Opinion: The Case Against Wilder-Fury III
Tyson Fury walked into the MGM Grand Garden Arena cool, calm and collected. He entered the ring on a throne and serenaded the crowd like a king would do. Then, “The Gypsy King” flipped the switch and decimated Deontay Wilder.
Fury (30-0-1) controlled all aspects of the bout, pushing Wilder (42-1-1) back while hurting him everywhere that was legal. The inside of Wilder’s ear was bleeding, which appeared to be a result of some major damage he sustained during the first of two knockdowns. Fury pressed on Wilder, eventually forcing his corner to throw in the towel in the seventh. The lineal heavyweight Champion added the WBC and The Ring Heavyweight Titles to his collection. Just a few days later, Wilder exercised his rematch clause, with a trilogy bout between the two potentially taking place during the summer.
While the fight, whenever agreed upon, will get enough exposure, even more than the last fight, and could result in a big payday, do we need to see a trilogy bout between Wilder and Fury?
If Wilder happens to win the third bout, what then? The series will be tied 1-1-1. Would a fourth bout need to be produced? By that point, it may not intrigue an audience as well as one might think. It might also be extremely difficult.
— FIGHT SPORTS (@FIGHTSPORTS) February 25, 2020
If a match between Fury and WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua doesn’t take place right away, it will require the latter to go through a busy schedule. Joshua (23-1) is set to face Kubrat Pulev in a June matchup for his titles. The WBO has also ordered Joshua to face Oleksandr Usyk, who just recently moved up to heavyweight. This was back in December 2019 following his win in the rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr.
“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein commencement of negotiations for the above-mentioned WBO heavyweight mandatory championship contest,” the WBO stated, via ESPN… If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a purse bid will be ordered pursuant with the WBO regulations of world championship contests.”
Let’s not forget that Chris Martin won a bout against Gerald Washington this past weekend on the Wilder-Fury undercard. That fight was an IBF eliminator bout. In a sense, Joshua has three opponents gunning for his titles. If Wilder’s trilogy bout with Fury was to take place, it would delay the undisputed title fight further than it already has been.
We move on from Joshua to Fury, who doesn’t just have Wilder vying for a fight. Dillian Whyte, who is on an 11-fight win streak, is the WBC mandatory challenger. He is expected to have a title shot by January 2021. That would mean Fury, like Joshua, would have to be preoccupied several more times before a unification bout, whoever the champion may be at the moment.
There is also the case of Wilder’s circle of trust. Assistant trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel for Wilder, something his head trainer and himself were against.
Also told by @BronzeBomber that he is re-evaluating retaining asst. trainer Mark Breland, because his team knew "I'd rather die in the ring than have the towel thrown in. I'm a warrior." Full story coming to @TheAthleticBOX shortly.
— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) February 24, 2020
Wilder also blamed the suit he wore to the ring, which weighed 40 pounds, and the referee for the loss. If you put everything together, Wilder’s words are dangerous and do not have any sort of accountability. Think back to the real deaths that have recently happened in the ring (Maxim Dadashev, Patrick Day and Boris Stanchov) and the tone just feels off.
Is there a different result expected in the third bout? If Fury continues to fight off the front foot and move towards Wilder, the “Bronze Bomber” may not fair well once again. Add the weight difference and the long-term damage Wilder already sustained, and it is a recipe for disaster. Wilder would need to regroup and prepare just as Joshua did for Ruiz.
Does Wilder have the right to demand a rematch? Absolutely. Would he win the trilogy bout? Unsure. Should it happen? Based on the information provided, it is hard to see how it would help.
The next few months should be a fascinating journey. While Wilder and Fury are forever linked together, perhaps we are better off with the “forever” aspect being given a much-needed break.