Carl Froch is one of many who feel that Deontay Wilder’s career is now on skidrow following his embarrassing 7th round TKO loss to Tyson Fury on February 22.
Froch is giving the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) next to no chance of beating Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in their third fight if it happens, and he sees it ending badly for him.
What Froch would like to see is for Fury to go straight into a unification fight against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship. However, Joshua has his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev that he’s scheduled to defend against on June 20 in London.
That fight could wind up being postponed due to the coronavirus. In fact, it would be surprising if it takes place at all in 2020 given the surge of positive cases for the COVID 19 virus in the UK.
Fury beat Wilder at his own game
“It wasn’t what I expected. I thought Tyson Fury could win on points and do the job wide on points as well, but I thought there would be moments of trouble for him,” said Froch on Fighting. “Tyson Fury put on an amazing performance. I thought it was fantastic. I was amazed that he was able to dominate from round one and put Deontay Wilder on his back foot.
“He took Wilder on and beat him at his own game, didn’t he? He moshed him down, backed him up and bullied him against the corners and ropes and hit him often. It was just an amazing performance and a psychological performance from the start. It was physical as well.
“As soon as the bell sounded, he did everything he said he was going to do but he did it even better, It was kind of a mismatch when you watched it. I think it was fantastic from Tyson Fury. He was the bigger man in there. He used his size, height and reach, and he put Deontay Wilder on his back foot and took away his momentum.
“Deontay Wilder, being the puncher, needs to be coming forward when he’s throwing a punch. He can go on a counter punch on the back foot but he needs momentum,” said Froch.
Wilder had no answers to Fury’s game plan of using pressure, and well-placed cuffing shots to the back of his head. The Bronze Bomber’s excuse of his legs being weakened by his ring walk vest may have been true, but the fact is he never looked remotely capable of winning.
Wilder was destroyed by Fury from round 1
“Even when he did catch Fury a couple of times with a couple of cuffing right hands on the side of the head with the side of the glove, Fury was able to cushion the blow with movement,” said Froch. “So the shots landed as he was moving away from the shots, and he saw it coming. Wilder was throwing them with no confidence at all.
“I feel like Wilder was destroyed from round one. He never really got going in the fight, and round after round, it got worse and worse for him. The referee did him a massive favor and the cornerman that chucked in that towel. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I think it could have come earlier. It kind of saved his skin. He got absolutely battered. He got thrashed. Tyson Fury beat him up and bullied him, and that’s why I’m surprised the rematch is happening so soon. Wilder, I’ve got to laugh, he says his ring entrance [gear] was too heavy.
“That’s worse than David Haye and his little toe. He says he’s going to come back bigger and stronger. I just can’t see it. He got beat up. He kind of got exposed. Tyson Fury for me is number one in the division,” said Froch.
Wilder did catch Fury with a couple of shots in the first round that got his attention. Had Wilder continued to hit Fury 3 or 4 times hard in each round, there’s a good chance he would have knocked him down a few times.
Fury did a good job of getting close to Wilder and taking away his ability to get leverage on his shots. Other heavyweights have tried that same tactic with various degrees of success, but Fury stuck with it and had success. If Wilder knew how to throw an uppercut like Anthony Joshua, Fury would have had something to worry about.
Froch rates Fury as invincible now
“I’m not writing off Anthony Joshua or any other heavyweights that are coming,” said Froch. “I just can’t see anybody beating Tyson Fury with that kind of performance. The reason we didn’t have a serious problem is Tyson Fury isn’t classified as a big puncher.
“He’s not a one-punch knockout man like Wilder or any of the other heavyweights over the years have known to be. I think that was taken into account when the referee was having a close look, and I think because Wilder was never really in the fight, the referee was probably thinking to himself, ‘Is he holding back and sort of playing possum? Is he waiting to land the big shot? Is this part of his game?’
“When it got to round 6 and 7, it was evident that this needs to be stopped now. This is enough of a beating. He got saved by his cornerman, and he got saved by the referee. The comments by his other cornerman, his second trainer. He’s playing good cop, bad cop, he’s playing.
“If you know boxing, you know it’s nonsense but it makes a case for Wilder. It’s certainly a better case than the 40-pound outfit he wore. If you’ve got one trainer saying ‘he could have carried on’ and the other one saying, ‘No, no, he’s finished’ and he throws the towel in, it puts the element of doubt in for the rematch,” said Froch.
Fury isn’t invincible. No matter what Froch says, Fury is just as vulnerable as he was in his first fight with Wilder. If Fury gets hit hard over the course of a fight, he’ll go down as he has in the past.
If Fury’s opponents are drained from excessive weight gain, wearing heavy gear, and hurt by shots around the back of the head, then he’s got a good chance of winning. Joshua and Dillian Whyte would give Fury a lot of problems. Whyte knows ho to fight dirty too, and he would give Fury something to think about if he chose to use his roughhouse tactics against him.
Fury will be a HUGE favorite over Wilder
“I don’t see the rematch being any different, I really can’t. It’s boxing and you just never know,” said Froch. “If Wilder comes in and lands a shot, you might think, ‘Okay, he’s got a chance. The books that are giving odds, it’s going to be massively stacked for Tyson Fury in a whitewash based on that performance.
“How can Wilder say anything? Tyson Fury will just shut him down and absolutely write him off verbally during the whole build-up. He just doesn’t have a chance with Fury. We know what to expect with Fury. He’s going to have an absolute field day. That might be even more exciting than watching him get beat again.
“No one is going to feel like Wilder can win. I don’t know how he can do anything different to win. He didn’t look big enough, strong enough, and he didn’t have mobility. We know he has limited boxing ability. I’d like to see Dillian Whyte fight Fury, and AJ fight Wilder, and then the winners of those fights fight each other.
“Whyte deserves his chance with the WBC. He’s been mandatory for over a year. It would still be nice to see what AJ does with Wilder because it still looks like an exciting fight. But he’s probably going to fight Pulev and then fight one of the big fights,” said Froch.
You can’t rule out Wilder one of his big right hands on the chin of Fury to knock him out, as he’s done it before. It’s not as if Fury’s chin is made of steel. We’ve seen him hit the deck after being drilled by a cruiserweight in Steve Cunningham.
Wilder looked so utterly lost that the oddsmakers won’t dare pick him to win the trilogy fight with Fury.
It’s lucky for Wilder that he had a rematch clause in his contract for the Fury fight because he probably would be ignored by ‘The Gypsy King’ at this point.
Fury vs. Wilder 3 doesn’t have the same excitement
“Yeah, the Fury rematch with Wilder, you’re right,” said Froch. “It doesn’t have that ring about it outside of another one-sided beating. He definitely deserves to fight for a world title. He’s been mandatory for well over a year. He never really got his shot.
“He had a couple of these decent wins, and he showed he belongs at world level. This is a guy, Dillian Whyte, who has never fought for a European title. He never fought for a world title, and he’s a pay-per-view fighter. So you’ve got to justify that in your head.
“This guy should be fighting for a world title. If you’re just given a world title, you’re not given any credibility. You should fight for the vacant title. When Joe Calzaghe vacated the WBC title rather than fight ‘The Cobra’, you know he didn’t fancy the job. But when he did that, they didn’t give me the belt because I was mandatory.
“I had to fight Jean Pascal to win the belt. Nobody wants to be given a belt. They want to win it and earn it and Dillian Whyte deserves his shot. Hopefully this year he’ll get it, but we have to chuck in the coronavirus in the mix because everything is being delayed,” said Froch.
There won’t be the same excitement going into the third Fury vs. Wilder fight, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a compelling fight. You can bet that all the things that Wilder did wrong in the second contest, he won’t do in the third fight.
What to look for with Wilder:
- His weight will be lower – he came in at 231 lbs, a career-high, for the rematch with Fury. You can expect his weight to be back down to the 2012 t0 215 range.
- Wilder will be on the lookout for Fury’s rabbit punches. This could be key for Wilder because Fury’s best shots in the fight were punches to back of Wilder’s head. The referee did zero to control Fury’s rabbit punching, unfortunately. Going into the trilogy fight, Wilder will know what to expect from Fury. If Fury chooses to use other fouls, then Wilder will likely be ready for that too. Hopefully, Fury keeps it clean, but he had so much success with his rabbit shots, he’ll likely be looking to continue to use those punches. A lot of referees ignore those punches for some reason and focus entirely on stopping the less dangerous low blows
- No heavy ring walk gear for Wilder
Fury is #1, Joshua #2 and Whyte #3
“We’ll just wait to see how this year unfolds,” said Froch. “I think it’s just between Fury, Wilder, AJ and obviously Ruiz. AJ should have never lost to Ruiz. I’m sorry. I’m not really putting Ruiz up there, but you’ve got to give him some credit.
“He can punch hard, he’s awkward and quite fast, he’s a quick fighter and he can punch a bit,” Froch continued about Ruiz. “But in the rematch with AJ, he didn’t show any motivation, and he didn’t turn up fit and strong and show me anything that he’s serious about, which was a massive shame.
“I just think Fury is #1 and you’ve got to stick AJ there at number 2 and you’ve got Dillian Whyte. I think Dillian Whyte is going to have to prove himself again and show he belongs up there again, and get his shot. He deserves his shot at the WBC title, whoever has got it at the time.
“You know he’s ready to take on all comers or any comers,” said Froch. “I’m sure Eddie Hearn will get him his shot. I think the reason why he hasn’t got his chance in the past is that his name isn’t that big and that early loss against AJ, early on when he got beat. That did really set him back,” said Froch about Whyte.
Fury still hasn’t proven that he’s the number one heavyweight in the division. Until Fury beats Joshua and Whyte, he can’t be viewed as #1. Beating Wilder didn’t prove anything other than Fury could be a sluggish guy that looked out of sorts from the opening minute of the fight.
Chisora could expose Usyk
“I don’t think there’s a top 10 in the heavyweight division,” said Froch. “I think there’s a top 3 or 4. I didn’t mention Usyk, but we’re going to find out about Usyk when he fights Delboy Chisora. Don’t be surprised if Chisora catches him, puts him on his back foot and bullies him around the ring a bit, and makes him look like a cruiserweight.
