They say we make better judgments with the benefit of time and reflection so just how good was the fight between Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19Kos) and Deontay Wilder 40-0-1, 39KOs) and how has this fight impacted on the landscape Heavyweight boxing?
At first sight and with emotions high sometimes our views can be obscured by others, especially from television pundits, journalists and comments on social media from other respected ex-professionals.
One thing that the majority can agree on is the outrageous scorecard of 115-111 in Wilder’s favour that Mexican judge Alejandro Rochin handed in at the end of the fight. Even with the two knockdowns and a few close rounds going the American’s way it’s still hard to fathom a scorecard that wide? Of course, this isn’t the first time a big fight has ended in controversy and it won’t be the last.
Trouble is once again boxing has come under scrutiny after shameful judging with a wider audience watching on in attendance. To keep the integrity of this great noble art intact and the new fans interested then boxing’s hierarchy will need to be proactive by investing time and resources into re-educating judges for future bouts.
Granted scoring fights are subjective to the eyes of the beholder but Alejandro Rochin’s scorecard was dreadful and he should be demoted back to the lower level fights until he can prove his worth again or quite simply relieved of his duties. On the other hand, Englishmen Phil Edwards who scored the fight a draw can make a decent argument, although even that card was hard to understand.
So, what of the fight itself? Some have gone as far as calling it a classic, one for the ages or even the greatest fight in recent history. A little farfetched to call it a classic but grippling, edge of your seat stuff. Not really a top-quality contest but the action was super to watch, especially the last round.
For the most part it was an eight rounded dominate display from a very good Tyson Fury but definitely not the best Fury. It was better than the drab encounter most of us predicted so maybe in hindsight that’s why it’s been given a little more over-hype due to the surprise.
With the WWE style last round recovery from the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ when we all thought he was finished, to then complete the round so dominantly was nothing short of great poetic boxing drama that may well have saved the show. A round to remember that’s for sure.
Up until that crazy last round it was always absorbing viewing, but it wasn’t this amazing even fight that some want to make us believe. After watching the fight, a second and third time that is clear to see.
So where does that leave Wilder and Fury in the Heavyweight division? To say they should now be considered the two best in the division is nothing short of ludicrous. The ‘Bronze Bomber’ was outclassed by a fighter that wasn’t even at his best so what does that say about Wilder? If they do go ahead with the rematch – which is what should happen – then an improved and fitter Fury does the same but next time he won’t get caught.
Is Fury a level above everyone in the division because he is more than likely to defeat Wilder by a landslide if they tango again? Or is Wilder overrated with power just as big as the next hard hitting Heavyweight? The temptation is to go with the latter.
Everybody knows you’re as good as your last fight and let’s face it Wilder was nothing short of awful. If anyone is going to beat the main man with all the other belts, then that man will be Tyson Fury. That being said, Anthony Joshua is 22-0 with 21 knockouts, is younger and improving in every fight.
Where was Wilder in his 22nd fight? Defeating Jesse Oltmanns in 2012 and still fighting 8-rounders after turning pro in 2008.
In Fury’s 22nd fight he beat Joey Abell in 2014 after also turning pro in 2008. But the Manchester native was still a young man and had picked-up the British and Commonwealth titles in 2011 after defeating an undefeated Dereck Chisora.
What Anthony Joshua has achieved in five-years is in complete contrast to what Wilder and Fury did at that stage in their careers.
In 22-fights he is already a unified champion beating a poor Charles Martin to win the IBF strap, stopping Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBO & WBA Super titles & added the WBO version against Joseph Parker earlier this year. And all that was achieved via the domestic route with wins against Dillian Whyte for the British title and Gary Cornish for the Commonwealth.
None of these records actually mean much right now but it does show that he dodges knowone and his ability has got him to this high level a lot quicker. It will also be a huge asset and leave him better prepared for when the next big fight comes knocking.
Since the Wilder-Fury fight there has been an ugly rumour circling on social media that Big Josh has dropped down the food chain. Once again the public are being fed the kool-aid here as numbers do not lie. Joshua is the number one in Heavyweight boxing right now but Fury and Wilder have definitely increased their stock and closed the gap. The second fight will do better numbers but Joshua will continue to sell-out our national stadium even if he fought the local piss-head.
If Tyson Fury can stay mentally strong outside of the ring then he should come through the second fight against Wilder. Joshua will have to settle for another domestic tear-up with Dillian Whyte, take on the Cruiserweight king Usyk or find an alternative.
However this drama unfolds we must remember that the Heavyweight Division seems to be entering another golden age that we have missed for so long. Bring it on!!