Wilder vs Fury: On Reflection
Tyson Fury didn’t get the decision in LA on Saturday night, but he got so much more. Despite being denied the win, Fury left the ring with his road to redemption now complete.
We forget Fury only started his journey in June this year after being out of the ring since 2015, the speed of his rise back to the top of the heavyweight division is quite remarkable.
The absence largely down to mental illness, the depression which led him to the brink of suicide, his weight ballooned, any ring comeback looked remote.
Despite things slowly changing, there is still that stigma that comes with mental illness, mostly down to a total lack of understanding about the now all too common condition.
Fury will help with that perception, he will also give hope to the thousands of other sufferers that there is a way out, a way back.
His performance on Saturday night was simply quite staggering considering what had gone before, an unlikely comeback only 6 months and two fights in.
While I am not as outraged as most are about the scoring, there have been far worse decisions, but I had Fury winning 114-112 (8-4 in rounds) and issues about the verdict aside, Fury proved his point and was the moral winner, no judge can take that away from him.
Suggestions of corruption are wide of the mark, remember it was the British judge that had it 113-113. But judges are paid to find the right winner of a fight, on Saturday many will believe they failed in that task.
Wilder fought with an acceptance that he would fall behind on points and a conviction that sooner or later he would find the punch he needed, tactically he got it wrong.
While logic will say Fury improves and will be favoured in any rematch, but will Wilder fight as poorly again, I have my doubts.
As the fight and the WBC heavyweight title was seemingly slipping away from Wilder, I remember thinking if Wilder and his team were regretting not getting the Anthony Joshua fight signed and sealed. Despite the power, the limitations have been brutally exposed.
As much as Wilder and Fury is unfinished business, I wonder if the attention might yet turn to making the Joshua fight over any immediate rematch.
Wilder showed he is very much beatable, even the novice pro, Joe Joyce who scored another win on the undercard, would fancy his chances I suspect. Will Team Wilder now think let’s get the Joshua fight made before the millions are lost by Wilder losing to someone else.
Surely Eddie Hearn will be thinking let’s get him before someone else does. As much as I want to see Wilder Fury again, I have more desire to see Joshua and Wilder unify the world heavyweight titles, the longer you leave it the less likely it is to happen.
But whatever happens in the future or the bitter taste the scoring has left, there is so much positivity we can take from the fight.
An incredible comeback story, a great heavyweight title fight with a 12th round straight from a Rocky film, should be our over-riding memories on an unforgettable evening.
Too often we focus on the negatives and forget all the good we actually witnessed.