By Tré Berry III | 10/10/2021
Blood, guts, tenacity, multiple moments of real danger for both proud prizefighters – this bout had a little bit of everything, and it was certainly worth the admission ticket, even despite a stacked undercard that proved to be lackluster with what they produced. The bad blood between RING/WBC Heavyweight World Champion 🇬🇧Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury (31-0-1, 22KO), and former WBC titleholder/nuclear power puncher 🇺🇸Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-2-1, 41KO) reached a mountain top in the pre-fight build-up, that was of authentic legitimate merit, and because of that, what we thought was a mountain top, was actually a volcano that erupted once the first bell rang.
Lofty standards to live to in terms of past trilogies of legend in the Heavyweight division, the action that ensued last night is one that added a new chapter to the book of Heavyweight Championship boxing, and the most chronicled of rivalries over the years amongst the big men of the sport.
Upon its conclusion, the fight is one which will yield serious consideration for 2021 Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, and though it is very early, it has to be a fight to etch into the memory bank as one that can possibly be a Fight of the Decade candidate considering where the bar has been set.
Somewhere along the way, the mutual adulation and respect between the two dissipated, and eroded to levels reflecting sheer disdain for one another, adding to, and sometimes overshadowing their 19 rounds together that harbored Fury testing the waters, Wilder detonating bombs, an incomprehensive resurrection on Fury’s part, and Tyson all of a sudden rounding into the form of a grizzled power puncher, with the physical prowess to wear down his opponent.
Considering new circumstances, the question coming in was…will we see tangible evidence of improvement under Wilder’s new guidance of Head-Trainer Malik Scott? and whether Fury could last once again by surviving oncoming nukes.
THE EPIC THIRD MATCH OF A STORIED HEAVYWEIGHT TRILOGY (FURY/WILDER)
Immediately in round 1, you seen Wilder incorporating something that he was notoriously bad at, and that was in targeting and establishing a consistent attack to the body. Roughly Wilder’s first 12 punches in the fight were snap jabs, and right hands to the ribs and the pit of the stomach, with clear intention of trying to get Fury to change his eye level, to make him casually drop his guard, so that Deontay could fit the megalithic right cross upstairs, but Fury wasn’t biting on that tactic – instead patiently taking his time, analyzing his opponents new adjustments, and figuring out the ways in which he wanted to attack him. While it was crystal clear that Wilder took the first round, it was Fury at the backend of the stanza that landed the first significant 1-2 combo to get his night started after seeing what he needed to see.
Wilder for round 2 came out with a similar approach, stick the jab down low to soften the bigger Fury up. Tyson began to open up, landing a beautiful, unorthodox jab, cross, delay cross, hook combination, getting his footwork in position to fire it, and throwing Deontay off with the way that he delivered it.
Much like the second fight between the two combatants, Fury relied heavily on his not oft-talked about strategy of clinching quickly while darting in, to wrap the Bronze Bomber up, and lean down him with the weight to take the starch, and much of the bounce out the legs of Deontay, and last night’s version was 277 lbs., which was a lot to deal , feeling like you have to hold up dead weight repeatedly.
As wild as Deontay sometimes throws his right hand, historically in his career, he seldom telegraphs it…but he was doing it often, raring back too much as if he was adamant on making that early statement, but Fury at this point of the fight seen it a mile away, and Wilder kept throwing it behind the jab in a predictable 1-2 combination from distance.
Fury after getting his timing down on Wilder’s predictable movement, began to develop a rhythm, and mixed up his combinations to the head and body. Wilder landed a jab cross combo over the top while Fury ducked straight back in the ropes, and even though he didn’t connect clean, all Wilder needed to do in the moment was to touch the target in order to get a feel for it in the rounds to follow.
The clinches were heavy, and had the brut physical presence between two stubborn pugilists that you would expect from a high profile Heavyweight match, and Referee Russell Mora Jr. often found himself out of place and overmatched, finding it difficult to break the combatants, and getting visibly antsy about them not immediately listening to his commands.
Wilder landed his first flush hand of the fight midway through the second frame, but Fury bounced back aggressively to land one of his own as an immediate payback, before getting in range to tie Deontay up. Fury started to work in a hook, cross combination as a way to manipulate, and get behind the defensive guard that Wilder was utilizing.
