White boys' wasted in round 9…
there prolly shouldn't be a round 2/
Cuz I got Wild, Wild, Wilder
to put this clown on cloud nine in round 2/
Just don't forget I told ya…
December 2 all I get is_
-Wild Thoughts, an interpolation featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller
When that summer song dropped as part of DJ Khaled's sizzling June 2017 release of an album entitled “Grateful”, former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19KOs) was but a track completely out of rotation in the boxing world following myriad personal problems stemming from becoming the unified world champion over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. Fury literally went into depression after ending one of the most dominant reigns in boxing history… Who does that?
In attendance for Fury's circus-like spectacle during the NYC presser to announce his bout with WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39KOs) in early October, from these eyes, Fury seems all the way back to a time before “Fake News” has invaded the social lexicon. But is he? There was the sight of Lou DiBella on the USS Intrepid, angrily confronting yours truly about even mentioning U.K. promoter extraordinaire Eddie Hearn in connection with an ultimatum for Wilder to sign a deal to face the biggest draw in boxing, Anthony Joshua on April 13, 2019, prior to Wilder V Fury on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
A separate interview with SHOWTIME Executive V.P of Sports Stephen Espinoza doesn't evoke the same type of response, but the articulate and gracious Espinoza does make a point of mentioning in selling the fight that Fury and Wilder will “eat what they kill” – or, essentially work off commission generated from self-promotion if they were willing to “work their ass off.”
But that was a few weeks ago, before DiBella seemingly jettisoned the promotion entirely (he was not available for either media conference call this week, very notably missing during Wilder's irascible and obscenity laced turn on Thursday) while working alongside Hearn at Madison Square Garden for their championship fighters Daniel Jacobs and Heather Hardy, respectively, on HBO.
So when I noticed Tyson was in trouble on Wednesday, sounding, well, depressed, I tried to help him – and the promotion – by springing him to action.
“So Tyson… you having sex during training buddy?”
The response was, “Nope. Not at all, boy.”
Ok. Let's try something else.
“So Tyson… You said all kinds of horrible things about Wilder during the promotion. How much of that was real and how do you really rate Wilder as a fighter?
He goes: “I don't know about ‘horrible things', I don't know where that comes from. I mean, he's a good fighter.”
Then there was this quote from Eddie Hearn (totally no love lost there) that I threw at Fury, who had a complete meltdown upon receiving.
“They've only sold 8,000 tickets in a 19,000 seat arena. They haven't even opened the top tier. That's how big their drawing power is. We'll see how the PPV numbers do. If they're big names they'll do a million buys.”
And for the record, Espinoza went on the record stating a figure of 300K in PPV would be a hit and that 500K would be a jackpot. He's actually right, but he's not a promoter in position to challenge Hearn in that arena. Given where things are now, it would take a small miracle for SHOWTIME to arrive at even 200K in PPV sales. With HBO Boxing now set to wrap its anthology on November 24 with rising star Dmitry Bivol V Jean Pascal (Up next… “2 Rounds: Dmitry Bivol”), in large part because it could no longer support the archaic PPV model, look for SHOWTIME to also fold its PPV division soon, in large part because of this fight. Just don't blame a rightfully pissed off Deontay Wilder. Or myself.
# # #
“You're being extremely truculent,” snaps an imaginative yours truly, conjuring an inner Howard Cosell.
If their press conferences were indicative of a coming result in a few weeks, “Bomb Squad” goes Deuces Wild on Fury, getting him KTFO in two. I'm good with that. I'm not sure if Wilder knows of the famous clip between Ali and Cosell, but I am sure Deontay would've said something to the effect of: “Whatever truculent means, if it’s good I'm that!”
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion is capable of a contrived flair for the dramatic, but on this day, he's more southern “Illmatic” in Hollywood, unloading a refurbished Ether on the enigmatic gypsy classic enough to make any would be N@s blush. Only thing is, he's in the studio with a muted mic, as Premiere Boxing Champion's inept moderator fails to understand that I will represent NY Fights in Los Angeles for answers to questions I didn't get to ask. It's the equivalent of censoring a cool ass sponsor. With that, I get a call from the United Kingdom and elegant new NY Fights contributor Chris Glover, on location in England and eager to weigh-in on how he sees Wilder V Fury.
Fury vs Wilder is the fight the Heavyweight division needed. It proves if fights want to be made, they can be. Essentially, it’s a good fight for Boxing. I can’t wait for this fight to be honest, it’s such an interesting clash of styles it really makes the fight more than just hype. You have the slickster pure boxer in Fury vs the aggressive come forward power puncher in Wilder.
I see the fight going the way of Fury boxing on the outside, off his jab and maybe stepping in more than normal and pushing Wilder back. For me the only way Wilder wins is by a stoppage, he won’t out work or out jab Fury. Now, does Fury have the fitness to stay on the move for 12 rounds like he did Klitschko? Only time will tell, but if he produces that performance again it’s a late stoppage win for Fury as I believe he won’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges. One punch can change it all though and one big right hand from Deontay Wilder can change any fight. Nevertheless I feel it’s a late stoppage win for Tyson Fury.
I'm reading that and I'm going to myself, “Mate… C'mon mate.” Homecookin in oil flavored ink can fry objectivity, and CG is sounding the alarm for sirens. A couple miserable servings of Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta later and “Viola!”, Fury is back in the winning form that made him an unwatchable winner over an aged and uninspired Wladimir Klitschko? Please.
Tyson's trainer potpourri now adds the offensive minded and hit-or-miss Freddie Roach on location at the Wild Card Gym. As Deontay stated, this speaks volumes for a lack of confidence and an erratic nature on the heels of leaving Big Bear, CA and the confines of Abel Sanchez. This is prior to having no confidence in relative novice trainer Ben Davison, after he described getting Fury ready for Wilder as “mission impossible.”
When we consider the big Brit had to lose over 150lbs while shedding the toxic effects of binge drinking and bouts of drug abuse; if we throw in Roach spraying Fury with his brand of aggressive ring raid, I see a slugfest in the equivalent of an elevator for Fury, in which case, he doesn't reach the 2nd floor or survive the 2nd round. Anyway, you can see all of the madness with zero filter documented tonight in All Access on SHOWTIME (10PM/ET)…
..with another episode running before their showdown LIVE on SHOWTIME PPV (9PM/ET, 6PM/PT) Saturday, December 1 at Staples Center (9PM/ET, 6PM/PT).
And as Eddie Hearn told you, tickets are still available at the box office or by visiting axs.com online or over the phone.