Lawrence Okolie: “Tyson is on a completely different planet from him [Wilder]”
By Scott Gilfoid: 2016 Olympian Lawrence Okolie came away impressed with former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury after sparring with him to get him ready for his fight this Saturday night against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Okolie, 25, admits that he came into training camp with the unbeaten Fury (27-0, 9 KOs) believing that wilder would knock him out in the 4th round, but now he thinks that he’s too smart for the ‘Bronze Bomer’ and will definitely send him down for his first career defeat. The 6’5″ Okolie isn’t sure if Fury will knockout Wilder, but he feels he’s going to win nonetheless.
“I’d say Tyson is on a completely different planet from him [Wilder] in terms of boxing IQ,” Okolie said to IFL TV.
Fury being supposedly smarter than Wilder might buy him some time in the fight, but sooner or later he’s going to get hit hard by the Bronze Bomber. This isn’t baseball. Fury isn’t going to pitch a perfect game on Saturday by keeping Wilder from landing any of his right hand bombers. One would have to believe that for Fury to see the final bell, he’s going to need to take at least 100 monstrous right hands from Deontay. Given that Fury was dropped hard by cruiserweight Steve Cunningham, knocked down by Neven Pajkic and staggered by Nicolai Firtha, it’s not very likely that he’s going to be able to take Wilder’s right hand shots for the entire fight without hitting the deck for a long sleep at some point early in the contest.
When you hear guys like Okolie singing his praises for Fury, it makes you wonder whether his friendship with the 6’9″ giant has clouded his judgement. If Okolie is being objective about his thoughts on the Wilder-Fury fight, then you can accept what he’s saying as a sound prediction. But it’s very likely that the spindly-legged Okolie has simply become a victim of Fury’s charm and charisma. He’s hard not to like.
Fury, 30, can be tricky, but he’s not much of a puncher, and he’s facing a guy that is going to be head-hunting the moment the fight starts. If Fury gets caught with even one of Wilder’s right hand bombs on Saturday night, it’s going to be all over for him. Fury will take a snooze and the fight will be stopped.
Fury will be challenging Wilder this Saturday, December 1 on Showtime PPV at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Fury said this week that he would like to fight exclusively in the United States from now on. That idea sounds good on the surface, but it’s difficult to believe. Win or lose, Fury is better off fighting in the UK where his fan base is at.
“Before I went out there, I believed Wilder would take him out in four rounds,” Okolie said. “Fury will either drown him late or win on points.”
If this was a swimming contest and not a boxing match, then perhaps Okolie would be right about Fury being able to “drown him late,” as he says. This is boxing, and there won’t be any swimming involved in the fight. If Fury is going to drape himself all over Wilder lie he was doing in the late rounds against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, it could turn out to be an interesting fight. Wilder would have to support all that weight leaning on him with Fury clinching all night long. Fury would have a chance of tiring Wilder out if he can get his mitts on him repeatedly for 12 rounds without him tagging him in the gob when he tries to reach out and hold. Wilder isn’t going to just let Fury grab and clinch him all night long the way that Wladimir was doing. Wladimir was the one doing a lot of the holding because of his horrible stamina. Wilder weighs around 215 lbs, and has an excellent cardiovascular system, unlike Wladimir. If Wilder is going to get tired on Saturday, it’s going to be from hitting Fury with right hands to the head. It’s not likely that Fury is going to be able to take Wladimir’s right hands for long without getting hurt and dropping for the 10 count.