Tyson Fury made an emphatic statement last Saturday with a dominant TKO victory over Deontay Wilder in their highly anticipated rematch.
While in their first fight Fury was content to feint and jab his way to (what should have been) victory, this time around he put on an aggressive, virtuoso performance the likes of which we had not seen from Fury.
For one, he prepared for this fight specifically with the intent to knock Wilder out. In the first fight, he played it safe and simply kept Wilder at the end of his jab before getting the short end of the judges’ scorecards, as the fight was ruled a split draw.
Fury came in at a massive 273lbs, around 20lbs more than the first bout. Wilder was the heaviest he had ever been (at 231lbs) and yet this was still a difference of over 40lbs. Fury used his size advantage, often turning the fight into a grappling contest; using overhooks and front headlocks to control Wilder and to make him carry all of his weight.
In the clinch, Fury would not only make Wilder uncomfortable, but would always throw in some body shots for good measure. Referee Kenny Bayless was very active, being quick to break the fighters up, and even deducting a point from Fury in the fifth round. But using the clinch was just one part of the successful strategy of Fury to neutralize Wilder.
While the first two rounds were vintage Fury – snappy jab, feints, and slick footwork, it was still evident that Fury was moving forward and forcing Wilder to fight off his back foot; something the former Olympian is not comfortable doing. This paid dividends in the third, when the outcome of the fight was essentially decided as Fury connected with a devastating right hand that dropped Wilder and which many suspected ruptured his ear drum.
After this, the fight was all but decided. Wilder was not the same. Fury scored another knockdown in round 5, and abused Wilder before Bayless mercifully stopped the fight in the 7th round. Thankfully, Wilder’s corner threw in the towel at the same time, thus silencing any silly potential talking points about an “early stoppage.”
For Fury, it was a perfect follow up to the controversial split draw in December 2018. Fury, by all accounts, should have won that first fight; however, Wilder’s two knockdowns – including a 12th round knockdown from which Fury stood up as if rising from the dead – made him look vulnerable. This was why Wilder was favored going into the second bout.
With a dominant performance, Fury proved he was the better man and, arguably, proved that he is the best heavyweight in the world.
For Wilder, this not only removes his “0,” this removes much of his mystique. It was not so much that Wilder lost, but rather, that he had no good moments in the entirety of these seven rounds. In any case, the eyes of the world now turn to the seemingly inevitable matchup between Fury and fellow Briton Anthony Joshua.