Atty. Jingo Quijano, my neighbor on these back pages, wrote an insightful piece on last Sunday’s heavyweight bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
I agree with Jingo and immensely enjoyed that slugfest between the “Gypsy King” and the “Bronze Bomber.”
I’ve been a lifelong boxing fan dating back to the days of Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard. I adored Mike Tyson but was shocked when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. And with Manny Pacquiao, I’m happy to say that I’ve watched three of his fights in person: in 2004 when he KO’d Fahsan “3K Battery;” in 2006 vs. Oscar Larios at the Araneta Coliseum; and in 2013 vs. Brandon Rios in Macau.
Together with my fellow sportswriters, we even played basketball at the Cebu Coliseum with Pac-Man.
Last Sunday’s Fury-Wilder III was—among the hundreds of duels that I’ve witnessed—one of the best.
The Brit stood 6-foot-9 and weighed 277 lbs. while the American from Alabama stood 6-foot-7 and weighed 238 lbs. Has there ever been a scuffle between taller and heavier contenders?
What a ruckus. Wilder started strong in Round 1, dancing around Fury and scoring on jabs. In Round 3, Fury unleashed massive stabs that knocked-down Wilder. In Round 4, it was Fury who fell on the canvas... twice.
From a furious Fury victory to a wild Wilder victory... it was a seesaw; a brawl; a grappling war. Fury dominated from thereon, scoring repeatedly from Rounds 5 to 11. As the 35-year-old American grew weary, the 33-year-old Englishman was tireless, the announcer even saying, “Fury can fight another 15 rounds!”
Despite being less muscular and robust than Wilder, it was Fury who never looked fatigued the entire 11 rounds. He’s giant-sized with welterweight-like quick hands and the endurance of a marathoner.
“The greatest trilogy of all time,” Fury said after.
Was it? It’s definitely one of the best, alongside the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe fights (won by Bowe in their third contest) and the Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier trilogy. That last fight is special because it was 46 years ago this month (Oct. 1, 1975) when Ali defeated Frazier in “Thrilla in Manila.”
What’s special about Tyson Fury?
“What he did... you don’t see it often, you really don’t—maybe once every generation,” said Timothy Bradley Jr., the former world champ and now ESPN commentator who himself had a memorable trilogy with Pacquiao.
I can’t wait for 2022 when he beats either Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.