2021 Fight of the Year: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III

Rarely is the lasting image of a trilogy the best one, and even more so, is it the one we will talk about to define the series, but not unlike an episodic TV program on a subscription service, Fury vs. Wilder got better over time, and didn’t fizzle out. 

The bout gave us everything we wanted, and need. 

Drama, both inside-and-outside of the ring. Words used  as betrayal from Deontay Wilder to his former coach, Mark Breland, allegations Fury put something in his glove, and fans being divided over the subject matter as being reasonable when it came to this fight, seemed out the window, and it merited actually fandom boxing rarely gets. 

It went a little InfoWars-ish, but what we saw was, one fighter, Wilder, reject traditional media, and appoint voices from independent outlets to talk to him or speak him, on the flip side, Fury is a constant entertainer, and just putting them near each other created moments that you wanted to see. Boring uneventful things like press conferences were interesting. Wilder coming in at the heaviest of his career was note just noteworthy we had anticipation around what he would weigh. 

Each murmur of this fight meant something. It was like a good book we couldn’t stop reading, and that was prior to the fight itself, which turned out to be one of the best fights of the century, let alone the year or decade.

The two dropped each other multiple times. Wilder dropped Fury twice, Fury dropped Wilder three times, the third the referee waived the bout off after.

Fights like Fury vs. Wilder are the reason we love boxing, they show heart, courage, brutality, and beauty all in one bout, that captures more emotions than a high-quality movie.

Fury vs. Wilder wasn’t just a fight of the year it was a fight of the decade contender.

Honorable Mention: 

Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez – A very close fight that saw Taylor’s ability to navigate the inside and hit off the break separating himself from Ramirez, as his two knockdowns were the difference in the fight. The bout was between the two best at the weight class for all four belts, and yet, largely, and sadly got ignored for the gem that it was. This fight made Taylor, an American boxing star. He came to America and beat the best America had to offer.

Crawford vs. Porter – A bout that graduated Terence Crawford to the next level of the sport, as he did what had never been done, stopped the potential hall-of-famer Shawn Porter in a back-and-forth affair. In many year this high drama fight would be the fight of the year, but with so many good ones, this one is just one of many great ones. This fight is a major moment in the career of Crawford, an all-time great.

Oscar Valdez vs Miguel Berchelt – The first truly great fight of the year in which Oscar Valdez defeated Miguel Berchelt in a clash of two proud Mexican fighters competing for the 130 lbs super featherweight world title. The fight had drama before the bell, and even more so, in the bout as Valdez put forth a career-defining performance that will forever cement him as a legend.

Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jnr – This bout went from being viewed as a showcase fight to one of the best of the year in the first round, as it hit all the beats to be great. A largely unknown mandatory lightweight IBF challenger Kambosos Jnr stood up to the bigger puncher, Lopez, dropped him in the first bell, and withstood a knockdown to win the bout by a narrow margin and forever change his life, defeating one of America’s brightest boxing stars.

Gervonta Davis vs Isaac Cruz – Tank Davis is on his way to being the face of boxing, but bouts like this take fighters to the next level, as a Sunday pay-per-view saw Davis is a close fight with “Pitbull” Isaac Cruz. What made this fight so fun was that Cruz was smaller than Davis, and it appeared to me, Davis is more accustom and prefers fighting bigger opponents. Now add the fact that Cruz was well-schooled and good and we got ourselves a true barn-burner that somewhat slipped under the radar.

Brandon Figueroa vs. Stephen Fulton – It slid under the radar, but the two of the best at 122 lbs fought in an action-packed manner that will be hard for any to duplicate. What made the fight special is even at high work-rate neither guy slowed, and hopefully we get a rematch at featherweight in the near future as the bout will debated for years to come.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle