We all know Deontay Wilder can punch like hell. We also know how Wilder, very much a freak of the sport, can take out anyone he hits, with just one shot; this despite him being off-balance at the time of his launch, this despite him not really appearing to load up with a shot – and we know Wilder is capable of taking a man out in the first round or the last round.
Going into his must-win third fight with Tyson Fury – the man who showed Wilder that raw power is not enough to defeat every opponent – the former WBC heavyweight champ listed his “coldest knockouts” when speaking with Marcus Watson in Instagram Live. Quite bizarrely (but not so bizarre when we remember what kind of a person Wilder is, how he HAS to have complete faith in his punching ability), Wilder listed the first fight with Fury, or at least its 12th round, as one of his best knockouts.
Some fans have lost track of the number of times they have tried to tell Wilder how he did not KO Fury (Fury, laid out on his back, got up and he beat the count of ten, therefore there was no knockout) – but “The Bronze Bomber” is still having none of it. In his own mind, Wilder did knock Fury out, and nothing anyone else has to say about it bothers him.
“[My] coldest knockouts? There’s so many,” Wilder said. “Bermane Stiverne II – I transformed. I had an outer experience with him. It was so crazy. Artur Szpilka, Szpilka was another one. And the 12th round knockout of Fury, because I definitely knocked his ass out….I won that fight hands down. Not only with me knocking him out and the ref giving him more time because he felt like it would be the right thing to do because of the type of fight that it was. It was a highly anticipated fight, [it] had a lot on the line and sometimes these referees go out of their character feeling like, ‘I’m do what’s best for the sport,’ instead of what’s in the rules.”
To repeat: Jack Reiss did not do anything that was not within the rules during that 12th round in December of 2018. But, hey, no one can tell Wilder anything it seems. In a way, this stubborn attitude, this refusal to listen to anyone else, this ability to have complete faith in his punching ability, is what makes Wilder sort of, kind of unique. You can call him unhinged and unrealistic if you like (and plenty of fight fans have done so), but fighters are a unique breed anyway. Wilder simply has to believe he KO’d Fury, that way he can fully believe he will do so again.
But can Wilder KO Fury for real? He will always have that scary power (and the KO’s Wilder scored over Szpilka was indeed scary), but Wilder needs to get the job done, no ifs or buts on Saturday night. If he can do it, and if he can get a legit KO, Wilder will sure have something to talk about.