Wilder vs. Fury and The Future Of The Heavyweight Division


Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Anthony Baamonde, Staff Writer

Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder took on Tyson Fury in a highly anticipated pay-per-view on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

As the champion, Wilder came in as the favorite, however, there had been some experts who gave a slight edge to Fury. The card also held three other fights, including the return of heavyweight, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, who took care of business in the last round of his ten round bout, while middleweight champion, Jarrett Hurd knocked out Jason Welborn in the fourth round of his fight.

The Wilder, Fury fight was a very intriguing matchup. Fury is the bigger fighter, standing in at 6’9″ and weighing 257 lbs. while Wilder is weighed in at just 212 lbs. while supporting a 6’7″ frame. This was a very different fight for Wilder, who had never fought anyone taller than him in his career–and it showed. Additionally,  Wilder had not came into a fight this light since Feb. when he almost got knocked out by Luis Ortiz.

When the main event started, Fury was hopping around the ring, trying to draw Wilder into an early haymaker. Wilder, who usually puts on a show, started off very slow and wasn’t doing much in the earlier rounds. The problem was he didn’t do much the entire fight. He knocked Fury down in the ninth and twelfth round. He just stood there, not punching or throwing combinations. It was concerning to say the least.

To see such a dominant fighter get completely thrown off by someone who is less talented was unusual. It also showed that Wilder was having difficulties in fighting someone actually bigger than him. Fury used his weight and his height advantage to tire out Wilder in the later rounds. In a surprising twist of fate, Fury was knocked down in the twelfth round as Wilder finally nailed him with a right hand, then a left hook. Fury was out on his back, and at the last second got up and finished the fight.

The fight ultimately ended in a draw–a questionable ruling to say the least. Wilder’s performance was not worthy of a draw. He wasn’t busy enough, he looked too thin, his speed and power were gone, and when he did throw punches they missed. Fury’s defense was outstanding, and it made Wilder look extremely mediocre.

Now this brings up the question: What’s next for the heavyweight division? A rematch between Wilder and Fury is highly probable. Will there be a future fight with heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua? Joshua has all of the belts except one…Wilder’s.  Wilder had previously signed a deal to fight Joshua in the UK, but Joshua backed out, also doing so twice against Fury.