You usually don’t have the same sort of potential for drama at the weigh in for the heavyweights that you do for the lighter weight fighters…but for a fight as hyped as this one, the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury rematch, the buzz can still be palpable, as it was Friday at the MGM, which was over-stuffed to “the fire marshal frowns” level.
Fury’s physique and weight drew the most chatter; the 31 year old Traveller came in heavier than in the first scrap, as he said he would. He was 256 1/2 for the first waltz, which was deemed a draw even though Wilder sent the UK man to the mat twice. The 6-9 Fury, shirt on–was he wanting to save something for a Saturday reveal?–scaled at 273.
That’s near what he was for his first rust shedder bout, against Sefer Seferi (June 2018), after a hiatus because of a PED brouhaha and mental health issues.
Wilder, he drew chatter too, also because he was bigger than for the December 2018 faceoff. The 34 year old Alabama boxer weighed 231 pounds, versus the 212 1/2 he weighed for the first time they collided, in LA and on Showtime PPV.
To these eyes, Fury (29-0-1) wore the weight well, his face looked pretty sleek and his biceps popped. This is not 20 pounds of dough he’s added. And Wilder, at 6-7, he wears 231 pounds extremely well. One can imagine he has more pop in his launches today than he did when he was 219 1/2 for Luis Ortiz in his last rumble, in November.
And for what was lacking in drama, because there was no possibility of a true scale fail, it was replaced with comedy. The sort of lightness of being that comes with, arguably, knowing you are going to be making $28 million, win or lose or draw.
The long and tall talent goofed around, with Fury mimicking Wilder, who was cuddling his missus, by cuddling up with his big bro Shane. Yeah, the vibe was light. Which made the Nevada commission’s choice to demand that the two couldn’t do a proper staredown after weigh-in in look that much sillier. I messaged Bob Bennett, the day to day boss of the commission, to get clarity on why that decision was rendered and will insert an answer if one is furnished.
A notation: The boobirds in the building were mostly of the Fury-leaning variety. When Jimmy Lennon introed Deontay, we heard “booooo” and pondered what the crowd mix at MGM on fight night will be. The Alabama boxer walked with selfie stick in his own face, with a Watson son on either side, and looked to be absent of anxiety.
Also: Seems like so far, so good, for this co-promotion. There was some squabbling at the presser the other day, scrapping over which A side was getting more love. But it seems like the ESPN and FOX crews, as well as the Top Rank and PBC gang, are co-existing in the sandbox with no instances of sand getting throw in face occurring. I spoke yesterday of bedfellows and boxing; it wasn’t that long ago that Bob Arum was calling Al Haymon a cancer, and right now, Bob is in a mode to compliment Haymon. Do not make a bet that this aura of conviviality will continue forever, though. Cooperation occurs because today, they share a common goal: sell over 1.2 million PPVs, or so, to get past the break even point.