By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC: Saturday, October 9, produced one of the all-time great fights in history, when Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder gave themselves to the world boxing fans with an extraordinary fight that has entered the list of the most dramatic contests in the sport.
The experts are comparing it with those that today are remembered with awe and nostalgia: Ali vs. Frazier, Ali vs. Foreman, or Tyson vs. Holyfield.
The rivalry between these two warriors has grown to and reached a crescendo over the years.
They first met in 2018. Wilder defended his crown in dramatic fashion by salvaging a draw thanks to executing a tremendous knockdown in the 12th round. Fury was flat out on his back, but miraculously beat the count at nine and ended the fight hurting Wilder.
Their second encounter was very different. It occurred in February of last year, being the last major event before the pandemic. Fury completely dominated at a stroke, knocking Wilder down twice, and Wilder’s corner stopped the fight in the seventh. Then came COVID-19 and a legal battle which determined that third rematch MUST go ahead.
While Wilder was completely silent, Fury did not stop adorning the spotlight. The weigh-in was spectacular, seeing a Deontay with impressive musculature, registering the highest weight of his entire career: 238 pounds. Tyson, on his side, didn’t remove his shirt and looked “chubby,” weighting 279 pounds.
The atmosphere was electrifying and when the bell rang, a fight started that will be remembered forever.
Wilder mostly dominated the first two rounds, hitting Fury’s body hard. He looked fast, forceful, and confident until the third episode, when the Brit hit him with a wild piledriving right hand, sending him to the canvas. Fury kept hitting him and it seemed imminent that the end was near, but Deontay was saved by the bell.
The fourth round started and everyone was waiting to see how Fury would finish off Wilder, until suddenly … the American landed his vaunted right hand and sent Fury to the canvas!
The fans erupted in jubilation. Wilder was all over the English giant who was dropped again; it was incredible what we were witnessing. But Deontay made a serious mistake by going to his own corner. Therefore, the referee applied the rules, stopped the count, and directed him to the neutral one, which gave Fury an opportunity to get up and somehow finish the round.
The physical wear and tear inflicted upon both of them by both of them still further heightened the drama, minute after minute, round after round. By the end of the eighth, Wilder was exhausted; the doctor visited the corner with concern, but with a lion’s heart, he carried on. It was rivetingly dramatic to watch, for it seemed like he couldn’t go on. Ice water was splashed on his head and revived him, he looked like a gladiator from the time of Roman Circus.
In the tenth round, Wilder fell once more, but near the end of the round, he reacted magnificently, connecting hard and effectively and Fury was about to go down, while the audience gasped, experiencing a moment of emotion and sheer drama.
Finally, in the eleventh round, a massive right hand sent Wilder to the canvas head-first, with the referee trying to catch him as he fell, stricken. It was all over, and so Tyson retained his Green and Gold Belt in the most dramatic fashion!
I was very happily surprised by the very well conducted instructions before the fight in the dressing rooms. Referee Russel Mora and NSAC executive director, Bob Bennett, made sure the rules for the contest were to be enforced. Previous fights had seen rough tactics and complications. The size of the fighters and the emotions would make it complicated if the referee loses control of the actions, however, Russell Mora had the performance of his career and it was fundamental for the great, historic event we just witnessed.
Deontay Wilder must be praised for his heart, his will to regain heavyweight supremacy, his determination and brave effort. Even in defeat, Wilder has won the respect and admiration of the world. It has been reported that he suffered fractures in his hand, which makes this even more dramatic and speaks of his greatness.
The WBC is humbled and honored for the fight that these warriors gave; the WBC Heavyweight Legacy carries on with pride. Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, Lennox, Klitschko and of course WILDER and FURY.
Tyson Fury is the WBC heavyweight champion of the world.
Speaking of Ali, who was the protagonist of historic trilogies with Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, one time he was in Mexico. My dad went to see him at the hotel where he was staying, and in the room there was a large mirror on the ceiling. Lying on the bed face up, Ali, lying on his back said: “There is no doubt José, I’m very handsome … don’t you think?”
My Dad just smiled and turned to where the truly magnificent golden figure was gloriously reflected …
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