A lot of people saw a rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder as a 50/50 matchup, but few expected the demolition job that the former unified heavyweight champion performed on the American on Saturday night.
After finding no answers to the bigger man’s superior mobility, jab and educated pressure Wilder’s corner elected to throw in the towel during the 7th round as their man was backed up against the ropes with no chance of escape. As punches came raining down on him Kenny Bayless waved off the bout, ending Wilder’s five year WBC title reign.
There were some concerns after learning that the challenger had put on more weight than he did for their first encounter, coming in at the weigh-in on Friday at 273lb while Wilder hit a solid 231lb. However, in light of what happened in the rematch it is quite clear that a lot of the extra weight was more than likely muscle weight which was used to serve as extra punching power. And it appears to have paid off rather well for Fury! Particular attention was paid to the bleeding of the now former champion’s left ear, with rumours that he had suffered a ruptured ear drum. But that has now been put to rest as untrue even though he still required some internal stitching.
Deontay Wilder has thirty days to decide whether he wants to trigger the clause for a third fight. If he does then June or July has been mentioned as roughly the time when it may take place. It looks as if he has some serious thinking to do while he takes a rest. If Wilder chooses not to go ahead with a third bout then the only other two possibilities for him are to retire or work hard to earn a world title shot some time down the road.
Tyson Fury is likely enjoying his time right now as the new WBC belt holder. And the question on my mind is how does he stack up against other British heavyweight Greats of the past?
Notable names like Bob Fitzsimmons, Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, Herbie Hide and Jack Bodell all have a notable place in British heavyweight boxing history. But only a few of them saw their world title dreams realised. And Tyson Fury now belongs to one of them few.
I do not normally consider questions like I am pondering until boxers have hung up their gloves and called it a day because it’s the only way to get a complete picture of what they once achieved. But I think it is easier to consider Fury’s British standing now much more than where his place is in the All Time Greats for the reason already given in that a small number have accomplished what he has.
As cherished as he is, Henry Cooper was not able to grab a world title belt. He came up short against Muhammad Ali in that regard in 1966. Neither did Jack Bodell. Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis and Herbie Hide were able to. So was David Haye. I think what let Haye down was too many physical injuries that plagued him during the final chapter of his boxing career and that hurts his standing a little. Herbie Hide, unfortunately, wasn’t quite big enough to contend with the more natural heavyweight boxers. Frank Bruno finally captured the WBC crown in 1995 at the fourth time of asking when he overcame Oliver McCall in London. He lost it in his first defense in March, 1996 to Mike Tyson in 3 rounds and then permanently retired.
So, it all comes down to Lennox Lewis and Tyson Fury as the two best heavyweights in British boxing history.
Given his quality of opposition, being the last British heavyweight to hold the undisputed title and the fact that he was able to win the championship three times, Lennox Lewis pips Fury right now for the leading spot above them all.
But at the age of only 31, time is still on the side of Tyson Fury to do the unthinkable and change things somewhat.
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