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Andre Ward says Wilder won’t want to fight Fury again

Andre Ward Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Tim Royner: Andre Ward says he doesn’t think a rematch will ever happen between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury after last Saturday’s fight between the two giant heavyweights in Los Angeles, California. Ward believes that that WBC heavyweight champion Deontay (40-0-1, 39 KOs) won’t want to fight Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) again due to the problems he gave him in the fight.

According to Ward, the 12 round split draw that Fury earned against the unbeaten 6’7″ Wilder was as good as a win as far as he’s concerned. Ward says Fury should just move on and go and face IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua next. In other words, forget about a rematch with Wilder, and treat the draw as a win.

What is Ward talking about? Wilder wasn’t the one that was hurt and almost knocked out in the fight. That was Fury that was knocked down in rounds 9 and 12. Fury was arguably knocked out in the clinical sense in the 12th, but the referee Jack Reiss stood over him and didn’t halt the fight the way other referees would have. It very strange to watch. Fury lying there with both eyes, and Reiss standing over him waiting. Reiss appeared to start the count late. In looking at the replay, Reiss had his eyes on Wilder momentarily after the knockdown in the 12th. By the time Reiss turned back to look at Fury, valuable seconds had ticked off that could have been used for a count. Why would there need to be a count though? Fury looked knocked out cold. The fight should have been stopped, period. Fury needs to think his lucky stars that Reiss was the referee, being that the fight likely would have been stopped if a different referee had worked the fight.

Contrary to what Ward is saying about Wilder-Fury rematch never happening, Wilder is already stating that he wants to fight Fury again in order to “settle the score.” Wilder says he came into the training camp for that fight with a right hand that had recently been surgically repaired 12 weeks before the camp. Wilder said he was afraid to use his right during the entire training camp, and he thinks that left him at only 50 percent for the Fury fight.

Fury can certainly move on and tell the boxing public that he won, but he’s not going to be seen as the winner. Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder, and that’s the sign of someone that lost the fight. Fury and Joshua fight in April, but the fight will be tainted. Fury needs to show that he can beat Wilder for him to be any use for a fight against Joshua. Fury didn’t accomplish anything in fighting Wilder last Saturday. He didn’t win the WBC title, and who knows whether he’ll ever be the same fighter again after being knocked down hard on two occasions by Wilder. The last knockdown Fury suffered could follow him in his future fights. We’re going to have to see whether Fury becomes chinny after this. The way that Fury went down in the 12th round, he might be easy pickings for Wilder in the rematch.

A comeback for Ward, 34, is still a possibility, according to his manager James Prince. If he did come back, it would be for the right fight.

“All things are possible, if the right situation is presented, is allowed, you never know,” Prince said to about a Ward comeback. “We had a lot of success. He left the ring a wealthy man and put ‘to be continued. You never know, there may be a ‘to be continued’ situation.”

IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksander Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas spoke of the possibility of Usyk staying at cruiserweight for one more fight if Ward were to come out of retirement to face him. That would be a fight that would likely end badly for Ward in facing a guy with the size, technical abilities and ring IQ that Usyk possesses. Ward lost his best chance of a big payday when he didn’t come out of retirement to fight Tony Bellew before he signed on to face Usyk. If Ward had gotten to Bellew first, he would have gotten a big payday and beaten Usyk to the fight.

If Ward came back now, he would have the following options for interesting fights:

– Dmitry Bivol

– Artur Beterbiev

– Badou Jack

– Oleksandr Usyk

– Oleksandr Gvozdyk

– Eleider Alvarez

– Anthony Joshua

Ward fighting Joshua would be seen as a circus fight. That wouldn’t be a good deal for the boxing fans, but it would probably make a lot of money with the casual boxing fans ordering it. It would be better to see Ward fight the monsters in the light heavyweight division like Bivol, Beterbiev or Gvozdyk. It’s not likely that Ward will fight any of those guys. The perception a lot of boxing fans have is Ward retired to avoid having to fight Beterbiev and Bivol.

The last time Ward fought was in June 2017 with his controversial stoppage victory over Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev in their rematch. That was the fight in which Ward appeared to land three consecutive low blows. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight rather than giving Kovalev a time out to recover from the low shots. Ward has now been out of the ring for 1 1/2 years. It’ll be two years out of the ring for Ward in June. If he doesn’t have a fight scheduled before then, he might as well stay retired. The boxing fans aren’t going to get excited about seeing a guy that hasn’t fought in two years, and his last two fights against Kovalev both ended in controversy. The first fight with Kovalev was seen as a loss for Ward. It was a much more controversial fight than the Wilder-Fury fight.

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