For Tyson Fury to come from the incredibly dark place he was in to overcome alcohol, drugs, depression and serious weight gain, and to fight his way to a draw with one of the hardest punchers in the history of the Heavyweight Division, is already one of the greatest comeback stories in boxing history.
But for Fury to fight Deontay Wilder again in one of the best displays of heavyweight boxing in decades, and to win in the manner he did, is something that feels almost unique within all of sport. There is no doubt now that The Gypsy King will go down as an all-time great.
In the leadup to their rematch, Tyson Fury promised a knockout, something which seemed rather unlikely due to the point scoring style Fury has employed for almost his entire career. Fury referenced the twelfth round of their previous fight, where he seemingly rose from the dead after a show-reel knockdown by Wilder, only to somehow recover and even push Fury onto the back foot, something done by few of Wilder’s previous opponents.
He even went so far as to recruit Javan Steward, nephew of the great Manny Steward who had trained the likes of Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Fury’s old rival Wladimir Klitschko, in order to work on increasing his aggression.
Despite all of this it seemed unlikely that Fury would change his style in the manner he did. During the first round he forced Wilder back in a way that the American couldn’t find a response to, finding no success despite landing a couple of shots with his now infamous right hand. This pattern continued until the third round where a thudding right hand to the side of the head sent Wilder crashing to the floor. Over the next couple of rounds as he desperately struggled to recover Fury piled on with more and more aggression, as it became worryingly clear Wilder’s legs had gone, slipping twice before another knockdown in the fifth round. Fury was penalised for holding but it didn’t matter, the question was no longer if Fury would be able to knock out wilder, but when.
In the seventh round, Wilder’s corner controversially threw in the towel seeing no hope of Wilder being able to turn things around. Fury had dominated Wilder, the scorecards at the time of the stoppage were 59-52, 58-53, 59-52. As of right now it looks like Wilder will activate the rematch clause in his contract and fight Fury again in the summer, but it seems unlikely he will be able to adapt his style like Fury has and its hard to see anything other than another Fury victory.
Looking forward, it’s a great time to be a British boxing fan. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury currently hold every world title possible in the division, and the prospect of a superfight in the near future looks pretty likely. It’s hard to describe just how impressive Fury’s return to the ring is.
Even legendary fighters like Muhammad Ali fell from their prime when they took time away from the ring and Fury’s experience with alcohol, drugs and weight gain made returning to boxing at all an unlikely prospect.
The Fury we currently have however is arguably the best he’s ever been, even managing to captivate the illusive American boxing crowd that even Wilder himself struggled to hold the attention of. In one of the greatest comebacks since the likes of the great George Foreman it feels like there’s a real chance that within the next year or two, The Gypsy King will claim the undisputed crown.
Last modified: 10th March 2020