February 22 2020, if there ever was a D-Day, it was today. History was about to be made and it has been made. Anticipation for the Wilder v Fury fight held boxing fans all over the world by the throat. Easily the most anticipated fight in recent times with two undefeated champions facing off against each other again, to show the world once and for all, who the greatest alive is.
December 1 2018, the first Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder fight ended in a controversial draw. Since then, there had been a call for a rematch between these two, and that was held today.
Deontay Wilder, the 34-year-old WBC Heavyweight since 2015 has appeared in a total number of 44 fights, he has also enjoyed 42 Wins, winning all 42 with a Knockout, one Draw, and today February 23, 2020, for the first time in the history of his career, one loss.
Tyson Fury, 31-year-old 2-time heavyweight champion. Also, the second heavyweight since Muhammad Ali, to hold the Ring Magazine title twice. He has a total number of 31 fights, one draw against Deontay Wilder in 2018, and zero losses.
The build-up to the fight naturally enjoyed a lot of press. Both fighters spared no words during press conferences, each taunting the other with snide remarks and jests, adding to the thrill of fans. The Gypsy King against the Bronze Bomber.
Wilder’s deadly left hand that has seen several boxers go down and with which he has gotten all 41 of his wins was coming to the fight. Fury, with his huge frame, 6 ft 9 and gaining an additional 17 pounds for the fight and his survival of Wilder’s famous knockouts, twice in their earlier fight, was also coming in. An unknown factor however, was the fact that Fury had changed his trainer in December, and no one knew how this would affect the outcome of the match. There really was no knowing how the fight was going to end.
However, in the long-awaited showdown, the boxing world watched in awe, and some in shock, as Tyson, the self-acclaimed Gypsy King, literally stopped Deontay Wilder in the Seventh Round. Tyson dominated the whole match, forcing Wilder into corners, and putting him on the defensive. Tyson landed 82 punches out of the 267 thrown, while Wilder landed only 31 out of his 141 thrown. Wilder’s deathly knockout was sadly absent from the fight.
Wilder in press conferences, has said several times, ‘My opponent has to be perfect for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for one second’ and that was the energy he carried into the fight, but Wilder who actually seemed prepared to carry the match through to 12 rounds did not give the Bronze Bomber any room to land his famous punches.
The Brit threw punch after punch, connecting a few deadly hits until Wilder’s team threw in the towel. Wilder in response was visibly frustrated, but it was clear that his team made the right call. He was getting battered and wasn’t exactly hitting back. Something along the lines of “…live to fight another day” if there ever was an appropriate situation.
Tyson Fury’s added weight might have tipped the scales of the fight. When he connected a punch to Wilder’s left ear, the Bronze Bomber lost his balance. Wilder’s team might have underestimated the effect of the punch, though the fight dragged on till the seventh round, Wilder already lost. The former heavyweight champion was probably trying to stay in the fight long enough to land one of his famous punches, but this did not happen, as his team threw in the towel at the seventh round.
What makes fights like these memorable, more than the skills of the opponents, is the rivalry, the bloodthirst, and the camaraderie between the two sides. It’s what makes it easy to be invested as a fan, to be passionate and to pick a side.
Who better to beat a Champion than a Champion?
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