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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Fury-Wilder 3)

Tyson Fury remains The Ring Magazine and WBC heavyweight champion. Photo by Sean Michael Ham / TGB Promotions
11
Oct

FURY-WILDER 3

Hi Dougie,

I hope you’re well and had a good spot to enjoy the thriller in Vegas!

What a hell of a fight that was, true drama and entertainment all the way through. It certainly wasn’t the most technical battle, but it didn’t need to be. In a way, both fighters kind of got what they wanted. Fury proved himself without doubt the comfortably superior fighter, and Wilder got to go out on his shield, having shown immense heart. How he stayed on his feet as long as he did between rounds 6-9 and still landed enough bombs to keep Fury honest was incredible, respect to Wilder for that.

When Fury was boxing properly, he looked great, utilizing a stiff jab and setting up crushing rights. However, I thought he looked more defensively vulnerable than before, he showed little in the way of head movement, and very little of his trademark feints. Having seen that I believe both Usyk and Joshua could be thinking they beat that version of Fury. That being said he deserves to ride the big wave of celebration he’s on after delivering a brutal KO of a top heavyweight.

Where next for both of these guys? Wilder showed improvements under Scott and has enough time to come again. Fury looks like he’ll have to fight Whyte, which could be great fun. All the best. – Tommy, Leeds

Fury-Whyte is a BIG event in England, maybe even a stadium fight. The brash British heavyweights are the kind of competitors and gregarious personalities that will fuel the promotion. And if Whyte beats Wallin, he will have more than earned his shot at the WBC/Ring Magazine champ. He’s 12-1 vs. mostly solid (if not world class) opposition since he lost to Joshua as a prospect almost six years ago, and he avenged the setback to Povetkin in March. I think the two big mouths also mesh well style-wise, so I’m into that matchup. And Otto Wallin upsets Dillian later this month, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, I think a rematch with Fury can be sold here in the U.S., probably in Las Vegas.

Whoever Fury fights next as his WBC mandatory, the obvious next step (should he defend his crown) is the winner of Usyk-Joshua. Let’s see if boxing can finally get its collective s__t together enough to finally deliver an undisputed heavyweight championship to the public.

Where Wilder goes next is not so clear. If I could wave a magic wand and instantly get what I want to see in boxing, Fury’s next fight would be vs. Usyk for all the marbles and Wilder’s next bout would be vs. Joshua. But business and politics won’t allow for that, and to be fair, Joshua might be too dangerous a bout for Wilder immediately following Saturday’s physically punishing rubber match. Wilder probably needs a lot of time off, maybe a month’s rest and three months of no contact in the gym, and then an extended comeback camp. Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz could be a PPV worthy ring return, but even the Andy that got dropped by a shot Chris Arreola could be risky. I’m thinking the PBC might go with a safer pudgy pugilist in Adam Kownacki (once the new “Foul Pole” recovers from his orbital bone injury). It’s a lower level comeback fight, but Wilder’s earned a soft touch and it’s a fight that can be sold in the NYC area, especially if hosted at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, were both heavyweights draw well.

I hope you’re well and had a good spot to enjoy the thriller in Vegas! I had a great spot – my living room, all to myself.

What a hell of a fight that was, true drama and entertainment all the way through. It was an intense emotional roller coaster ride. Lots of thrills and lots of fun. It was a bigtime boxing event that delivered. Shoutout to the fighters, their teams, Top Rank, PBC, ESPN, FOX and MGM Grand/T-Mobile for putting on show that transcended the sport.

Sloppy but thrilling action. Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

It certainly wasn’t the most technical battle, but it didn’t need to be. It was sloppy. Both heavyweights were sloppy from a technical standpoint, so we can critique their performances, but we can’t knock their EFFORTS. Both men gave their all, which made for a memorable slugfest. It was Rocky vs. Creed in spots, sometimes it was almost cartoonish, Popeye vs. Bluto/Brutus, but that’s a compliment. I enjoy that stuff!

In a way, both fighters kind of got what they wanted. Fury proved himself without doubt the comfortably superior fighter, and Wilder got to go out on his shield, having shown immense heart. Fury obliged Wilder’s desire to go down swinging, but in pushing for the KO during the late rounds he took unnecessary risks and made more technical mistakes than he usually does. I don’t think Fury needed to prove to anyone with an astute boxing brain that he is the superior fighter, but this third fight was very good for his respect and popularity in the U.S.

