Trilogies in boxing are unlike any other rivalry in sports. Two individuals fighting one another three times to see who can best the other on multiple occasions. Some of the most famous being Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward, Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield, and Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier. Heavyweight trilogies in particular hold an aura about them that cannot be found anywhere else. Two giants clashing to see who is left standing. In most cases, the trilogy will have each participant having won one of the previous two fights. In this case, Tyson Fury is 1-0-1 against Deontay Wilder. Some will argue that Fury is 2-0 against Wilder. You will hear that narrative with many of the outlets covering the fight. In this blog, I will break down both fights and talk about key points to help you make money on Saturday’s fight.
Wilder vs Fury 1
The first fight took place on December 1st, 2018. At the time, Tyson Fury was making a comeback after winning the Heavyweight title and vacating due to mental health issues. Wilder on the other hand had been knocking out everyone who stepped in his path. With a legendary highlight knockout of Bermane Stiverne. The video is below.
True. Knockout. Power.
Before we get into the fight itself, since I am showing Wilder Highlights, it’s only fair I show a Tyson Fury highlight. Tyson Fury aka The Gypsy King is the man who dethroned Wladimir Klitschko. Klitschko, prior to his loss to Fury, was a decade-long reigning champion absolutely dominating the heavyweight division with a technical and defensive style. I posted a highlight reel of their fight below. You can see that Fury uses his unorthodox style to freeze Klitschko. It was the first time you saw someone able to outpoint Klitschko.
Impressive stuff, but not the knockout dominance you see from Wilder. That was the narrative going into this fight. Wilder was the power puncher and Fury was the technical boxer. For the most part, that assumption was correct. At least for the first fight.
In the first fight, weight was not much of a discussion. Fury came in at 256.5lbs while Wilder was at 212.5lbs. A massive size difference in Fury’s favor. At the time, the discussion was how slim Fury looked as he was almost 400lbs during his time away from the ring. Both fighters looked great on the scale and were ready to perform.
This fight may be one of the more memorable fights for me. The looming reminder of Wilder’s punching power has you at the edge of your seat for the entire fight. In the beginning rounds, Fury had success point fighting and circling the outside of the ring. In round 4 Wilder caught him clean, bloodying his nose and reminding both Fury and the audience of Wilder’s power. In round 6, Fury switches from orthodox stance to southpaw (right foot forward to left foot forward) and began having success putting Wilder on the backfoot behind his jab. In rounds 7 and 8 Wilder does a good job of creating a more chaotic atmosphere and getting Fury to exchange with him. Wilder is most successful in the fight when he can keep Fury from moving his feet. The 9th round is where you see Wilder’s power in action. With Fury against the ropes, Wilder lands with a clipping hook that almost appears to graze Fury’s head sending him to one knee on the canvas. Beating the 10 count, Fury is able to regain composure and finish the round. Wilder expends a significant amount of energy trying to finish the fight with little success. It shows in round 10 as Fury is able to put a pace on Wilder as Wilder appears exhausted. The final round is what everyone remembers. Round 12 starts with Fury continuing to put on the pressure against Wilder. Then, out of nowhere, Wilder lands the vicious power you have seen as he appears to have landed a one-hit knockout on Fury. Fury lays on the ground for the first 6 seconds and then somehow manages to get up within the 10 count. He then went on to win the rest of the round! The disbelief on Wilder’s face is how the entire world felt watching Fury stand up. As the fight ends, nobody was sure who won the fight. A large majority of the public thought fury won and the other side was dead set that Wilder won. When the judges scored it as a draw, the public was outraged. It was even on both sides who the winner was. I added the 12th round so you can see for yourself how great of a fight it was.
Doesn’t get much better than that, folks.
After The First Fight
The rematch took some time. Both fighters had “tune-up” fights in between. Fury having the lesser schedule of the two. Fury’s two fights were uneventful and Wilder’s were rather one-sided. Below is a highlight of Wilder punching through Luis Ortiz’s guard, sending Ortiz to the land of wind and ghosts.
Here is another highlight of Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale between the two Fury fights.
After these two performances, the narrative once again was about how Wilder’s power would dictate the fight and with valid reasoning. However, reality and perception are two different things…
Wilder vs Fury 2
The second fight was scheduled for February 22nd, 2020. The build-up was standard for boxing. There were press conference events where the fighters were given microphones and let loose on each other. There were a few differences with Fury’s team and size of Fury. He had let go of his head trainer after the Wilder fight and hired SugarHill Steward, a boxing coach related to Emanual Steward. SugarHill is credited with the stylistic change Fury had in the second fight.
Fury weighed in at 273lbs, almost 20lbs heavier than the previous fight. Wilder came in at 231lbs which was over 19lbs heavier than the previous fight. Fury in the second fight looked noticably bigger than Wilder.
The second fight was far different than the first fight. Fury controlled the fight from the very first minute of the first round. Controlling the center of the ring, Fury stayed behind his jab, piecing Wilder apart slowly. In round 3, Fury gets his first of many knockdowns on Wilder. This knockdown was the most crucial, as the punch landed on Wilder’s ear and piercing his eardrum. This threw off Wilder’s balance which resulted in an inevitable loss. In round 7, Wilder’s corner threw in the towel which ended the fight in a TKO. Wilder later fired his coaching staff because they threw in the towel. The score was now 1-0-1 for Tyson Fury.
After The Second Fight
After this fight, conversations were focused on Fury fighting Anthony Joshua, a Heavyweight Champion based out of the UK. Fury is also based out of the UK. The fight was expected to be the biggest fight in UK boxing history as two UK-born Champions went head to head to unify the Heavyweight titles. Covid delayed the fight from happening and then Wilder’s team went to court to enforce the rematch clause set in the second fight contracts. This leads us to our trilogy fight. There will be no rematch after this one.
Fury opened as a -300 favorite for the trilogy fight and Wilder has opened as a +220 underdog. Since the lines opened there has been no movement. 21% of the public has bet 13.6% of the money on Fury. 79% of the public has bet 86.4% of the money on Wilder.
What I Am Betting
Having followed this trilogy since December 2018, both times I have bet Tyson Fury. This will be a third time as I am betting Tyson Fury -300 on the moneyline. I weirdly have a feeling this fight goes the distance so I am avoiding all of the props because of this.
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