It is amidst threats of committing “a legalised homicide,” and of talk of one fighter “being dead,” or “an invalid,” that we close in on the third fight between genuinely bitter rivals Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. The third fight – postponed from July 24 to October 9 – was met with talk of the “legalised homicide” from Wilder, who sounds as though he really means it when he says he wants revenge over Fury in the worst possible way. And now, John Fury, father of Tyson, has declared how the upcoming third fight will “cost him (Wilder) his career and his life, probably.”
Failing that, Fury Snr said, Wilder will “be an invalid” at the conclusion of the third fight. As fight fans, yet also sports fans, we hope to see neither ghastly scenario unfold. Where is the sense of sportsmanship from both sides when it comes to this fight? Have both sides gone way too far with the X-rated horror stuff?
Boxing is, as we know, the single most dangerous sport in the world, and it’s also the most physically and mentally demanding. Yet at the end of almost any fight YOU can think of, no matter how intense the rivalry (be it for one fight or for five or six fights) the two combatants shook hands and even embraced. Do you think there is any chance in hell Wilder and Fury will ever, ever shake hands and embrace? Not going by the nasty, sickening words the two have had for each other they won’t.
God forbid one of these two stars of the heavyweight division does get badly or permanently hurt on October 9. This is not what we want, although there are serious threats from both sides that this is what we and the sport will get.
Let’s ask the question: has trash-talking gone way too far over the past few years or so? Should fighters or their team members be penalised for making what, let’s be honest, amount to death threats? In the case of this fight, the nasty talk is not down to ticket sales, as in an attempt to improve them. No, Fury and Wilder mean their meanness. They each want to hurt the other guy, and bad. It’s very bad.
Neither Muhammad Ali nor Joe Frazier never publicly stated their very real desire to kill each other (although it came out in Frazier’s biography that he did pray to God to give him the strength to “kill this scambooga”), yet they never, ever made up and put their rivalry to bed before they both passed away. Fury and Wilder seem set to walk down a similar path.