How he stayed on his feet as long as he did between rounds 6-9 and still landed enough bombs to keep Fury honest was incredible, respect to Wilder for that. Wilder’s stubbornness is off the charts and his recuperative ability is supernatural. Unfortunately for Wilder, Fury is just as stubborn and has an even more metahuman powers or recuperation. But kudos to Wilder for hanging tough as long as he did. He remained game and a threat even while getting mugged in clinches or teetering around the ring after his head was snapped back and twisted. The slugging was fun, but by the ninth round I was thinking that Wilder was taking too many flush shots to his head.

When Fury was boxing properly, he looked great, utilizing a stiff jab and setting up crushing rights. Fury had it together in spots, but I think the inactivity hampered him and he may have underestimated Wilder to an extent.

However, I thought he looked more defensively vulnerable than before, he showed little in the way of head movement, and very little of his trademark feints. I agree, and because of these lapses, we were treated to a dramatic slugfest instead of a one-sided steamrolling.

Having seen that I believe both Usyk and Joshua could be thinking they beat that version of Fury. I hope they’re both smart enough to realize that Fury is a ring chameleon who never really performs the same way, and I also hope they understand that he’s never as vulnerable as he sometimes looks. If they think he’s a mark in any way, he’ll stomp their asses. But I think they’re smart and realize that he’s the man in the division.

 

THE GYPSY KING

Great fight.

Wilder was burst after two rounds; the third round was inevitable. He came in too heavy and blew himself out through nervousness/fear in the first round, continued it in the second.

Complacency cost Fury in the fourth, but saving grace was the shot to the temple and not the jaw. After that it was only a matter of time… just surprised that Wilder had the heart and chin to last as long as he did. Credit to him for that, but not the way he took defeat… he is a massive loser on that front.

Fury is undisputed king at HW. His hardest fight comes from Usyk although Fury’s size and weight will see him win that one. Joshua can only beat him if he comes in a stone heavier than his last two fights… but even then probably gets outboxed.

Never saw this happening the night I saw Fury punch himself in the face on ITV4… nothing but respect for him. Especially given his mental health issues, how open he’s been about them, and the good work he does to help others in that position.

Deserves every plaudit coming his way and has really helped shine a light on boxing, has promoted and sang its praises for years now, and is the best thing to happen to the sport in a long time.

My quick question… do you see his legacy as being fulfilled? If not, what does he have to do/who does he have to beat to seal it? – Blair in the Scottish Highlands

If Fury retired tomorrow, I think he’d be a first-ballot hall of famer, not just because of his accomplishments but also due to the way he won the second and third bouts with Wilder, his ability to bounce back from adversity, his popularity, and the big events he helped to create.

Fury should face Joshua before he hangs up the gloves. They could make for the biggest prize fight in UK history and Tyson would have the opportunity to cement his legacy.

However, I don’t think he’d supplant Lennox Lewis as the best British heavyweight ever or be considered and all-time great if retired now. What would he have to do to reach his full potential and fulfill his legacy? I think he needs to beat the winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch, and if the winner is Oleksandr, I think he’ll still need to face Joshua before he hangs up his gloves as undisputed champ. Think about it: Fury’s mega-events have all taken place outside of the UK. The Klitschko bout was in Germany. The Wilder bouts were in the U.S. What’s the biggest fight he’s had in the UK? One of the Chisora fights? Martin Rogan in Belfast? Nah, that won’t do in terms of legacy. He needs a massive event in the UK before he retires. Dillian Whyte might be able to provide that, but it would be nothing compared to what he could do with Joshua, even if AJ goes 0-2 vs. Usyk.

Great fight. Great fight? Nah. It was a fun heavyweight championship slugfest.

Wilder was burst after two rounds; the third round was inevitable. I scored the first two rounds for Wilder but noted that he was “pushing” his punches from the onset while Fury appeared to be taking his measure. Fury was comfortable on the back foot. Wilder didn’t seem comfortable even while scoring with those spearing jabs to Fury’s flabby belly. I admit to believing the fight was essentially over after Fury clipped Wilder in Round 3, but that’s the wonderful thing about boxing, you never know what’s right around the corner.  

He came in too heavy and blew himself out through nervousness/fear in the first round, continued it in the second. I agree that coming in at close to 240 pounds (most of it upper-body muscle mass) was mistake. I don’t think there was fear in Wilder, but the nerves were evident. There was a lot of pressure on him, and he was trying to stick to a game plan and certain techniques that he isn’t used to.

Complacency cost Fury in the fourth, but saving grace was the shot to the temple and not the jaw. I agree that Fury got sloppy in there. He was walking Wilder down without the head movement, feints and stiff jabs that worked so well in the first two bouts. It served him right to get caught like that, and hey, it made for a very exciting and dramatic moment in the fight. I thought he would get up and survive (from both knockdowns). He looked clear-eyed and collected. That’s the thing about Fury: he can be knocked down, but he’s real stubborn about staying down, even vs. a blaster like Wilder.