Fury in the third round began to operate behind his Kronk stance with the left hand down, looking to invite the danger in order to create opportunities for himself to capitalize on. The left hooks that he was throwing, and landing were heavy, to where you could see the effect on Deontay, flailing with them upon impact, and that is where Fury began to dig his feet in the canvas in order to generate maximum power in his combination punching. Wilder landed a mammoth right cross to the jaw, that drew the ooh’s and the aah’s from the crowd, that audibly was a bit louder on impact than anything that was offered up thus far in the fight.
Fury, as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, didn’t shy away from the action after a blow like that, instead he stuck to his guns, and fired them with a loud bang, landing a strong jab, cross, that made Deontay stumble to center ring while he was coming off of the ropes, and Tyson belted him with a right uppercut, left hook that sent Wilder spiraling to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight.
Wilder got up, calm demeanor…but he was visibly shaken by the disruptive power that he tasted, didn’t appear to listen to Mora’s prompts all too well. Wobbling and in a bit of a daze, he appeared fortunate in the moment that the damage was done late in the round, getting to the bell while staying on his feet.
Unclear has to whether Wilder was able to shake the cobwebs off to start the 4th round, Fury began to bully him by mauling him on the inside, forcing Deontay on his backfoot which drastically cuts his impact in half – a smart tactic.
What Deontay Wilder did as a counter-maneuver was highly intelligent as well, taking a step back, and to the right when Fury was bulling forth, and unleashed a devastating right hand that took all of Fury’s leg coordination away, eerily reminiscent of 🇨🇺Luis “King Kong” Ortiz in the 5th round of his first fight with Deontay, a break dance move of sorts.
Fury, in serious trouble there, went down to the mat for his first time in the fight, and the electricity of the moment was felt throughout all those in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena, as Fury laid on his back by the turnbuckle, and struggled to get up.
Mora’s count was terribly slow (that’s an undeniable fact), was it him? or was it the time keeper counting that slow? we simply don’t know…however if you take a more normalized count within the realm of acceptability, then you’ll realize that Fury got up here in time, around the count of 7 or 8.
Point made, now back to the fight…when Deontay hurts you, the world shifts on its axis, and as you would expect, Wilder went for broke. With seconds left in the 4th, Wilder snuck in a short right hook that put the already shaky-legged Brit back down to the canvas for the second time in a tumultuous round for him. Once again, the count was slow as Fury struggled to muster up the energy to get up and stay on his feet.
Once again due to the slow count, there isn’t an exact time you can rely on truthfully, but you can in ways set parameters with multiple different times that you would deem to be acceptable. We are not the judge & the jury, but in my opinion regarding how that unfolded, Fury would’ve gotten up once again to beat the count with it being normalized, though this time it cut a bit closer than the first knockdown.
Fury was heavily dazed, lethargic, and like Wilder, he was very fortunate to hear the bell, signaling the end of the 4th round, and for Fury, the bell sounded immediately after Mora cleared him to continue, evading further damage.
The 55 second intermission in the corner did Fury some great justice, as he was able to regain his cognition, and the sturdiness back in his legs, but his opponent Wilder now was brimming with increased confidence, and began to start loading up on his shots in the 5th round the way that only few can in the sport, current, and past.
One wonders….if Fury were to take another nasty right hand like that again in the following around, would he have enough to survive its impact Well, due to opening up in the previous stanza, Wilder was a bit gassed, and was trying to reload the ammo, not being able to generate full power in the moment, and Fury in spurts took advantage, firing away as Deontay was reloading his musket.
The spirit of the fight began to intensify from both, with the feeling palpable even for those watching on their TV’S, computer screens, phones…and certainly those in the crowd, which reached a raucous level of exuberance that you can only audibly hear in the biggest of high profile matches that is producing on its promise. Wilder landed a good right hand, and wailed on Fury while in the corner, perceiving him to be hurt.
Though Fury was buzzed in the moment, he wasn’t quite hurt there, and was in full control of his faculties, but the danger component was that he was getting closer and closer to landing the boom, and the threat alone is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat…but Fury is such a dog in there, and is just elusive enough in closed quarters to get out the way.
There was a moment in the 5th where both threw simultaneous right hands with homerun written all over them…but the momentum of both of their punches got them out of the firing range, and they locked biceps – a humorous moment, yet one that reminded you of how their night could get cut short if either was able to land that perfect punch.
