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FINAL THOUGHTS ON WILDER VS. FURY

Looking back on Wilder vs. Fury

Despite what everyone says about the results, opinions, this and that, Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury exceeded expectations on all levels. The pay-per-view buy rate looks to be in the mid 300k range, which is similar to Canelo Alvarez’s pay-per-view debut and the bout was memorable and iconic.

Before I get longwinded I will briefly explain how I saw the fight. I thought Fury outboxed Wilder and hung on to win a close decision after he had lost the second round and gotten dropped twice, once in the ninth and once in twelfth in dramatic fashion, so much so that I thought it was over. At the same time, I don’t think either lost a ton in this bout as they seemed evenly matched despite a wide gap in skill Fury had over Wilder as Wilder made up for it in power.

It was a bout that had drama, intrigue and great action, but the ugly aspects of life seem to really take away from a modern day classic.

results somewhat taint great fight

Let’s get the first topic, the fact that nearly everyone I have talked to thought Fury won and that he didn’t get the decision will leave 80% of the sports viewing public frustrated. Boxing is known for being its worst enemy, and after producing a gem of this nature, it marked a bit of indifference amongst casual to semi-hardcore fans. A somewhat collective “…why even bother watching if this is what happens.”

The punch output was close, but the difference in control inside the ring was one-sided. Fury commanded the ring and forced Wilder to have look for wild overhand rights and left hooks. For Fury, a man who has had his biggest moments on the road beating Wladimir Klitschko in Germany and seemingly beating Deontay Wilder in the U.S. only to get a draw, it felt like it tarnished a legacy of an all-time great.

Enough about this fight though, let’s look at the last three major pay-per-view fights; Canelo vs. GGG, Canelo vs. GGG II and Wilder vs. Fury. Two of the three have ended in a draw!

Can we continue to expect to see a casual fanbase get excited if draws are becoming more and more common? Are we basically training people to expect a rematch and that is the one you should truly invest your dollar in? 

does the 10-point must system work?

Another point of criticism is the 10-point must system, a system in which boxing has used forever. It basically says every round a fighter must get 10 points if they win the round unless both fighters get dropped and one fighter gets a higher number of the two, i.e. 8-7, or if one fighter gets dropped he loses two points such as a 10-8 round. If Wilder won via this system or it was a draw, does this mean this system does not accurately tell what happened in the fight?

I watched the bout and to the best of my perception saw Fury handle Wilder. If this was a sparring day in the gym I would have explained it as Fury had his way with Wilder, but Wilder hurt him a few times, it was good work, but I felt Fury got the better of it.

Not saying I can reinvent the wheel, but is it accurate that moments in the fight count more than a sustained 30 or so minutes of dominance by Fury?

The scores felt hallow, especially with one judge gave the first four rounds to Wilder, which is mind-boggling.

Enter Alejandro Rochin.

Alejandro Rochin…

…is one of these judges that pops up from time to time, but has somehow avoided the C.J. Ross and Adelaide Byrd hall-of-fame of odd scorecards. Rochin awarded Wilder the bout 115-111, which almost feels like if it was reversed would be the representation of the fight.

Rochin also gave Danny Garcia eight-rounds over Mauricio Herrera in a bout that many felt Garcia lost in Puerto Rico, but his card was not publicly outed as Herrera’s fanbase isn’t that large and eventually, time healed all wounds around that decision and Rochin went back to obscurity.

The true crime of this whole fight is that Deontay Wilder is being publicly shamed when he didn’t decide the scorecards, he just fought his heart out and gave it his all, the true crime is the judge who saw the bout seemingly wrong, is walking away as though nothing happened, without his name being mentioned all that much.

Wilder is a great

We have started this sounding like we probably hate Deontay Wilder, but I respect the heck out of the best modern American heavyweight of this century. Wilder is less than 220 pounds as he is a throwback in terms of weight, but his height of 6’7” is that of a modern heavyweight. Wilder is enrolled in the WBC’s Clean Boxer Program in which VADA testing happens and shows a ton of heart in each bout. Wilder is everything we have wanted in an American heavyweight, tons of power, unique personality and exciting fights. That being said whether it is snobbier or a certain sub-section of boxing fans hatred of all things Premier Boxing Champions, Wilder doesn’t get the love he deserves.

When it is all said and done, Wilder will be remembered fondly, and potentially be a hall-of-famer as he has yet to duck any challenger, fighting both Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury in one calendar year as well as signing to fight Alexander Povetkin in Russia, until drug testing pulled Povetkin from the fight.

It feels to me that Wilder hasn’t quite found himself in the public eye yet and fighting Fury made that more clear, for all the oddness of Fury, who is quite comfortable in who he is and how he is in front of the camera, whereas Wilder looks to be finding his identity in front of the camera. I say all of that to say this, Wilder looks to be someone who is growing into the role and is not quite who we, the general public, want him to be as a public speaker in front of the cameras given the role of a pay-per-view star.

If the A-side fought this way…

The next topic to hit upon is the fact that if Deontay Wilder had of outboxed Tyson Fury, but been dropped twice as the promotional A-side would Wilder have gotten the nod. I hate to say it I believe he would have, which points out a gross unfairness in the sport.

If you’re the fighter with the promotional backing, you have to all, but lose the bout, in order to lose. Essentially, if you’re the fighter the promotion is backing on and have your name on the poster first, you have advantages coming into the ring beyond just your purse.

Now, this isn’t to assume corruption is involved, because unlike a lot of my counterparts I don’t think corruption is common. I think it is simply judges get bored, they tune out to think about where to go for dinner and then make a decision on the round based on the fighter they had heard of or more commonly the one that came forward. That is the process that I think happens.

In short, this is what hurts the sport of boxing, fighters from other countries or other regions will avoid an opponent having the home field advantage since politically they’re battling against so much before they even step into the ring, let alone when the final bell rings.

The Slow Count

Referee Jack Reiss one of the legendary referees in the sport of modern boxing is coming under fire the “the slow count” controversy. I don’t see it as such, but let’s break it down.

Deontay Wilder posted this clip on his on his Instagram showing a stopwatch detailing that the clock hit ten seconds when Fury got to his knee. In the United Kingdom, this would be true as the U.K. really gives a nine-count as if you can not get up by nine seconds the bout is waved off.

Referee Jack Reiss administered his count to Fury which on the Showtime Boxing telecast Fury went down on the round clock and got up before the ten-second mark, but let’s not forget the past, a bout Reiss reffed that might have had some context to this fight, say Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado I.

Reiss came under fire during that modern-day classic as he stopped Alvarado on the ropes, some thought too early. Reiss, the best referee, in my opinion, appeared to take the context of the rounds prior and at 9.75 seconds asked Fury if he wished to continue. The drama mostly comes from the fact that for a good four seconds, Fury appeared to be knocked out cold and seemingly got up and to his senses, almost as if it was an arcade game and someone put a quarter in the machine for a new life.

Wilder, Fury above Joshua now?

After this bout, for me at least, Anthony Joshua needs to do something. I feel I might be the only person on the mountain that has yet to fully buy into Anthony Joshua, the 2012 gold medalist from the United Kingdom, but it is just my feeling.

Wilder and Fury proved a lot, and Joshua’s biggest win over Wladimir Klitschko didn’t look nearly as good as the way Tyson Fury did it. In short, this fight made me feel as though the biggest loser of Wilder vs. Fury was Anthony Joshua, who despite bringing all the money to the table, needs one of these two for his legacy in the next year.

As I currently see it I have Tyson Fury as the best heavyweight followed by Deontay Wilder and then Anthony Joshua.

Photo: SNAC SYSTEM
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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle