reported by the BBC that the camp has been chaotic, there’s a new baby in the house and that can’t help preparation, he admitted to the BBC ‘It’s a stressful time, babies and complications.’
Whilst Fank Warren told the the BBC ‘With the baby, who cares about boxing? That takes over….When I saw him in person he was a in a tremendous place….Mentally, he’s now on the money. When he’s like that, he’s a dangerous guy in the ring.’
And he is. Proud too and he will want to win, to end this trilogy. But will he really want it? Wilder will. We won’t really know how Firy feels until that first round is over. He was honest and emotional at the final press conference. But Tyson could beat Tyson.
The One Punch Theory
Forget all the sticking and moving, using the jab, working the body, actually boxing. There’s a feeling around that the Bronze Bomber could catch Fury with a punch that will finish things.
Mark Lellinwalla writing for DAZN News thinks so; ‘All it takes is one timed punch that Wilder is able to sit down on and drive all his force through to put Fury down.’
Well, there is always that chance, after all, he didn’t get all of the punches which wobbled Fury in their second contest and he did put him down with a peach in the first fight. Oh yeah, that knockdown didn’t go so well.
The chance always remains, if Wilder wants to go there, which is what makes boxing so wonderful. But if he’s looking for that punch all night, that surely won’t be enough.
Can a boxer come face to face with the opponent who knocked him out and not be affected?
Wilder was really handled, hurt, almost destroyed in that 2nd fight. And Wilder can talk about his now ex-trainer Breland threw the towel in and shouldn’t have. Maybe. Maybe not. But he was badly hurt in that fight.
Boxing is partly a confidence trick, a trick fighters play on themselves. They have to believe they can win, that they won’t be hurt or humbled. Wilder was hurt. He was humbled.
What does that do to a fighter? I have a theory that when Naseem Hamed lost, he was never the same fighter again, his self belief was so strong. Wilder has to be worried.
After all, he told Mannix that losing doesn’t define him; is that just a little acceptance that he could lose?
And there are all those complaints about what Fury is alleged to have done in the last match, this weakens him, as if he can’t accept losing.
As Fury told him at the recent press conference, come at me with one, the more complaints you produce, they don’t sound as good. They sound like excuses. Or…
…is Wilder making the supposed excuses, throwing out the accusations because he cannot think that he lost in that manner last time out? If that’s the case, it shows he still has some belief in himself that he can manage the task at hand.
At that press conference, of course Tyson threw out the accusation that Wilder was washed up, that he should retire, that he handed Deontay his posterior last time out.
It was pushed in in his face. And he just smiled serenely, whilst Fury got Furyous (hoho), Wilder even chuckled about it. This may just indicate that he’s come to terms with that loss.
It’s Go Big Or Go Home
Guess for who. What happens to Deontay if he loses big tomorrow?
A split decision? OK, he stays in the game.
One-sided points loss? Pretty damning.
Knockout? There won’t be much left for him at the top of the heavyweight world.
And does Deontay Wilder, a man who was at the top of the mountain for 10 fights, want to pull himself back up, scrabble among smaller fights, just to get where he’s already been?
It’s not an attractive proposition. And that’s why it really is a zero sum game.
My Take: Can Wilder Win?
Sure. He can hit a really sweet punch. Fury might not turn up as the Gypsy King we know. Wilder might box his head off, like another boxing world champ did recently.
But I don’t think so. I reckon this is Fury’s fight and I don’t think it’ll go the distance.
Sadly, I believe this Bronze Bomber has metal fatigue.