By this point, both were a bit fatigued, and Deontay Wilder’s right eye began to show the first symptoms of significant swelling, most likely caused by the power jab that Tyson Fury was heavily stepping into, to maximize impact.
It was the 6th round where you finally started to see the effects of Fury’s clinch + lean down technique, as Wilder twice in the round dropped to his knees, which indicated that the stamina was being drained, and the grueling nature of the bout was beginning to catch up to him, perhaps a foreshadowing for what was to come in the near future.
Both blasted the other with simultaneous jab, cross combinations, and both looked to be effected by it, as now they were fully engulfed in the trenches of the war, relying on auxiliary power, to help propel them through the dangers of the battlefield.
Perhaps the most exciting portion of the fight minus the knockdowns, was the back and forth power exchanged inside of that 6th frame, with both taking turns delivering power, with nasty impact. The one punch that stunned Wilder (that we haven’t seen from Fury often in their rivalry) was a sneak uppercut that stood Wilder upright – something else for Wilder to think about in terms of what to worry about in terms of incoming traffic, which made Deontay think for a bit, over the natural acumen to instinctually react inside of the trenches, a bad sign for things to come.
The action established in the sixth bridged together with the 7th, and Tyson Fury was putting something extra on the right hand that was moving Wilder from his target. Wilder too opened up the tool box, and began to hammer away relentlessly at the wall mount that is Fury, trying to throw a wrench in his plans, but both were feeling the effects of the brute action that was taking place in the moment.
Wilder was SEVERELY hurt with a Tyson Fury roundhouse right hand to catch the temple, followed by a laser-quick straight right cross, and an uppercut that had Deontay’s body completely twisted, contorted, and he wobbled back into the ropes – his mind looked to have been in orbit at that point. Walking back to his corner after a historic round 7, Wilder put his fist in the air, but he looked absolutely terrible, as he looked close to being pushed to his brink of what he could take in terms of punishment.
Wilder didn’t look ANY better to come out for the eighth, with a busted up, battered face, gait problems when it came to his balance, and him looking like he depleted his reserves, and was barely hanging on due to survival instincts, and heart. Tyson Fury knew how vulnerable his man was in front of him, so he continued to go to work methodically, without getting too sloppy in there to get caught with something nasty.
The long jab and the double right hand of Fury kept Deontay at bay, and forcing him to backpedal didn’t allow him to plant his feet to generate his right hand for return fire. Another heavy jab, cross combination seemed to jar Deontay further from his senses, as he bounced along both set of ropes held up by the turnbuckle, doing anything he could to survive, and evade further punishing blows, but Fury cut the ring off well, kept him at his desired distance, and scraped him with two more 1-2 combinations that staggered the Alabama warrior once again. Deontay Wilder was firing back, but no longer stepping into his shots, and was essentially running on exhaust fumes now.
The Fury jab made its return back to the fight in the 9th round – not the flickering jab…the thudding jab that continuously offset Wilder’s movement in the early goings. Wilder could no longer get out of the way of them, and routinely looked like a bobblehead every time that the Gypsy King connected with those. Throughout the punishment, Deontay threw a rare uppercut at the end of the frame that more than got Fury’s attention, it wobbled him…but with Deontay going on the attack, he ran out of time in the round.
What did round 10 have for us more action of course…here is where Fury began to assert himself more…though he didn’t put the extra at the end of his sequences, it was by design, as he was still being careful of the sneak bomb that Wilder is capable of landing. Deontay close inside was winging punches, and Tyson Fury got the right angle to fire a strong right cross that knocked Deontay sideways, and down while in a clinch, signaling the 2nd time he’s been down in the fight.
Wilder in this instance signaled he wanted to continue, but also seemed very lethargic on the Referee’s prompts. Russell Mora spent way too much time checking on the condition of the fighter before allowing him to continue, and truthfully, was bad (we’ve grown to expect that from Mr. Mora). Deontay, back in the line of fire, was now being stalked by Fury (shoe on the other foot scenario, considering the first fight), and Fury bludgeoned him with a roundhouse right while the Bronze Bomber’s back touched the ropes.