After that it was only a matter of time… I agree. Round 4 was Wilder’s window. Once Fury got through Round 5 (and won it with jabs and body shots after trading right hands with Wilder), I assumed he would chip away at the defiant American, round by round, until he got the stoppage.

… just surprised that Wilder had the heart and chin to last as long as he did. I figured if Wilder was stopped that it would be in the late rounds. This was his last hurrah and he was determined to give his all, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he somehow made it to the final bell.

Barrera and El Terrible were not friends before, certainly not during, and not after any of their epic battles. They’re cool now that they’re retired. Maybe that’s how it will be with Fury and Wilder.

Credit to him for that, but not the way he took defeat… he is a massive loser on that front. I’m OK with Wilder not shaking Fury’s hand and making nice immediately after he got KTFO. If that’s not how he genuinely felt, why lie? It was a real grudge rubber match, and those hardcore three-bout rivalries can’t always be friendly and respectful, as we had with Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward. Sometimes the hate is real, and the fighters hold on to it until many years into their retirement, as we had with Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. An extreme example is Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. They didn’t reconcile until they were old men. I’m also fine with Wilder leaving the ring without giving a post-fight interview. The man was immediately taken to the hospital. ’Nuff said.

Fury is undisputed king at HW. No. He’s the Ring Magazine/WBC/lineal champ. If he wants to be undisputed, he’ll have to beat the winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch. ’Nuff said.

His hardest fight comes from Usyk although Fury’s size and weight will see him win that one. That’s what most of us thought about the Joshua fight.

Joshua can only beat him if he comes in a stone heavier than his last two fights… but even then probably gets outboxed. We’ll see, hopefully, but they gotta fight the fights.

Never saw this happening the night I saw Fury punch himself in the face on ITV4… nothing but respect for him. Indeed, and hey, even the all-time greats gotta start somewhere. At one point Ali was a skinny prospect/contender getting dropped by unrated and unheralded Sonny Banks and lucky to receive a decision against 188-pound Doug Jones.

 

BRONZE BOMBER

Doug –

Wilder remains boxing’s best BOMBER… TIL THIS DAY!!! Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Is Wilder still the hardest hitter in the division? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

Without a doubt. Even while backing up on unsteady legs and with his speed muffled by added muscle and weight, Wilder was able to drop a mammoth like Fury. Even when he was gassed and his legs were gone during the late rounds, and every shot was a telegraphed haymaker, he had enough on his punches to earn Fury’s respect.

He’s not the best puncher in terms of technique, but in terms of raw power, he’s arguably the best pound-for-pound hitter in the hurt biz.

 

HIGHLY ENTERTAINING BUT NOT THAT CLOSE

Hi Dougie,

Very entertaining fight. When one guy has KO power in his right there is always a chance, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. That being said, with props to Wilder for showing a lot of heart and ability to take punishment, the fight was not close and at times rather sloppy.

My question is about the scoring. I had it 97-90 for Fury going into the 11th.I thought Wilder won the 1st and I called it 10-8 in the fourth. Other than that Fury was beating him up badly and won every round decisively except those two. I am interested in how you scored it? I looked at Dan Rafael’s twitter account and he had it tied going into the 10th and Fury up 2 going into the 11th. Not surprising Dan has always shown tremendous bias in his reporting and favor US fighters but that is ridiculous. Of the three judges Dave Moretti had it 95-91, Tim Cheatham closer at 94-92 and Steve Weisfeld had it 95-92. They all gave Wilder a 10-7 4th, which is a little surprising as Fury was clearly winning the round up until the two knockdowns. Is two knockdowns an automatic 10-7? The real craziness is Weisfeld calling the 10th 10-9 for Fury. Did he miss the knock down? How about Tim Cheatham (not a great name for a judge) who gave Wilder the 9th lol.

Fury is a master boxer with a lethal jab. You can really see the Kronk style in how he throws the jab and then comes down the pipe with the right. Looked like Lennox Lewis. Wilder is a below average boxer with tremendous power which has carried him quite far. All the best. – Aaron in Miami

Fury wishes he looked like Lewis on Saturday. Had he jabbed and boxed like Lennox he wouldn’t have been clipped in Round 4 and he likely would have stopped Wilder by the middle rounds. Fury’s jab worked well when he used it, and he obviously outjabbed Wilder, who completely forgot about that punch after the first two rounds, but as SugarHill will attest, he needed to use it a lot more than he did.

