Boxing

Fury vs. Wilder 3 is the kind of spectacle boxing needs

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In recent years, boxing has been short on “must see” spectacles and compelling big fight drama. Chalk that up to a bad business model that works against the ability to make big fights and buries everything behind paywalls. Blame it also on promoters who seem only focused in quick monetary scores by passing the hat to loyal fans and are not the least bit concerned about actually reaching out to try and make new fans from the outside world.

So, when something slips through the cracks and DOES promise to be an exciting, mainstream-friendly event, it’s definitely worth taking note. And Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 is worthy of some real attention.

Back in December of 2018, then-WBC champ “The Bronze Bomber,” Wilder, originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, defended his belt against the UK’s “Gypsy King,” Fury.

The pairing of the big men started as a tactical battle between the boxer, Fury, and the KO artist, Wilder. Eventually, however, it turned into a compelling drama as Fury, who seemed mostly in control of the bout, survived two late-round knockdowns– the latter being the product of a hellacious right-left combination in the twelfth round– to make it to the final bell.

The controversial split decision draw had fans demanding a rematch that eventually came to fruition about 18 months later.

In the highly-anticipated part 2, Fury dominated Wilder, battering him from pillar to post and dropping him twice before Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round.

Wilder, still battered and smarting from defeat, immediately activated the rematch clause in his contract to pursue another shot at Fury and an opportunity to win back his WBC belt. However, a series of unusual events– including the emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown of the sport– kept that rematch of the rematch from being made until an arbitration ruling forced it into existence.

Now, it’s here, though. This Saturday, October 9 there is definite bad blood headed towards T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Given this bad blood and a pretty solid all-heavyweight undercard, this event will be one of the few boxing shows in recent memory worthy of a PPV price tag.

Fury will be the favorite due to his all-around edge in skill and ability (and from looking at the total domination he displayed the last time they fought). Wilder, however, has the kind of one-punch power and single-minded self-confidence to end the fight at any point in the contest.

“Wilder is a weak person mentally and I’m going to knock him out on Saturday night,” The 6-foot-9 Fury said in the final press conference for the bout. “I obliterated him in the rematch and I see much more of the same in the third fight…He says he wants to do bad things to me and that he’s got all this anger and aggression. Those who hold hot coals with aggression are the ones who get burned. He knows he’s lost twice and that he’s going to lose the third time…He’s in denial and he’s getting knocked out. His legacy is in bits. I knocked him out and now I’m going to retire him.”

“This fight is about redemption, retaliation and retribution…Get ready for war,” the 6-foot-7 Wilder countered. “This is going to be an amazing fight on Saturday night. I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood. I’m looking forward to it…My energy is like my mind, it’s very violent. I’m just ready to go October 9. I’ve dedicated myself and devoted my time and my body, me and my team, to reinventing myself. I’m ready to reintroduce myself to the world.”

From the clash in styles to the clash in personalities to the bad blood between them, this one is all but guaranteed to be the kind of boxing event boxing needs right now. If you have a boxing-curious friend, invite him to watch with you.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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