“My father used to tell me that he was whooping my ass because he loves me. And because I love Tyson Fury he must get his ass beat. I want a rematch A.S.A.P.”
— Deontay Wilder, WBC heavyweight champion during an media conference call on Tuesday
On Monday, NY Fights learned from the P.R. team of Deontay Wilder that he [specifically] wanted to hold another press conference call following a narrow escape of Tyson Fury via 12 round Draw at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Despite being brutally struck by the “Bomb Squad!” in the 12th, Fury not only survived, but was largely considered the victor by this writer and the vast majority of the press corps excluding ESPN senior writer Dan Rafael.
What is not in dispute, is how Fury and his larger-than-life persona became the talk of the boxing world from fans all over America and abroad for an heroic effort that upstaged what should have been a dramatic, come-from-behind KO for Wilder. That theme continued during a post fight press conference that Fury turned into some sort of wedding reception.
You should’ve seen the big, wide-as-the-moon grinning going on among assembled press (yours truly included) and public relations personnel on hand for Fury’s turn at the podium; he appeared first– dripping with spectacle and aura before ending it with merry song and cheer on U.S. soil FFS. By the time Wilder showed up– himself typically full of charisma, the carnival and drama had left the room and, frankly, there wasn’t anything Wilder could’ve done to prevent being upstaged by Fury at that point. He owned the defining moments of what must be regarded an instant classic before turning in a classic Hollywood performance during the L.A. press conference. If Wilder looked like a bewildered Apollo Creed..
..at the end of Rocky the other night, where he can’t understand just how in the hell the “Gypsy King” has risen to hear the final bell as if the “Italian Stallion” possessed, then he probably looked and sounded like an exasperated Creed wanting another go at his ass immediately– starting with the press.
It was tactically a good move for several reasons.
When Eddie Hearn starts blogging and extolling the virtues of Tyson Fury in a Daily Mail feature on Monday and flying to Los Angeles on Tuesday to discuss a possible fight with Fury and promoter Frank Warren against his man, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, then that means Premier Boxing Champions and the P.R. team had better fucking respond. They did. Though Al Haymon (Did we really expect him? He’s basically Charlie from Charlie’s Angels with a mute button on the phone) wasn’t available, SHOWTIME Executive V.P. and DiBella Entertainment CEO and promoter Lou DiBella are ready, and don’t give a shit about what may or may not be with regards to PPV. They know Wilder v Fury is still the talk of the boxing world, for how many times have we seen a million buys on PPV in boxing produce no water cooler buzz on Monday?
But the star of this call was Wilder, eschewing the disheveled sounding and subdued dude of lame excuses in a golden tux (that shit was hot though), in exchange for the brash “Bomb Squad” terrorist determined to make sure Fury doesn’t escape next time. But more importantly, he emphatically and categorically dismissed Anthony Joshua, all but labeling the most popular athlete in Great Britain a narcissistic asshole who can go fly a kite.
“I don’t feel anything about Joshua. They lead me on for months; nobody’s talking about him and I plan on keeping it that way,” Wilder dropped. “Their ego got the best of them, so he can continue to go on fighting second tier fighters.”
Stephen Espinoza then clarified that he thought April may be too soon, considering Saturday night’s grueling affair, seeing a May or June sequel more feasible. But Deontay was adamant about Wilder V Fury II, while reaffirming a commitment to DiBella and revealing the true purpose of Tuesday’s conference call. “My main goal is Tyson Fury and a rematch– ASAP. He survived. He woke up from hell. And now I’m willing to put him back in hell.”
ABOUT THAT PREDICTION…
He also keeps subliminally reminding me of a two round KO prediction gone wrong and a possible turncoat in my closet– I don’t own one and let’s get something straight champ: I also saw an alternate KO in round 9, which almost occurred. But by Wilder’s own admission the other night on the podium after the fight and during Tuesday’s call, “Bomb Squad” abandoned his jab, did too much waiting on Fury to serve him as if in a restaurant and was often not first in there. Any puncher who looks for one punch against a solid boxer is asking to look bad– and I trusted him when he said he’d had “the best camp ever.”
Which brings me to his trainer(s)… Perhaps its time to look elsewhere or make some serious adjustments. While Fury had the balls to bring in an Abel Sanchez and then Freddie Roach, those moves now seem effective in lieu of the outcome; for round after round there was no change in strategy or advice from Wilder’s corner.
Then there’s the issue of his weight. In November 2017, a nearly 221 lb Deontay Wilder damn near killed Bermane Stiverne. I was at Kovalev V Mikhalkin in March at MSG on the night he fought Luis Ortiz, but for that contest he was rocked before setting off “Bomb Squad.” He weighed the same 212 lbs on that evening that he did the other night. If a properly trained Wilder shows up for Fury in April, May or June for the rematch, I have a hard time seeing Fury – for all the adulation he’s received, making it past two or three rounds next time. Just a few thoughts. But round 13 has already gone to Team Wilder.