Very entertaining fight. When one guy has KO power in his right there is always a chance, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Indeed. KO Artists often seem to be “in” fights that they are losing badly. Regardless if the power is in their right, left or both hands, pure punchers are a threat until the fight is over. As one-sided as Felix Trinidad’s losses to Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright were, those bouts were intense for all 12 rounds during real time due to Tito’s fearsome reputation.

That being said, with props to Wilder for showing a lot of heart and ability to take punishment, the fight was not close and at times rather sloppy. Fury thoroughly outboxed, outworked and outlanded Wilder. I scored seven out of 10 completed round to The Gypsy King.

I had it 97-90 for Fury going into the 11th. I had it 95-91 (like Dave Moretti).

I thought Wilder won the 1st and I called it 10-8 in the fourth. I scored Rounds 1 and 2 for Wilder and I gave him credit for both knockdowns in Round 4, hence a 10-7 score for the Bronze Bomber.   

Other than that Fury was beating him up badly and won every round decisively except those two. Well, we pretty much saw the same fight only I gave Deontay Round 2 and correctly scored Round 4.

I looked at Dan Rafael’s twitter account and he had it tied going into the 10th and Fury up 2 going into the 11th. Interesting. He was on press row at ringside, watching with the super-charged atmosphere inside T-Mobile Arena and without TV angles and commentary. Trust me, it’s a different experience from what we get at home.

Not surprising Dan has always shown tremendous bias in his reporting and favor US fighters but that is ridiculous. Really? Give me some examples.

Of the three judges Dave Moretti had it 95-91, Tim Cheatham closer at 94-92 and Steve Weisfeld had it 95-92. They all gave Wilder a 10-7 4th, which is a little surprising as Fury was clearly winning the round up until the two knockdowns. Is two knockdowns an automatic 10-7? Generally speaking – yes. The only time it wouldn’t be scored 10-7 is if the fighter who was dropped twice had the other fighter in serious trouble at some point during the round. I think the three official judges scored the round correctly.

The real craziness is Weisfeld calling the 10th 10-9 for Fury. Did he miss the knock down? There’s no way he missed the knockdown. If he missed the knockdown, he shouldn’t be judging anymore. I think he gave Wilder too much credit for some hard punches he landed just before the bell. He must have thought that Fury was hurt or buzzed.

How about Tim Cheatham (not a great name for a judge) who gave Wilder the 9th lol. Yeah, I’m not seeing that. There was some sloppy back and forth, but it was Fury landing most of the telling blows. Wilder was teetering and tottering all over the ring.

 

BE STILL MY BEATING HEART

Wow, that was almost too much. AJ vs Usyk was a fantastic fight but Fury vs Wilder III had me literally concerned about my own blood pressure but more concerned for Wilder’s grey matter. Even in a loss Deontay completely redeemed himself. Near the end, while he looked confused at his own consciousness, Wilder would still occasionally tag Fury with some serious power that would have crumbled most normal men. But Fury would not be denied. The guy just HAS to win. He is the cream of the crop. Maybe one of the best. What a fight. – Matt on Merritt Island

Tyson Fury (left) vs. Deontay Wilder III. Photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFB via Getty Images

Fury and Wilder gave their all. Photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFB via Getty Images

This fight was VERY good for boxing. The sport needed a successful high-profile event that thrilled and satisfied even casual fans after suffering such a bummer of a summer.

I’m very thankful and in awe of the tremendous efforts that both heavyweights delivered. Only they know how much of themselves the gave inside that ring on Saturday.

Wow, that was almost too much. It was exhilarating, wasn’t it? I had butterflies before the fight, and I was euphoric after. Boxing is the ONLY sport that do that to me.

AJ vs Usyk was a fantastic fight but Fury vs Wilder III had me literally concerned about my own blood pressure but more concerned for Wilder’s grey matter. You’re a real fan AND a compassionate fan. I was worried about Wilder, too. He may have taken too much punishment in this fight. We won’t know until we see him in the ring again.

Even in a loss Deontay completely redeemed himself. I agree. Even if you hated his ludicrous excuses following last year’s stoppage and the obnoxious contingent of deluded fans who claimed Fury cheated in the rematch, you were reminded of what makes him a special fighter during the rubber match. I think most fans, including hardcore Fury fans, want to see Wilder make a full recovery and back in the ring asap.  

Near the end, while he looked confused at his own consciousness, Wilder would still occasionally tag Fury with some serious power that would have crumbled most normal men. It takes two to tango, and even on unsteady skinny legs, Wilder was boogying as best he could.

But Fury would not be denied. That’s pretty much the story of Fury’s boxing career and life, isn’t it?

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live every Sunday.

 

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