Boxing's Crown Jewel, the Gypsy King
Source: EPA/Etienne Laurent
What a show. What a performance. What a spectacle we bared witness to last night in Las Vegas. The Gypsy King Tyson Fury and the Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder squared off for the second time in what was one of the most anticipated fights in Heavyweight boxing history.
Simply put, the build up was massive! Not since the days of Tyson (Mike Tyson) have we seen buzz like this in North America over Heavyweights and the money that piled in was evidence of that - setting a new record for largest gate for a Heavyweight fight in Nevada history. Totaling $16.91M, it surpassed Lewis - Holyfield's record of $16.86M.
The stars aligned perfectly for people to buy in. The first fight was a classic, both men were coming off of TKO victories, and both men are recognized as the two best heavyweights in boxing today. Hence everyone likening this fight to the fights of yesteryear. Fights like Lewis - Tyson, Holyfield - Bowe, and so many other fights from that era, and this fight had that same buzz.
Vegas had Wilder as the favourite at -125 and rightfully so, as mentioned previously, both fighters came in off of wins by way of stoppage. However, if we are being honest Wilder's wins were much more convincing, and let's face it he's one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history. Despite that though Fury's confidence remained at an all-time high even going as far to predict a second round stoppage.
I think it's important to note that Fury completely changed around his camp for this fight. Ditching his comeback trainer Ben Davidson for Kronk gym's Sugar Hill Steward, the son of the legendary Emmanuel Steward. He also came in heavier for this fight at 273lbs. One could think these are both alarming, but this is also the Gypsy King we are talking about. Alarming has become the norm.
Did the fight live up to the hype? Yes, but only because it was the most shocking outcome imaginable. No one thought Fury was going to dominate in this fashion, but that's exactly what happened. Fury put forth a boxing masterclass, putting Wilder on the back foot from the get go.
Massive shot after massive shot, Fury put a pace on Wilder that the Bama native had never seen before and he simply had no answers. In the 7th round the Bronze Bombers corner mercifully threw in the towel. It was the right decision but I sympathize with Wilder's willingness to go out on his shield.
Fury walks away from this fight clearly the best fighter in the world. Untouched, unbothered, he wasn't hit in this fight. The biggest blow came from referee Kenny Bayliss with a point deduction in the fifth, but that point never came into play. Fury walks away the new WBC champ and retains the Lineal championship.
So what could possibly be next for the Gypsy King?
Well, Wilder has a rematch clause, whether or not he wants to explore that immediately is up to him. His team seemed rather certain that he'd enact that option so that is most likely next. However, in the event Wilder opts to regain his confidence elsewhere the obvious next choice is the one and only Anthony Joshua.
The two Brits have gone back and forth for years now but it seems Joshua is finally willing to take on Fury's challenge. He holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles and quite frankly is the biggest draw in the sport at the moment. This fight would be huge. I couldn't even imagine where they would throwdown, but wherever it is it would be a sight to see. Good god British fans would go bonkers for this.
Nevertheless this was an absolutely spectacular showing by Fury. A man who at one point wrote himself out of the picture is now standing atop the mountain. He's the games crown jewel, and a fitting king to the sport of boxing, he's the goddamn Gypsy King.