In a fight of the year candidate, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) had to get off the deck twice to come back to stop the brave warrior Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) in the 11th round on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury knocked Wilder down in rounds 3, 10, and 11. After the final knockdown in the 11th, the fight was halted.
Deontay knocked Fury down twice in the fourth round and came close to knocking him out in the round. If there was a little more time, Wilder would have likely finished Fury in that round because he was out of it.
With a fight as exciting as this, maybe there can be the possibility of Fury and Wilder meeting again in the future.
Obviously, that won’t be until after Fury faces the winner of the March fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, but the fans won’t care. They’ll wait.
Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez (19-0, 13 KOs) won a surprisingly easy 10 round unanimous decision over previously undefeated 2016 Olympian Efa Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) in the co-feature in tonight’s card.
Sanchez, 29, knocked Ajagba down in the seventh round. While Ajagba was falling down, Sanchez hit him and almost looked like he tagged him while he was down. In the replay, you could see that Ajagba wasn’t down at the time.
The boxing and the movement of Sanchez were too much for Ajagba, who was missing with shots and looked tentative.
Although the 6’6″ Ajagba is often compared to Deontay Wilder in terms of his power, size, and undeveloped skill set, he doesn’t have the same willingness to let his hands go.
That was what held Ajagba back tonight from giving himself a chance. He wasn’t willing to go for broke to try and throw shots to get Sanchez out of there.
Sanchez’s movement, counter-punching, and precise shots made it too risky for Ajagba to take a chance. Had he opened up, he might have gotten knocked out by the Cuban. On the other hand, at least Ajagba would have given himself a chance of winning.
After tonight’s performance, Ajagba, 27, needs to go back to the drawing board. Getting a new trainer would be a good idea.
In predictable outcome, heavyweight contender Robert ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius (31-3, 19 KOs) battered Adam Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) at will with shots in their rematch tonight until the fight was halted in the sixth round.
The referee pulled the plug on the fight, which was a good thing for Helenius because he might want to still have kids someday. Kownacki was unloading on Helenius with painful-looking low blows from the third round
The shots below the border from Kownacki did nothing to keep Helenius off of him, but it did bring a certain sense of drama to the fight. Kownacki was docked a point in the fifth round for his low blows, but it didn’t stop him.
Some would argue that Kownacki was trying to get disqualified. If that was his goal, it didn’t work because the referee pulled the plug. The time of the stoppage was at 2:38 of the sixth.
At this point, it would be a good idea for the promoters of Kownacki and Helenius NOT put them back in together for another rematch.
Last year in January, Helenius stopped Kownacki in the fourth round. There was no doubt who the better fighter was at the end of it, so it was a little baffling to see them fighting again.
The 37-year-old Helenius is capable of doing more with his career than fighting needless rematches with Kownacki over and over.
With the way Helenius looked tonight, he’d beat Andy Ruiz Jr., Dillian Whyte, Filip Hrgovic, Joseph Parker, and Joe Joyce. Those guys Helenius should be fighting at this point instead of Kownacki.
Heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs) made easy work of Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) in stopping him in the second round.
The 21-year-old ‘Big Baby’ Anderson hurt the Russian Tereshkin with a big shot in the second round and then tore into him with a blizzard of shots.
Referee Kenny Bayless then stopped in to halt the contest before Anderson could hurt the defenseless Tereshkin. The fight was officially halted at 2:51 of the second.
Top Rank needs to start putting Anderson in with better competition. He’s too good guys that they’re feeding him right now. Moreover, if the sparring rumor is true about Jared Anderson working over an out-of-shape Tyson Fury in camp on a daily basis, it’s a sign that needs to fighting at least fringe level contenders.
In a poor performance, highly hyped super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) had to get up off the deck in the ninth to defeat Argentinan Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs0 by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 96-93, 96-93, and 96-93. Berlanga was hurt in the sixth round as well and looked close to being knocked down.
Coceres, 31, had a badly swollen eye that seemed to limit his effectiveness in the 10th round.
After tonight’s less than a spectacular performance by Berlanga, Top Rank may need to resume feeding him against weak opposition like they’d done in his first 16 fights.
That was when Berlanga put together an impressive 16-fight first round knockout streak. But since Top Rank has started putting Berlanga in with decent B-level opposition, he’s been unable to resume knocking out his opponents.
