Talk to many top boxers, and they’ll tell you the goal when it comes to getting out of the ring safely is to hit and not get hit. Last night during the third Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder fight, both men took a lot of big shots.
Fury outstruck Wilder 150-72 but boy were some of Wilder’s punches mean looking. Fury was dropped twice in the fourth round. Wilder was dropped three times, the last a KO blow that ended the fight in the 11th round (watch the highlights here). And the question was raised at the post-fight press conference: was Fury surprised no one stopped the fight as the damage started piling onto Wilder in the later rounds?
“Wilder’s a very tough guy and he’s got heart, definitely got heart to keep going,” Fury replied. “But I think one of the ringside doctors or the commission or someone got in the ring at one stage to check he was okay. I’m not sure what was going on, I thought they might pull him out there.”
“He took a lot of punishment tonight, Deontay Wilder. And that puts a lot of mileage on the clock. So did I, I took a lot of punishment tonight as well, a lot of good shots that I got put over and got back up. It was just a great fight all in all. Like [my coach] Sugar said. You gotta take your hat off to Wilder’s team and him as well, he put up a good fight. And that’s what I was here for. I wasn’t here to blow someone over in one round. I travel the world for so many years to find challengers, and he gave me a real worthy challenge tonight.”
The actual knockout blow, a big right hand that caught Wilder on the ropes and dropped him to the canvas, was particularly nasty.
“I’ve not seen the actual knockout, but I felt it,” Fury said. “I felt like it was ... he was getting tired and he was getting fatigued and I hit him solid with a crunching right right up in the side of the temple. And shots like that ... they end careers. And I just hope that he’s okay. He took a lot of punishment tonight with left uppercuts and right uppercuts, right hooks, right hands, he definitely took some punishment so we’ll see what he can do in the future.”
As Fury said, both men took their licks in the trilogy and we imagine the “Gypsy King” will be happy to move on to face someone who isn’t known as one of the biggest power punchers in the heavyweight division.
With Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk set to rematch early in 2022, perhaps Fury takes a break and waits to see how that turns out so he finally gets another opportunity to unify the heavyweight titles. But you know boxing: there’s always another mandatory challenger once you start amassing belts. The WBC has declared that Dillian Whyte should be next for Fury, so we’ll have to see how it all shakes out.