Freddie Roach: Fury will KO Wilder in later rounds
By Allan Fox: Trainer Freddie Roach is predicting a knockout win for Tyson Fury over WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on Saturday night. Hired as a cutman by the 6’9″ Fury after he abandoned the mountains of Big Bear, California, Roach thinks Tyson will KO Wilder in the later rounds of their fight on Showtime pay-per-view at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Roach likes what he’s been seeing from Fury during training camp, and he sees him having too much talent for the Wilder on Saturday night. Roach has been working with Fury since he moved his camp from the mountains of Big Bear, and he’s seen a lot of things that makes him believe that he’s going to win.
Fury is rumored to have had problems with the sparring at high altitude with Joe Joyce and Murat Gassiev at Big Bear, which led to him leaving camp to come back down to low altitude to train at Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California. While training there, Fury struck up a friendship with Roach, and he then decided to use him as a cutman for the fight. Just how much input Roach has in the training for the 6’9″ Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) is unknown. Fury already has a trainer in Ben Davison, but he has a lot less experience than Roach and he’s not as well known with the boxing public. Fury needs an experienced trainer in his corner for the Wilder fight to help him when/if things start to go to pieces on Saturday night.
“The biggest thing is that we can’t go to the ropes,” Roach said to Fighthub about Fury. “Then we might be a sitting target, because the ropes will slow his movement down. So we’re going to move and use the middle of the ring, and I do believe that we’ll knock him out in the late rounds.”
With the kind of punching power Wilder possesses, Roach might not ever get a chance to give him any helpful advice in the corner. If Wilder lands one of his big right hands early on, Fury may go down and not get up. Roach is a good trainer, but he’s not going to be able to take shots on the noggin on Fury’s behalf. For Fury to get to the later rounds of the contest, he’s going to need to take some major blasts to the head. Roach making a knockout prediction for Fury could turn out to be a bad omen. Roach might have jinxed Fury already with his KO prediction. As a trainer for Manny Pacquiao, Roach had been making the wrong knockout predictions for a solid nine years. Pacquiao’s ability to knockout his foes dried up after his stoppage win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. It wasn’t until Pacquiao dumped Roach after his loss to Jeff Horn in 2017 that he was able to start knocking guys out again. What does that tell you about Roach? Is he overrated as a trainer? A sign of a good trainer is when he gets a fighter that no one thought was ever going to amount to anything, and he turns that fighter into a star. We haven’t see Roach do that as a trainer.
It’s going to be potentially tough for Roach to keep Fury off the ropes on Saturday night, being that he likes to fight from that area of the ring. In Fury’s two comeback fights against Francesco Pianeta and Sefer Seferi, he spent a lot of time on the ropes, resting his weary legs, and looking to throw short counters. Fury didn’t have to worry about the incoming from Pianeta and Seferi, since neither of them could punch their way out of a wet paper bag. Fury did the same thing in fighting Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury spent a lot of time against the ropes. The way that he was able to keep Wladimir from throwing punches was by using head movement along the ropes, and leaning far backwards to keep out of range of the Ukrainian fighter’s left hooks, right hands and jabs. That strategy might not work against Wilder, who has longer arms than Wladimir and he’s more willing to get close and target Fury’s head if he goes to the ropes. At the time that Fury fought Wladimir, the Ukrainian had become passive on offense and no longer the lion he was earlier in his career.
“He’s mentally ready. I think you’ll see the best Tyson Fury ever,” Roach said. “We had a great training camp, he’s really happy,” Roach said.
We’ll be seeing the best Fury ever on Saturday? It’s doubtful. Fury didn’t look like the best fighter ever in his last two fights against Seferi and Pianeta. He looked worse than he did at the start of his career. Fury would need to improve at least by 50% from what he showed in his last two fights for him to the “best Tyson Fury ever,” as Roach said. Fury’s mobility looked like was impaired badly in his two comeback fights in a way that suggests that it won’t be returning. Fury says his weight is in the mid-250s right now, which means he’ll likely be weighing close to the same amount as he did in his last fight against Pianeta. Fury was very sluggish and stationary in that fight, and did not show enough mobility for him to be able to keep a fighter of Wilder’s talent level off of him for any length of time.
“He’s smiling every day. I love when I have a fighter like that, because they’re in a good mood for a reason, Roach said.
Fury is the type of fighter that is always going to be happy, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to knockout Wilder on Saturday. Roach would be taken a lot more seriously by boxing fans if he was to simply make a prediction of Fury winning by a wide 12 round decision. Fury will probably still be in a good mood even if Wilder knocks him cold on Saturday. Being a smiling person doesn’t mean that you’re going to win a fight. It just means that you’re happy. Roach’s comments about Fury are a little worrisome.
It’s a good thing for Wilder’s sake that he brings his own judges to his fights in the form his two hands, being that he could wind up losing a controversial decision to Fury if the fight goes to the scorecards. Controversy is always possible for a fight, especially when the contest involves a fighter with a lot of charisma and another with not so much. Fury is someone with arguably a bigger upside in winning this fight. If Fury wins, it would likely be relatively easy for him to negotiate a fight with Anthony Joshua compared to Wilder, who has no luck whatsoever in putting a fight together with the British fighter. It’s important that Wilder not let the judges get a chance to pick a winner in this fight, because he might end up the loser. Fury will be showboating the entire fight, trying to make Wider look bad the whole time. The judges eat up that kind of stuff. Showboating is superficial garbage, but the judges love it, as do a lot of boxing fans. The sport needs the judges to get the right decision for the Wilder vs. Fury fight. The way that the judges bungled the last two Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fights, it’s hurt the sport.