The final meeting, between two great heavyweight champions is upon us, as the eventful clash between Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s) and “The Gypsy King,” Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) will take place this Saturday, October 9 at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, for the WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles.
The culmination of a series of events, many of which controversial, come to a final head. Saturday night will be the final capstone so to speak, regarding the saga featuring two polarizing characters of the sport.
Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III, is appropriately billed as, Once and For All.
Two heavyweights standing large in stature, emanating great presence and enigmatic energy, both possessing enormous personalities.
This pivotal contest, features another clash of these proverbial Titans, determining (fingers crossed) who will eventually or potentially, face the other champion of the division, former undisputed cruiserweight world champion and the newly crowned, unified, heavyweight world champion (WBA, WBO, IBF), Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KO’s).
But before we look towards this glorious evening, let’s recap what transpired thus far and review factors and headlines leading to this finale.
It’s important to note, this third fight did not almost take place at all, as by all appearances, Fury’s team, Tyson Fury himself, did not want to fight Wilder for a third time. Wilder initiated a contractual rematch clause in March of 2020, a month after suffering defeat in the second fight, with the third fight scheduled for July 18 of that year.
The bout was postponed several times, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. There would be claims from Fury’s team, citing the rematch clause expired. A mediation process would take place, before ultimately, a legal binding obligation had to be honored, as issued by the arbitration judge handling the case.
The fact a judge has to force a professional fighter to defend his title and follow contractual obligations says a lot about that fighter, but we’ll address that later.
The third bout was scheduled for July of 2021 and to no one’s surprise, the bout was postponed again, from the original date of July 24, until October 9, after Fury’s camp suffered an outbreak of COVID-19.
There was controversy following that postponement, because members of Fury’s team (sparring partners and such), exposed to COVID-19 allegedly, were out in about that following weekend of the postponement, attending a UFC event amongst the public.
If things go off without a hitch, then yes, we will finally see fight number three, between Wilder and Fury this weekend.
This bout holds significance, because the results continue to lead us towards the path of unification and transparency in the form of who is the best fighter and the one true ruler of the division.
Unification and undisputed status, leads to the decisive conclusion, fighters and fans alike are seeking; a clear vision of who rules the divisional landscape.
Historically, trilogies tend to be a good thing with boxing.
Significant trilogies at heavyweight:
- Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
- Muhammad Ali vs. Ken Norton
- Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson
- Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield
- John Ruiz vs. Evander Holyfield
- Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
In the past, the late Emanuel Steward was quoted as saying, “There’s one kid in America no one speaks of and that’s Deontay Wilder. He was on the Olympic Team (United States) he lost but he’s a big kid.”
“I’ve had the fortune of; he has trained with me before, he’s a big kid too, bigger than Wladimir (Klitschko) and he’s got good speed and power and best talent… and best talent is going to be Tyson (Fury) and Deontay Wilder.”
Interesting, how Steward predicted what would eventually unfold as reality; with eventual rivals that would be Fury and Wilder.
Another interesting element, is SugarHill Steward, the nephew of Emanuel, is the current head trainer of Fury. Wonder if Emanuel, would have predicted the mental back and forth banter and controversy between the two combatants?
Leading into their first encounter and the rematch, Fury was painted as the sympathetic figure, due to his battles with mental health, depression and self-inflicted drug abuse.
He battled back into fighting shape, clashed with Wilder, earning a draw during the first encounter and ultimately dethroned the long-term champion, by defeating Wilder the second go-around.
Fury, is still the one holding the edge heading into this final bout. He is still the one with public backing and maintains a certain level of prestige. He is the beneficiary, despite allegations of fraudulent fabrications from the opposing side.
This will be explored more in the next chapter.