If Top Rank matches Berlanga against David Benavidez, he’s going to get knocked out because he’s not ready for that type of competition.
Even though the 24-year-old Berlanga is the same age as Benavidez, he’s not been matched in the same way by his promoters. Benavidez’s management hasn’t been afraid to put him in with quality opposition.
The tough Vladimir Hernandez (13-4, 6 KOs) defeated former IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams (27-3, 16 KOs) by a 10 round split decision.
Scores: 96-94, 97-93 for Hernandez, and 96-94 for Williams.
J-Rock fought well early in the contest, nailing the easy to hit Hernandez with some tremendous shots.
As the fight wore on into the second half of the contest, Williams faded and started to take more punishment from the 32-year-old Hernandez. Unfortunately, J-Rock wasn’t able to get back the momentum that he had early.
It was a big win for Hernandez, who has won his last three fights since last year. He’s turned his career around after losing consecutive fights to Israil Matrimov and Souleymane Cissokho,
If J-Rock can’t get back on the winning track, he may need to consider retiring because this was a bad one. In Williams’ last fight in January 2020, he was knocked out in the fifth round by Jeison Rosario.
Losing to Rosario wasn’t nearly as bad for J-Rock as getting beaten by Hernandez tonight because this wasn’t supposed to happen.
Two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (8-1, 4 KOs) continued his winning ways with a 10 round unanimous decision over Orlando Gonzalez Ruiz (17-1, 10 KO) in featherweight action.
The 27-year-old Robeisy was too technically gifted and accurate with his punches for Ruiz to compete with him in this fight. Although Ruiz fought his heart out, he was no match for the pinpoint shots from Robeisy. The scores weren99-91, 99-91, and 97-93.
Robeisy has a long way to go to get to the level of fighters like Shakur Stevenson, who was a 2016 Olympic silver medalist.
Viktor Vykhryst TKO 3 Mike Marshall
Bruce Carrington (UD 4 Cesar Cantu
Judging by the physiques of the two heavyweights during Friday’s weigh-in, Wilder appears to have put in more hard work than Fury, who looks like the COVID-19 that he had hit him hard. Fury looked fat at the weigh-in and that’s troubling.
“He should have had enough time to recover but how was his camp after coming back from COVID?” said Teddy Atlas on The Fight. “The easiest pick for me would be to pick Fury.
“He’s the better fighter, and he’s the better fighter technically. He’s tougher mentally and he’s shown that. He’s more versatile.
“There’s only one dimension to Wilder, that right hand. Fury showed he can box and he also showed that he can walk you down and be aggressive and be a heat-seeking missile and go get you.
“Wilder is fighting for his existence for the rest of his life. That’s powerful. He’s fighting for redemption. Fury has already silenced the wolves.
“I think Wilder is going to be a little bit better. He needs to be a little bit better technically. I think he’s going to be in some ways the new George Foreman.
“He’s in the position of being the reincarnation of George from all those years ago. Wilder has the same opportunity, the same task at hand, and the same emotions in his head. Can he do it? Can he be the latter-day George Foreman in that way? I’m going to say yes.
“He [Deontay] will be more stronger because he will be more afraid of how he’ll feel the day after the fight and the many days after the fight. The things that he’ll have to live with and how he’ll feel.
“He’ll be more afraid of that than anything he has to feel and face. 36 minutes. Everything after that is eternity. Eternity is a lot longer than 36 minutes. I think that’s what he’s [Wilder] is going to realize.
“I think that’s why he turned down whatever they did offer him [for a step aside for the Anthony Joshua vs. Fury fight]. They let a 500 million dollar fight get away from them.
“Each fighter could have made at least $75 million each, maybe $100 million each,” said Atlas about the money Joshua and Fury could have made had they fought last August in Saudi Arabia.
“Fury is fighting for his legacy and for another big payday, and to keep it going,” said Atlas.
Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) will be trying to save his career tonight when he faces WBC champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in their long-awaited trilogy match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
If Wilder loses tonight, it could be all she wrote with his career because it would be his second consecutive loss to Fury. Trying to come back from another defeat, especially a knockout, would be difficult if not impossible for ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder.
Boxing 247 will be giving live update results from the main portion of tonight’s Fury vs. Wilder 3 card below: