In late 2018, boxing fans were treated to an elite heavyweight matchup. The Bronze Bomber, Deontay Wilder, was matched up against The Gypsy King, Tyson Fury. How the fight played out was a surprise for all involved.
Tyson Fury was on top of the world in November of 2015 when he defeated then Unified Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO, WBA, IBF and Lineal Heavyweight titles. He went from boxing prospect to superstar overnight, and was the new man to beat in the heavyweight division. Unfortunately, Fury was unable to properly defend his titles as he fell victim to his own personal battles with mental illness.
Tyson Fury was eventually stripped of all his championship belts due to inactivity and failing a drug test, after testing positive for cocaine. While inactive for two years, Fury gained a tremendous amount of weight before overcoming his battle with depression. Many questioned when he would return to the ring, and he eventually did in 2018, and earned a title shot with WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder.
When the day of the fight finally arrived, all were eager to see if Tyson Fury would posses the stamina and ring generalship to avoid Deontay Wilder’s monster right hand for twelve rounds.
Tyson Fury dominated the first eight rounds of the bout, by using a combination of elite head and body movement to avoid Wilder’s right hand. In the 9th round Wilder was finally able to drop Fury with a left hook, but was unable to finish him off and expended a great amount of energy in the process. Wilder looked fatigued for the next few rounds as he looked for another chance to finish off Fury.
Fury seemed to have the bout all but won, in the twelfth and final round as he was able to outbox Wilder for a majority of the fight – until Wilder finally caught him. He landed a monsterous right-left combination that sent Fury crashing down on his back. To all watching the fight seemed over, as there was no way possible that someone could recover from such a punch and beat an eight count. To everyone’s amazement, Fury was able to barely beat the count and survive the round. Other than two, eight-point rounds he seemed to have become a two-time heavyweight champion.
When the scores were announced, the fight was declared a majority draw and the arena was quickly filled with waves of boos from a crowd who saw the fight won by Tyson Fury. Both fighters embraced after the fight, and quickly spoke of admiration for one another, pledging to run it back in order to give the fans what they wanted.
Since then, both fighters have fought twice, with Deontay Wilder having the more difficult opponents, but defeated each with devastating knockouts. Fury’s last fight against Otto Wallin was supposed to be a stay busy fight, but instead saw him in a brawl where he was cut badly and had to fight for a victory.
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are the two best fighters in a competitive heavyweight division, and will once again meet on February 22nd in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the WBC and Lineal Heavyweight Title. Deontay Wilder maintains a sour taste in his mouth from the first fight and is unhappy to have a draw on his record. Will he be able to finish Tyson Fury off in the rematch or will the gypsy king be able to demonstrate another masterclass of pugilism and box his way to becoming world champion once again?
Featured Photo Credit: Pryce Wright of GCSN
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