Malignaggi: Tyson Fury is consistently inconsistent
By Charles Brun: Paulie Malignaggi isn’t surprised by lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s performance last Saturday night against Otto Wallin. Malignaggi says Fury fights down to the level of his opposition. He may not have been sufficiently motivated to raise his game against the 6’6″ Swedish heavyweight Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs), who he was heavily favored to beat going into the contest.
Fury won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision to retain his lineal heavyweight status at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Wallin appeared to win six rounds, but was on the receiving end of a controversial decision. The scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 in favor of Fury.
Wallin would have won if ringside doctor had halted match
Fury was nowhere to be found in the first six rounds. Although he rallied to dominate rounds 7 through 11, he was staggered by Wallin in the 12th. Fury suffered a terrible cut in the 3rd round that arguably should have resulted in the fight being stopped, but the ringside doctor allowed it to continue. With a cut like that, the fight could have been stopped as soon as the cut occurred in the 3rd.
Malignaggi says he has no problems with the fight not being stopped, because he thinks fights should only be stopped when a fighter’s life is in danger. Unfortunately for Malignaggi, that’s not how fights are conducted.
Malignaggi says Fury fights down to the level of his opposition
“I think Fury is consistently inconsistent. He looks good against good fighters, but sometimes he’ll lower or diminish himself to the level of other fighters,” said Malignaggi to IFL TV. “Wallin came in really motivated, and when you have a motivated fighter, you don’t always go into it thinking that you have that kind of trouble sometimes. You can have that kind of trouble. I’ll put it to you like this. Fury never looked like he was going to get pushed before the Klitschko fight, right? No performance told you he was going to do that to Klitschko.
“Going into the Wilder fight, he’d been off, and had a couple of comeback fights. Nothing you from his past performed that he would perform like that in the Wilder fight. One thing you got to know about Fury is he’s someone that doesn’t always look great, but he gets the job done. That’s the bottom line. He gets the result. But when it’s time for the big opposition and the big stage, Fury is always there. He performed against Klitschko, and he performed against Wilder. So I don’t think this is anything different from the past,” said Malignaggi.
Fury does seem to lose interest when facing guys that he’s heavily favored to beat. He performed terribly against John McDermott, Steve Cunningham and Wallin. It might have been a motivational thing on Fury’s part that led him to put in lackluster performances in those fights.
Fury can’t afford to be inconsistent against Wilder
Nowadays, matches are stopped when a fighter is badly cut, and Fury’s huge gash over his right eye was bad enough for the contest to be stopped. A lot of fans think Fury was given preferential treatment because he’s with Top Rank and ESPN. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Fury’s opponents in the future. It’ll be a bad look if they’re stopped on cuts that are less severe than what we saw last Saturday.
Malignaggi sees Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) as a fighter that has been inconsistent during his 11-year pro career. Fury looked good against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder, but then performed poorly in fights against Wallin, John McDermott, Sam Cunningham
Malignaggi thinks Fury will perform at high level against Wilder
“He gets criticized more now, because he’s more known,” said Malignaggi. “Maybe they know more about him now than they did before, but I’ve been following Tyson Fury for a long time, and this is par for the course for Fury. I have no doubt when he goes in the ring if Wilder is able to get past [Luis] Ortiz, which isn’t an easy fight, if they do make the Fury-Wilder rematch, I think it’ll be a terrific match-up, both guys will be really up for it and really sharp. It’s possible, but personally I don’t care about that,” said Malignaggi when asked if he thinks Fury would have been stopped on a cut if the fight had taken place in another country.
“The only time a fight should be stopped is if a fighter’s life is in danger in my opinion or if a cut affects a fighter’s vision or puts his life in danger. The reality is nothing of that sort happened with Tyson Fury. Therefore, not stopping the fight was the right decision. I don’t buy into the whole ‘should they have stopped it’ or ‘should they not have stopped it,’ and crap like that. To me that’s just a cop out, and you’re just looking for a way to get a cheap win over a guy. In boxing we get cut, in boxing we bleed, and boxing we break things. We damage things. Damage is part of the recipe,” said Malignaggi.
What Malignaggi forgot to mention is Fury’s huge cut that he suffered. His promoter Bob Arum doesn’t want to postpone the Wilder-Fury rematch until later next year to give the cut time to heal.
Wilder won’t get advantage over Fury in watching Wallin fight says Malignaggi
“Nah, did [Wladimir] Klitschko take anything in watching [Steve] Cunningham knockdown Tyson Fury? No,” said Malignaggi when asked if Wilder will be able to learn anything from watching Fury’s performance against Wallin. “Did Wilder take anything out of Fury’s fight with Pianeta? I honestly think you’re going to psych yourself out if you try to get something out of his performances by Fury, because you’re not going to get the same Fury.
So I honestly think that in watching performances like that, and thinking you’re going to take advantage of such and such in the next fight, you’re going to psych yourself out. I think Deontay Wilder’s best approach is to beat Deontay Wilder. And, I think Deontay Wilder is a great fighter when he’s being himself. I don’t think there’s anything he should take out of these fights to use against Fury,” said Malignaggi.
Arum still plans on having the Wilder vs. Fury rematch take place on February 22, as previously scheduled. As such, it may not matter how sharp Fury looks. If his cut is reopened by Wilder, he’ll be fighting with one eye. The advantage Wilder will have over Fury will be from his cut. That might be all Wilder needs for him to get the victory.