“He looked big enough at the press conference, Usyk. He looked like he could have a dance with him, but we’ll find out. It’s a different story when you’re in there. We’ve seen Chisora when he’s up for something. When he’s up for a fight, he’s one hell of a fighter, and he can punch as well. This Usyk-Chisora fight, I’m really looking forward to it.
“A lot of people are going to say he’s never been elite,” said Froch about Wilder. “The best win on his record is Luis Ortiz, an old man. He’s been knocking over your Eric Molinas, people that are coming through the rankings and never really made it at world level,” said Froch.
Oleksandr Usyk could be little more than a media creation rather than the real thing. At cruiserweight, Usyk showed that he was barely better than Mairis Briedis, and he looked beatable against a washed-up Tony Bellew.
In Usyk’s heavyweight debut against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon last year, he didn’t look elite level. Usyk doesn’t look like he belongs at heavyweight, but you can’t fault him for moving up in weight for the bigger paydays. There’s a good chance that Chisora will expose Usyk. But even if Usyk wins, he’ll look poor in doing so. Joe Joyce gave Usyk a lot of problems in the World Series of Boxing, and that was just a short fight. Usyk’s face was badly reddened, and he getting worn down by Joyce at the end.
Froch: Wilder’s confidence is gone
“You don’t get any credibility at all,” said Froch about Wilder. “His best win is Luis Ortiz, and Ortiz was beating him both times until he got chinned. That’s what Wilder does, he finds the punch, but he’s not finding it against the young ones, is he? Let’s be honest. The confidence is gone [for Wilder].
“He’s been shown that, and he’s been exposed. I think that’s one of the reasons why he wants to jump straight back in there with Fury and which nobody including you and I think he can do. It’s a valid point. It could be the end of Deontay Wilder.
“I think Eddie Hearn will be protective of AJ, and I think he has been through most of his career. Having said that, he fought Klitschko early on, and took the calculated risk and beat him to become world champion. He’s taken on his mandatory’s and beaten the people we consider top fighters.
“He took the risk with Ruiz, didn’t he? I don’t know if he can get away with Pulev, who he considers an easy fight. If he can give AJ a bit of a breather, and not risk him with Wilder and don’t risk him with Tyson Fury. I don’t know how long he can do that because the fans are going to demand him to fight, which they already are doing with Tyson Fury,” said Froch.
Wilder will be even more dangerous in the third fight with Fury than he was in the first two. That’s something that Froch isn’t acknowledging. Going into the third fight, Wilder will be fighting for survival, and he’s going to be looking to take Fury out even more than he did in the first two contests. If you’re Fury, you’d better have your chin tucked because you’re going to get nailed with some monstrous shots.
Froch: Joshua vs. Fury should happen NOW
“Tyson Fury is already considered by many to be number one,” said Froch. “He’s already got the WBC belt, which is considered the best belt in the business in my opinion. It’s a green and gold one. It’s the one belt AJ has never had. If he gets that one, then he’s the undisputed champion of the world.
“So that’s the fight that needs to happen. When AJ fights Pulev, the only fight people are going to be interested in is him fighting the winner of Fury-Wilder if that fight happens. We pretty much know it’s going to be Fury. So why not get on with it. Listen, this [Joshua vs. Fury] is the biggest fight in British boxing history since Froch-Groves II at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 fans.
“That’s a big number. It needs to happen on British soil. Tyson Fury’s dad is saying the same. If Saudi is going to put on a million quid or whatever they’re going to put on, then Eddie Hearn and the television companies need to put the money up so the fight stays here on British soil because it’s the biggest fight in Britain,” said Froch.
Joshua vs. Fury could happen now if the sanctioning bodies were in agreement to let them bypass their fights. Fury has a rematch clause with Wilder that he has no way of getting out of unless he vacates.
If he wanted to, Joshua could vacate his IBF title to swerve the Pulev fight, but he’s not going to do that. The problem is, Joshua and Fury are hung up on holding onto their titles. If they didn’t care about the belts, then they could vacate and fight this December. That’s what they should do.
Fury vs. Joshua can’t happen in Saudi Arabia
“It’s the first time two heavyweights have come together for all the titles,” said Froch. “How can that happen over in Saudi? It’s nothing against Saudi Arabia, but the fans don’t want to go over there and watch it. That’s the problem with boxing now over the years.
“The big fights don’t happen. When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao, it was a couple of years too late. Me and Calzaghe never happened. You never saw Ricky Hatton and Junior Witter.
“At the time, it wasn’t a massive fight. Riddick Bowe-Lennox Lewis would have been a great fight. Khan-Kell Brook is one that should have happened a while ago. It would be an absolute disaster if I never got to see Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in the same ring because that’s one hell of a fight,” said Froch.
The Joshua vs. Fury fight needs to take place where it can make the most amount of money. If that’s in Saudi, then, by all means, that’s where it should be. These guys need to maximize their income because you never know when their careers could end.