HEAVYWIGHT boxing took another big step toward reclaiming its glory days with the stunning victory yesterday of challenger Tyson Fury over Deontay Wilder.
I paid SKY P299 to watch it live. It was worth it, Fury making it doubly fulfilling for me because of his shockingly masterful dethronement of Wilder in seven rounds tattooed with both bizarre and vampire-like scenes.
The tussle evoked memories of the great heavyweight fights from the Sixties to the Nineties featuring such immortals like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
If you think Fury’s 42-pound edge over the 231-pound Wilder was eerie enough, what about Fury licking the blood oozing from Wilder’s left ear during a sixth-round clinch?
Bizarre as it recalled the “earie” moment decades back when Tyson chewed a bit of Holyfield’s ear in their rematch won by Holyfield.
But while Tyson did that in pure frustration over his failure to hit Holyfield, Fury did it in sheer joy as a result of his big ear shot that floored Wilder, the wild warrior from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Before Fury’s furious blast in the third round that all but doomed Wilder, I could sniff a first defeat for Wilder in his 44th fight early on.
Suddenly, Wilder, who knocked out 41 of his first 42 foes (he drew his 43rd bout in December 2018 with Fury), was unbelievably flat-footed. A result of over-training?
And when I saw Fury, 31, consistently deflecting the 34-year-old Wilder’s famed massive right hand with jabs thrown like knives right from the start, the “Gypsy King” from Wythenshawe, United Kingdom, was on his way to a 30-0-1, win-loss-card in reclaiming his throne after battling alcohol abuse.
Referee Kenny Bayless was justified in stopping the fight in the seventh after seeing Wilder, knocked down a second time by a body shot in the fifth, getting pummeled mercilessly by Fury.
There is a rematch clause but unless Wilder, 6-foot-7, retools his style in their third battle, the 6-foot-9 Fury won’t need reinvention to remain king.