Tyson Fury (27-0, 19KOs) strolled his way to a points decision victory over Francesco Pianeta (35-5-1, 21KOs) in Belfast on Saturday night with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39KOs) in attendance.
On a night that was headlined by Carl Frampton (25-1, 15KOs) the Belfast crowd made sure he would not to be overshadowed by the two outspoken heavyweights as they welcomed their hero with a tremendous ovation. The ‘Jackal’ was not in the mood to alow anyone to steal his limelight after dispatching his under-matched opponent Luke Jackson (16-1, 7KOs) in nine rounds to the delight of the Windsor Park faithful.
The self proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ and ‘Bronze Bomber’ can only dream of having a fan-base like Frampton. If only there was someone on the current heavyweight scene that could make an enterance to a deafening atmosphere like the Irishman? But of course there is and the name Anthony Joshua seemed to escape the minds of Wilder, Fury and Frank Warren as they faced up in the ring to announce their potential title fight.
What is rather amusing is that the week leading up to the Fury-Pianeta fight seemed to circle around the failed negotiations between Joshua and Wilder. Everyone was at it including Mr Warren who couldn’t help but have a pop at Joshua when he told ESPN:
“If someone guarantees you $80 million (£62million), $50 million (£39million) for the first and $30 million (£24million) for the second, that tells me you don’t fancy a fight
“The only reason this fight is not being made is because either Anthony Joshua, or his management or trainers don’t want the fight, otherwise it would be made.”
The one thing that Warren failed to mention is that Matchroom Boxing was the one that opened negotiations with Team Wilder with an initial offer 5-times Wilder’s biggest payday. That offer was ignored as an insult which contradicts Wilder’s statement of “It’s about the best fighting the best and not about money”.
Warren made an even more bizarre statement saying: “You’ve got the two heavyweights in Wilder and Fury who want to get it on, and whoever wins will be the No. 1 heavyweight in the world.”
Quite simply Mr Warren knows that statement is complete and utter nonsense considering there is a unified heavyweight champion in Joshua who is defending his titles against the debateable world No.2 in Alexander Povetkin.
Even Tyson Fury couldn’t help himself with an even more extraordinary statement:
“I think it’s such a sad time for heavyweight boxing because you’ve got the so-called super champion and golden boy, Anthony Joshua, and he is avoiding Deontay Wilder and will not fight him at any cost.
‘”If you’re not going to fight someone for £40million, you’re not going to fight him for anything. It’s a disgrace and he’s a disgrace to boxing.”
For a guy who has not only disgraced himself in public with some outrageous statements in the past along with a drug suspension that sounds very hypocritical from Fury. If anyone has disgraced boxing in any shape or form the 30-year-old would top many people’s list.
Wilder also got involved with a swipe at Joshua: He said: “Tyson felt sorry – he felt sorry that people were laughing at the UK and they are.
“They are because of the big facade that they’ve built around Joshua.
“Then for him to let people down in that way, and not fight the best, it really put a sour taste in people’s mouths. Especially in America.
“It has really damaged his name. Not his career yet, because he still has the opportunity to turn it around but his name they have damaged that. He looks like a protected fighter.”
Black kettle, black Mr Wilder who has one of the most padded resumés in boxing history. In 40 professional fights the 32-year-old has only ever fought one big name and had never tried to unify the titles since picking up the WBC strap in 2015. Wilder couldn’t be anymore of a protected fighter if he tried.
What is crystal clear is both fighters and promoters are using Joshua’s name to build-up their fight. That’s a massive indication that even they know this is not the biggest fight between the two best heavyweights. I mean how many British boxing fans are going to pay for this fight on PPV at 4am? Unless your a die hard Fury fan or boxing fan it’s very unlikely to do well on these shores.
If you pick the bones out of all this what does the Fury-Wilder fight actually mean to the landscape of the heavyweight division? Both fighters have a great chance to put themselves in pole position for a fight with Joshua next year. That is of course if they actually want it?
For me Wilder is an overrated one trick pony that will get exposed in Vegas against a very awkward Fury that will more then likely approach the fight in a southpaw stance. I don’t think it will be exciting fight either as Fury will look to frustrate and bore the pants off a predominately American audience.
Let’s hope I’m wrong about the boring part and it’s an absolute barnstormer of a fight and the winner does take on Joshua next year if he can get past Povetkin.
What would be nice is a little less Joshua talk in the coming months.