Deontay and Tyson—Red Tide

By Marc Livitz on December 2, 2018
Deontay and Tyson—Red Tide
Many of us weren’t sure what Fury we’d get once the bell sounded. (Esther Lin/Showtime)

Saturday’s fight between WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder and ‘lineal’ champion Tyson Fury may have indeed lived up to its billing…

There’s always a massive amount of work that goes into crafting a championship contest for the public to enjoy. Site fees, distribution, television and streaming revenues are all to be taken under proper consideration. Saturday’s world heavyweight championship contest between WBC belt holder Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder and ‘lineal’ champion Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles may have indeed lived up to its billing. All thirty six minutes? Certainly not, yet the outcome and certain pockets of the bout are what are already being hotly debated across social media and other outlets. What was not to love about the contest?

After being sent to the canvas in round nine by way of a shot to the top of his head, what Fury endured as well as survived about fifteen minutes later was just short of unbelievable. We’ll get back to this in a moment. If you’re Wilder, then are you happier that you retained the belt which is sanctioned by perhaps the shadiest organization in boxing or that Christmas came well over three weeks early?

Many of us weren’t sure of what form of Tyson Fury we’d get once the bell sounded inside the ring. After all, he went down the proverbial devil’s highway once he’d wrested the belts as well as control over the heavyweight division from Wladimir Klitschko just over three years ago. Drugs, alcohol and so many of the temptations readily available and accessible to the newly rich and dangerously famous jumped onto his back and held on tight. He gained over 150 pounds and basically disappeared.

He took two return bouts in as many months this past Summer and decided that he’d go straight at Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO’s) for his third fight of the year. Deontay, by slight contrast flattened Luis Ortiz this past March, which is what brought us to Saturday evening on South Figueroa Street. Let’s be clear, what transpired on Showtime pay TV in conjunction with its obscene $75 price tag were three completely one-sided washes and a less than stellar main event with a few highlights of its own.

In the end, what we got was what few expected. The majority of boxing scribes and those within the pugilistic See predicted yet another savage knockout win for the “Bronze Bomber,” while a small minority thought that maybe, just maybe the “Gypsy King” and his highly unorthodox style could perhaps trouble the champion from Alabama.

Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO’s) was at his fighting best from the opening bell. This is all debatable with the simple eye test, of course yet most would-be outsiders if they thought that prior to the first knockdown of the contest in the ninth round that Wilder should be ahead on the scorecards. Perhaps Tuscaloosa resident Deontay was still caught up in the excitement of his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide’s comeback win over Georgia in the SEC title game a few hours earlier, as he shimmied after sending Fury to the mat.

But wait! The man from Manchester actually had the audacity to get up and it wasn’t long until it seemed as though the knockdown didn’t bother him, at least not visibly. The pattern continued in large part until round twelve. A well timed, hard right from Wilder sent the 6’9” Englishman backwards and a jarring left hook caught him squarely on the chin. For his troubles, Fury’s head also smacked against the canvas. As before, a confident Wilder took a moment to admire his work. Honestly, who could blame the guy? He’s spent the best years of his life to get to this point and had been tested to his outer limits through the bulk of twelve rounds. What would a playful kiss of death and throat slashing gesture harm?

Before we proceed towards a conclusion, throw out the argument of a long count by referee Jack Reiss with last week’s uneaten pizza. At least in a fight of this magnitude, when was the last time any of us saw a boxer take this type of punishment en route to the floor and actually get back up? There are surely examples out there but at the same time, likely none among us thought Tyson Fury would be back on his feet and able to continue. Simply astonishing.

Alas, the two knockdowns would have held their respective weight had they been on the tail of a better performance on the part of Deontay Wilder. Many of us had to suspect that with the amount of time elapsed between the sounding of the last bell and the reading of the judges’ scorecards that something might be fishy in the end. They read as follows: 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and one last card at 113 apiece. A draw.