Wilder held on with a bit of desperation, while sprinkling some short shots hoping to make a difference, but the feeling was, that the end was near, we just didn’t know how it would come…or when. You couldn’t tell that to Wilder, who showed a set of brass balls and completely opened up for a last hurrah, rocking the big man with a heavily sustained attack of power punches, while Deontay himself could barely stand up.
The 10th round ended, so Wilder wasn’t able to drive home the momentum he had built up in the last half minute of the tenth. The 11th is where Wilder would however, meet his doom, and the fight would reach is climactic end. It all started when Fury elongated the right hand that snapped Deontay’s head back, while he was moving straight back, never getting out of the firing range, and bouncing off of the ropes from the impact of the punch.
Soon after, Deontay was rendered wide open, with his arms completely down from exhaustion, barely being in control of his faculties, and Fury got in a strong uppercut that froze him. Deontay Wilder relied on a tactic that he learned from the great 🇺🇸Evander Holyfield…when you’re severely hurt, lean forward and smother your opponent while holding their lead hand, to nullify any room for them to continue forth.
It worked well for a while, until Fury hulked up, landing a sharp left hook, then a devastating right hook that corkscrewed Deontay Wilder down for the final time, eerily reminiscent of 🇲🇽Canelo Alvarez knockout over 🇺🇸James Kirkland. Deontay had the spirit beaten out of him, and Russell Mora immediately stopped the fight, feeling Wilder obviously had enough. Deontay still tried to get up, but he ultimately met his fate, while Tyson Fury just put together the most scintillating moment of his career, in what was certainly his toughest fight considering the ebbs & flow of punishment that had took place over the long haul of the trilogy bout.
SOME ADDED PERSPECTIVE ON THE EVENT
Over and over again, Fury continuously shows his Championship mettle, and the ability to adapt to any and nearly all circumstances, and is developing the reputation of being a grizzled tough minded Heavyweight (which he always was), but now that being cast in front of his narrative as an excellent boxer, when it comes to the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the fighter.
Deontay Wilder is also one who earned his stripes as a warrior, something that cannot be denied by onlookers or detractors. Yes, on the personal front…there are many inexcusable things that he has done, and said in the past, and even before the fight, that cannot be excused…BUT that does not take away from the fact that he fought like a real man, putting his best foot forward, and going out on his shield as the warrior he always claimed to be – most people, when they speak on it too often, it doesn’t apply to them…but in this case, Deontay Wilder proved to be the exception, and now has a 🖃stamp of approval on that notion.
Considering the great Heavyweight trilogy bouts of the past, without any personal bias, or in the moment hysteria, matches up well with any of them historically. For all of us, if the “Thrilla in Manilla” is thee standard bearer to follow between 🇺🇸Muhammad Ali and 🇺🇸Joe Frazier, then Fury/Wilder III can perhaps sit comfortably behind it in terms of the best of the rest, or at the very least, stand up very favorably against other great trilogy bouts that you can think of from the notable giants.
Tyson Fury, though odd to say at this point, has finally made an official defense of his world titles…..and continues to reign as the RING/LINEAL/WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World. His saga with Wilder is essentially over, and Fury can make the claim that he defeated the most dangerous Heavyweight opponent in the world all 3 times.
As for the other competition, it seems like the best of the other Heavyweights are contractually bind together with rematche, WBA/WBO/IBF Heavyweight Titlist 🇺🇦Oleksandr Usyk, and 🇬🇧Anthony Joshua in their saga, and mandatory WBC world challenger 🇯🇲🇬🇧Dillian Whyte, recently signing up for a 2-fight deal with 🇸🇪Otto Wallin. The question then becomes…where does the great Tyson Fury go from here? we have no idea…but there are other Heavyweights to keep him motivated, and interested.
As for Mr. Wilder, while this was the performance that’ll make droves of people respect him a bit more from an acclaim standard strictly on his exploits inside of the ring, considering the punishment he took, his confidence bubble being burst…losing in this way to a fighter he doesn’t particularly like…and the way it all plays on him mentally…I don’t think Deontay Wilder will ever be the same again.
Of course time will be the decided to all of that, but if it really is the last time we’ve seen this version of Wilder…all I will have to say is thank you for being half of a legendary fight. Below are the official punch stats, how the Official Judges scored the fight up to the stoppage, and Project Combat’s personal tally as well.