The  Fury – Wilder Trilogy

The Fury – Wilder Trilogy

Commonly accepted rules for boxing include:

  • Fighters may not hit below the belt, trip, hold, kick, headbutt, bite, push, or spit on opponents.
  • You cannot strike with your head, forearm, or elbows.
  • You cannot hit with an open glove, wrist, or backhand, only closed fist punches.

Boxing used to be one of the most popular sports in America. … First, boxing’s move to PPV has hurt its popularity. Though it has allowed for large amounts of money to flow into the sport, the number of people watching continues to decrease. It’s Kind of like movies making more money but selling fewer tickets.

Why do boxers hug?

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As a result, while it looks like a hug from the outside, it’s actually a tactical maneuver in boxing. Clinching is typically used for three reasons, which can be to break up an opponent’s rhythm, to take a bit of a break because you’re hurting, or to rest when you’re desperately waiting for the bell to ring

BOXING ON US TV

MMA (UFC) is still not more popular than boxing. Out of the top 50 PPV sales ever, boxing holds 25 spots, while UFC only has 15. However, boxing viewership rates have been stagnant, opposed to the rising numbers in UFC. … There is something appealing that MMA promotions (mainly UFC) are doing to attract more audiences.

FURY VS WILDER

The final round of the first fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury featured two events that changed the course of modern boxing. The first is famous: Two quick, hard Wilder hooks landed squarely on Fury’s head, leading to a knockdown that everyone in the building—including myself—considered to be the end of the fight. Wilder is the hardest puncher in the sport. Fury got up and changed the course of both men’s careers.

The next part was less miraculous, more subtle, but just as important. Fury, who was on defense for most of that fight, swarmed Wilder with punches in a flurry to end the fight, which ended in a draw. That sequence suggested, as Fury would say later, that the bully could be bullied. That you could go right at the most dangerous puncher in the sport and thrive. That Wilder could be pressured. Fourteen months later, in February 2020, Fury built on that game plan and stopped Wilder in the seventh round in an absolute blowout to win the WBC heavyweight championship.

Sports has a way of asking the same question over and over again: Are you the person you think you are? In the 19 months since their rematch, Wilder has probably not liked the answer. I’ve spent only maybe an hour with Wilder in my life, but in that limited time, I found him to be a charming, swaggering personality who carries a type of confidence that comes with knocking 40 people unconscious publicly.

He has, at least for now, lost that confidence. It’s not just that Fury built a strategy around charging toward Wilder—something no one believed possible heading into the fight. It’s how Wilder took it afterward. Wilder’s first professional loss turned him into a wild excuse-maker. First, he said his pre-fight costume was too heavy.

Then he was a conspiracy theorist, claiming that his trainer, Mark Breland, who threw in the towel in the loss to protect Wilder, betrayed him as part of a pro-Fury conspiracy to rob Wilder of his title. The referee, he said, was also in on it. Wilder claimed that his water was spiked with a muscle relaxer that mitigated his punching power. Last but certainly not least, he said Fury had loaded his gloves with “something the size and the shape of an egg weight.”

There was never any evidence for these claims, obviously, and Wilder seemed to move from one theory to the next pretty quickly without going into too much detail. I have never competed in a professional boxing fight, but I do try to study why teams and people win and lose for a living, and I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say Wilder’s reaction to this loss is among the worst I’ve ever seen. No one saw Fury kicking Wilder’s ass like that coming. Fewer saw the path it would put Wilder on. He has had a great career; he is still the best American heavyweight by a good distance; he has accomplished more than almost any fighter alive, but he is not the fighter he was before that night 19 months ago. The thing about invincibility is that when it goes, a lot of things go with it.

I happened to walk over to the tunnel the night of their second fight to get close to Wilder as he limped out of the Las Vegas arena. His face was busted open. He moved slowly—his legs were gone during the fight and they looked even worse after it—and I remember thinking that I’d seen a lot of defeated fighters, but few looked more defeated than he did then. Another former heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson, once famously said that everyone said he got knocked down more than anyone else, but he saw it as getting up more than anyone else. That is heavyweight boxing. That is what cuts to the heart of Wilder-Fury III. Fury got up—he did it in the now-famous 12th round in 2018 when he thudded against a canvas in Los Angeles for about nine seconds. Can Wilder?

Fury maintained this week that Wilder is still the hardest puncher in the history of boxing. Wilder built an identity around that. He built his game plans around it—waiting for that right hand to show up while doing very little of anything else. Wilder’s refrain was that a fighter like Fury had to be perfect all the time and Wilder’s right hand just had to work perfectly once. Well, on that night in February 2020, Fury actually was perfect.

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