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Tyson Fury credits coach Sugar Hill Steward for Deontay Wilder win: ‘We can knock out anybody!’

Many people thought Fury was crazy for ditching his comeback coach Ben Davidson, but Javan ‘Sugar Hill’ Steward added a new angle to Fury’s game.

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury II Press Conference - MGM Grand Garden Arena Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Tyson Fury put on a hell of a performance Saturday night against Deontay Wilder, knocking the “Bronze Bomber” down twice and forcing Wilder’s corner to throw in the towel in the 7th round (watch the highlights here). The victory earned him the WBC and The Ring magazine heavyweight titles, making him only the second boxer to ever hold WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and WBO titles (after Riddick Bowe) and second to hold The Ring title twice (after Muhammad Ali). Pretty good company, and Fury sounds like he’s just getting started with his amazing comeback story.

For those who don’t know, Fury won the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring titles off Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015, only to fall apart due to mental illness and drug abuse. He was subsequently stripped of his belts and largely written off by the boxing world. In June of 2018 he stepped back into the ring, and six months and two wins later he was facing Deontay Wilder for the first time, one of the most fearsome knockout artists in the game. That fight ended in a controversial decision draw (many thought Fury was robbed), and many wondered if Fury could win off the scorecards in the rematch. But a switch in coaches from Bed Davidson to Javan “Sugar Hill” Steward for the rematch seems to have added a new level of violence to Fury’s game.

”When I made the decision to move from [previous coach] Ben Davidson, who did a fantastic job by the way, I done it for a reason,” Fury said at the post-fight press conference. “And everybody was like ‘This is a bad move. A really bad move.’ But it worked out for the best and I believe in ‘Sugar Hill.’ I believe in the style that he teaches. And I know that we’d get it right on the night. We did everything that I did in the ring tonight, we practiced in the gym. Setting up off the jab and landing the detonation right hand. And Deontay Wilder is a very tough guy, the took a lot of good rights, and I think [his corner] did the right thing because it was only a matter of time before he got severely hurt. He was very tired in there.”

Fury was quite vocal coming into the second fight with Wilder that he would be going for the kill, and it was extra impressive seeing him pull that gameplan off rather than revert back to a safer, more conservative approach. But it makes sense given what happened the first time he let the fight go to the judges in America.

”Everybody knows I’m a master slick boxer and I can jab and move around the ring for twelve rounds,” Fury said. “But that didn’t work last time. I got a draw, and like I said, a draw is a failure to me because all I do is win, win, win. This time I wanted the knockout and the only way I could guarantee that I was gonna get a win was the knockout. When me and Sugar Hill spoke, he told me I would knock him out and I believed in what he said. And also Andy Lee here, he told me I’d knock him out as well.”

According to the “Gypsy King,” he plans to use his knockout power more moving forward.

”I’m me own worst critic,” he said. “And even though it was a fantastic performance and I got a great win, I know I can do better. I’ve only just started, me and Sugar Hill, with this style. We’ve had seven weeks to perfect a style that takes years at a gym in and out. But I’m a quick learner and I aim to get back to work straight away. Work on me balance, work on me straight punches, and we’re going to be putting people to sleep left right and center. Don’t forget: when I came here they said I can’t punch. Deontay Wilder said himself that I’ve got two pillow fists. Not bad for an old fat guy who can’t punch, aye? Did all right, dinnit I?”

As for what’s next, Fury shook his head no when asked if he thought a fight with WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO champ Anthony Joshua was next. Instead, he seemed to think Deontay Wilder would pull the trigger on the rematch clause in their contract.

”Deontay will need time to recover from the fight,” Fury said. “But I’m almost sure that he’ll take a rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher and anytime he can take somebody out with that danger, then you’re always in a fight. So I’m pretty sure we’ll do it again, we’ll run it back again. If he wants to. But if he doesn’t want to, these are my promoters and whatever they want to do, I’m happy with. Whoever is next will get the same treatment, that’s for sure.”

It sounds like the 2015 Tyson that climbed to the very top of the sport moving behind his jab is gone, and we have entered the era of Fury the headhunter.

”21 knockouts in 30 fights ain’t so bad considering I’ve never really looked for knockouts in my career,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve always looked to use my boxing skill. But with this weight alone, technique, right Sugar? We can knock out anybody, can’t we?”

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