Mancuso: Wilder-Fury And Heavyweight Buzz

Tomorrow night on Showtime Pay-Per-View Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will put on a show for the WBC heavyweight championship. This may be worth taking out the wallet because Tyson Fury for some reason again is fighting for a heavyweight title.

Oh, don’t miss this one that again will decide a piece of the alphabet soup heavyweight division. You know the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and all the others. Then again, the last time boxing had a unified heavyweight champion is explained here on Wikipedia:

Lennox Lewis became undisputed champion by defeating Evander Holyfield, successfully unifiying his WBC belt with Holyfield’s WBA and IBF belts. With that victory, he was also awarded the vacant IBO title. Lewis was stripped of his WBA belt due to a contract dispute regarding a clause in the second Holyfield contract which stipulated he must fight the WBA number 1 contender next. The number 1 contender at that time was Henry Akinwande but he was ill so John Ruiz was later moved up to number 1. The WBA gave Lewis permission under these circumstances to fight WBC ranked contender Michael Grant next as long as he agreed to fight Ruiz in the following bout. Lewis agreed but Ruiz’s promoter challenged the WBA’s decision in court.

Confused, of course you are. But this is boxing and there is always reason for confusion. But the sport is not dead by any means and Saturday night this heavyweight title fight begins a full year of championship fights every week or two on Showtime, ESPN, DAZN, and the Fox Network.

Implications, there are and the process begins to unify this division. Deontay Wilder is aware that a win will secure a lucrative and unification bout with WBA, IBF, and WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

So this is a must watch. Or is it?  Order the fight with your cable provider or get access to see some form of boxing history. If anything, see the unpredictable and freak of nature known as Tyson Fury.

Tyson Fury is that  cross between a 30-year old undefeated heavyweight and  “The Big Show” of WWE sports entertainment. The plot thickens when Tyson Fury follows the script of a WWE performer on the microphone and a very unorthodox style of fighting.

Deontay Wilder?  Talented, old school approach with a good and powerful right. Oh, many times also uses the script of a WWE performer on a podium and before the cameras. But the animosity with his opponent is real as the two were kept apart at the weight-in Friday to prevent a pre fight scuffle.  This is not theatrics and it’s because that prestigious WBC title has a history.

Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Not even the late Muhammad Ali can top what Tyson Fury says or does. Back then, watching Ali-Joe Frazier, Ali-Larry Holmes was drama. This is the unpredictable Tyson Fury.

“I hope the boxing fans around  the world are going to enjoy this as much as I will,” he says. “On Saturday night, I’m going to get my chance to punch him the face. Deontay Wilder is getting knocked out.”

Deontay Wilder enters the ring Saturday night and realizes this is the biggest fight of his career. Tyson Fury, there may not be another chance.  A brawl for it all? Jack Reiss is the experienced and trusted third man in the ring who will have the task of assuring this won’t be a brawl.

The fortunate part of this 12-round fight, if it goes the distance, is having a  competent official in the ring. The unfortunate part of Tyson Fury is witnessing a possible freak show as the deserving contender with the designation of dethroning longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Either way boxing history will be made. And if you enjoy theatrics, as this entire promotion has witnessed, with a three-city press tour leading to Saturday evening, then this is a must watch.  Don’t expect much boxing and strategy.

It will be the mental games of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder the old school champion from the Staples Center in Los Angeles presented by the PBC.

Prediction: Deontay Wilder with a stoppage in the late rounds. Don’t ask what round but expect that late power punch. 

Spend your money wisely as the heavyweight division, dormant for years, has once again created some buzz.

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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