Was it fishy? With the exception of ‘the worldwide leader in sports’ and their resident boxing genius, most in the media and beyond felt that Tyson Fury had done enough to win the contest. This writer included but what we may have taken in addition to another punch to the gut of the sport we love is the fact that we might witnessed the two best heavyweights on the planet in action last night. They seemed to bring out the absolute best from each other.

Meanwhile, Englishman Anthony Joshua, who holds all the bling in heavyweight boxing aside from the Crown Jewels, may be drying his collective chops instead of licking them. He has a date secure for the 13th of April at Wembley Stadium. If Wilder and Fury decide to meet again in a rematch, then Joshua may have to face someone he’s already beaten or a name who wouldn’t trouble him too much.

As much as Saturday’s contest had no business on pay-per-view, you can bet the house, car and boat on the second one being there as well. The selling point will likely be the knockdowns and the recovery efforts or just exactly how someone who took three years off from the sport was still considered the ‘lineal’ champion. This was exactly the case in 1988 for Michael Spinks. Surely we remember what happened to him.

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  1. Kid Blast 05:40pm, 12/02/2018

    Old Yank has the beat

  2. don from prov 01:01pm, 12/02/2018

    I saw a clear win for Fury.
    Thought going in he might have needed another (better) tune-up, but. ...

    Another, IMO, fight that is being overrated—good, but not more than that.

    P.S.  Appreciated the sportsmanship on each side.

  3. Sam Young 12:45pm, 12/02/2018

    Fury beat Wilder EASY. Fury won 10 Rounds. Wilder only won 2 Rounds the 9th Round and the 12th Round. Fury got 116 points. And Wilder got 110 points. It’s Cut and Dry. You have to remember a lot of Blacks are extremely Racist and Hypocritical and refuse to give Fury Credit. Even though Fury got dropped twice he out boxed Wilder Easy. Super Easy. From here on out Wilder needs his team to Stop the Cherry Picking of Soft Touch Bums. I know everything I said is 100% Accurate and will not apologize to no one. If you don’t like it TOUGH, deal with it and Accept the Facts and Stop making Biased Excuses and Crying that your Skinny Legged Bum got Whooped BAD !!!

  4. Kid Blast 10:36am, 12/02/2018

    Actually Old Yank is spot on:

    “Watching on TV all the ShowTime crew were giving every round but 1 to Fury until the 9th round knockdown and then only gave the 12th to Wilder. Thus according to them Fury won 9 rounds at 10-9 and Wilder won 3 rounds 10-8 X2 and a 10-9. However, I think Wilder could have been given several other rounds. The crew fell into “group think” and confirmation bias and didn’t realize some rounds could have reasonably gone either way. They probably dragged listeners with them.  This is the problem with all boxing announcers in this day and age. They make observations and spend so much time agreeing with each other that they selectively “see” what they “say”.

  5. Old Yank 09:40am, 12/02/2018

    IMO, rounds 2, 3, and 4 were very, very close rounds. What one saw, thought they saw and did not see, could have resulted in the 10 “must” points going either way. Two of three saw all three for Fury. Had but one of those two judges seen but one of those three rounds differently, we would not have ended with a draw.

    And of course had the judge giving Wilder all three rounds (2, 3, and 4), given but one to Fury, we would still have ended in a draw.

    The controversy is grotesquely over done.

  6. Gajjers 09:33am, 12/02/2018

    Hat’s off to both combatants; they’ve both contributed to the upswing of the traditional marquee division in this sport. Excellent sportsmanship by both too, when the dust settled. I wish ‘em both well henceforth. No argument either way from me -  kudos to both…

  7. Lucas McCain 08:06am, 12/02/2018

    The second draw in a recent mega bout when the wrong guy was about to win.  What’s to be fishy about?  But seriously, what could be better than this kind of action.  I was drawn into boxing with the 3 Patterson-Johansson fights and I can’t help thinking of how many youngsters will come to it with this series (if it happens), one that may end up with Joshua in a triumvirate.  Hard not to note, though, fingers crossed for Adonis S

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