Tyson Fury: Witnessing Something Special
By Sina Latif
In a sport which has many overused superlatives, there can’t be enough to describe Tyson Fury.
When Fury was born premature in 1988 and weighing just 1lb, the doctors gave him slim chances of survival. However, Fury proved he was a fighter from the first day he was born, growing up to become the 6ft 9in heavyweight champion of the world. He has been doubted, to then go on and defy the odds, from his very first day alive.
Although Fury did have his fair share of backers heading into his rematch with Deontay Wilder, many were backing the American to knock Fury out.
Even many who wanted Fury to win had their doubts, believing that eventually he’d get caught by Wilder’s eraser right hand. “Heart says Fury, head says Wilder” was stated increasingly more and more the closer it got to fight night.
However, Fury showed that few heavyweight champions in history have been both born and built to do this like the Brit.
Fury outclassed and stopped Wilder, winning the only belt that eluded him in his first reign, the WBC title, and reduced boxing’s undefeated biggest puncher to a mournful puddle of excuses.
He perfectly displayed the Kronk Gym’s famous leaning tactic and Emanuel Steward will have been watching with a smile. Not only was this a great comeback for a man in the depths of depression and obesity, but a comeback for the most famous boxing gym in the world.
Fury joined a majestic list of Kronk fighters to have become champions, the likes of Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Gerald McClellan.
Emanuel said a few years ago that Fury could be special one day, and now his nephew, Javan “SugarHill” Steward and Fury formed the perfect plan to beat up the most feared heavyweight in proper Kronk fashion, an offence-first philosophy passed down by Emanuel. Emanuel may have passed away and the original Kronk gym may be gone now, but SugarHill and Fury continued the legacy on this special night.
Fury had only trained with SugarHill for a few weeks, but the way the pair utilised Fury’s superior technique coupled with aggression and power proved to be a masterstroke.
The rematch saw similarities between Fury and both Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, Emanuel’s two golden heavyweights. Fury was leaning on Wilder and sapping the American’s energy at every opportunity, setting everything up with his jab and keeping everything under control at length, similar to Lewis.
He was using educated pressure and when Wilder would go on the attack, Fury would instantly go on the back-foot to take the sting out of Wilder’s shots, similar to Klitschko. This is why Wilder’s right hand shots in the first two rounds were having no effect.
Fury displayed how much of a quick learner he is and left it to the imagination as to how great a partnership between him and “SugarHill” can be if it is continued in the long-term.
Everybody in boxing circles already knew the “Gypsy King” was special, he’d proven that against Klitschko in Dusseldorf. However, against Wilder, Fury moved to a whole new level.
Prior to the fight, Fury and his training team repeatedly stated prior to the fight that they would be going for the KO against Wilder. This was ridiculed by many as either mere kidology or suicide. Fury added weight, took the centre of the ring, knocked Wilder down twice and forced the towel to be thrown in from the American’s corner.
The main reason Wilder has got to where he has is because of the devastating power in his right hand. That is no secret. As constantly stated, “Wilder is a one-trick pony, but it is a hell of an effective trick.” It was always going to take a great fighter to expose Wilder for his lack of boxing fundamentals, and Fury is a great fighter.
Fury outclassed Wilder in the first fight on the back foot, and beat him up in the second fight on the front foot. Wilder has triggered the trilogy rematch clause for a summer fight and it is difficult to see Wilder having any success in the fight. It is not impossible by any means that Wilder can beat Fury.
A big puncher like Wilder has a chance against anybody in the ring. However, Fury is special.
This six-foot-nine heavyweight has always bamboozled his opponents with such nimbleness and elusiveness unseen for a man of such enormous size. Then, he suddenly reinvented his style and produced one of the most impressive beatdowns in a Vegas heavyweight fight since the days of Mike Tyson, the man that Fury had been named after, who was also ringside for this historic showdown.
As I stated in my preview of Wilder vs Fury 2, not only does Fury possess phenomenal boxing skills, but what he possesses on the inside can only be associated with greatness.
His heart is of the same ilk as Larry Holmes and Ali. Fury started winning this showdown from the moment he rose from the ashes in the 12th round of the first fight. He rose to back up and trouble the former champion for the rest of that 12th round, and in Las Vegas, he carried on where he left off.
This combination of heart and ability makes Fury a formidable fighter who surely cannot be bested by a one-dimensional approach.
This combination is what has made Fury the first heavyweight in history to defeat two long-reigning champions of 10 or more title defences, and more impressively, in their backyard on both occasions.
In 2015 he defeated Wladimir Klitschko, the second longest reigning heavyweight in history, ending his decade-long reign in Dusseldorf, and Wilder, seen as one of the most dangerous punchers ever, in America.
Perhaps it is fitting that prior to the fight, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lewis were honoured in the ring. The very best heavyweights of recent times, the best of the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, making way for the new dominant heavyweight. After all, Fury was the man to end Klitschko’s long dominance.
A historic all-British unification clash for the undisputed championship potentially lies ahead, and a fight against Anthony Joshua would have Fury on the cusp of boxing immortality.
Amidst talks of retirement in the not-too-distant future, at the age of 31, if motivated and focused, this is the perfect time for Fury to occupy his space at the throne used to take him into the ring against Wilder for a long time.
A dedicated Fury is a truly special boxer, one who is likely to be talked about as one of the best of all time in years to come.