Gerry Cooney once stood where Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury stand, to a degree, anyway. Though both Wilder and Fury have achieved their lifelong goal of becoming world heavyweight champion – despite whatever happens in L.A tonight this will not change – Cooney fell short. But there was a time when Cooney felt all the pressure Wilder and Fury are currently feeling, there was a time when Cooney was a genuine star – much bigger than either Wilder or Fury in fact – and Cooney met his date with destiny in a world title fight that was seen by far more people than tonight’s big fight will enjoy.
Cooney likes what he sees in both Wilder and Fury, but he feels Fury has picked the wrong man for what is just his third fight back after that long layoff. Cooney knows all about layoffs and attempting to return at the top level after having endured one. Ring-rust is a major obstacle Cooney had to try and overcome, in both his fight with Michael Spinks (KOby5) and his fight with George Foreman (KOby2). Fury did box those two tune-ups, but were those fights much more than the equivalent of good sparring sessions?
Cooney feels Wilder’s speed and power will be too much for Fury.
“I love Tyson Fury,” Cooney said as quoted by The Express. “I think he’s a remarkable self-promoter, and he did a great job with Wladimir Klitschko, using his feints and throwing Klitschko off his game-plan. Deontay is a different kind of fighter, though. Fury fights at 30 miler per hour. Deontay fights at 100 miles per hour. So, when Deontay catches Fury and gets hold of him, I think it’s going to be over. I admire Fury, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree with this fight. I think the bottom line is that Deontay is a whole different type of beast. He comes in aggressive and finishes his opponents.”
But can Wilder catch Fury? It’s 20ft ring, so at some point, yes, the thinking goes, Wilder will tag him. It’s what happens then that is the $million dollar question. If Fury’s chin holds up, well, we will very possibly witness a very special fight indeed. Cooney found out himself during his own career that power is not enough to win every fight. Might Wilder find this out tonight? Cooney’s left hook was arguably scarier than Wilder’s savage right hand, yet this alone was not enough for Cooney to be able to beat the best. Is Wilder in with the best he has ever faced?
One could argue that Wilder has never before met as tall, rangy and skilled a boxer as Fury, whereas it can also be argued how Fury has never before met as venomous a puncher. Not long to go now until we find out which one will prevail.