Deontay Wilder on Tyson Fury: “He’s been fighting LOWER opposition”
By Kenneth Friedman: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says Tyson Fury has been fighting lower opposition while he’s been taking on the very best in the division since they last fought in December. Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) says he’s looking forward to his rematch with Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) because he wants to finish him off, and say goodbye to him.
Wilder will be defending his title against Fury in a rematch on February 22. The fight was made official on Tuesday, and the venue will be announced soon. They’re talking about having it take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That’s the same venue that Wilder successfully defended his title against Luis Ortiz last Saturday night. Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 7th round.
It still bothers Wilder that referee Jack Reiss didn’t do the right thing by stopping his fight with Fury in the 12th round last December after he knocked him out COLD with a scorching right-left combination to the head. Fury looked in extremely hurt, but Reiss gave him a count. Wilder thinks that’s strange that he would do that with someone that was unconscious.
Wilder notes that the referees that worked last Saturday’s fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas were stopping the fights when guys were hurt, and on the canvas. But in Reiss’ case, he didn’t do that with Fury. Wilder thinks that Reiss got wrapped up in Fury’s emotional story of mental illness, and chose not to stop the fight after he dropped Fury in round 12.
Deontay unhappy referee didn’t stop Fury fight
“Everybody that got knocked out on the card tonight, the referee immediately called it off because of the impact when they hit to the canvas and was looking,” said Wilder to MMAonSiriusXM. “Only [referee] Jack Reiss went off of the spirit and not the rules. Man, your job is to count out loud to get him out. You don’t go off of the spirit, because you’re emotionally involved in some story.
“That’s what boxing will do. It will draw you emotionally in. So if a foreigner comes to this country, and this country is already filled with, have dealt with or are dealing with right now a mental illness. We all go through that.
“A lot of us have been to the point where we felt like killing ourselves, because we couldn’t go on anymore. We feel like if we die, it’s better, because we don’t have to feel that pain..So when you have a foreigner come over and bring his story of mental illness, we as Americans want to, ‘Awww.’
“We want a winning story to win. Of course, he [referee Reiss] got emotionally involved, and took that away from me [a knockout win over Fury last December] in my own country. But controversy sells,” said Wilder.
It was Wilder’s back luck that he had a referee that used an old school approach to his fight with Fury, because of the referee is this era would have stopped it in the 12th. The chances of a similar referee working the rematch between Wilder and Fury are slim.
It’s too risky for a referee to give a count when a fighter is lying there unconscious.
Fury has been fighting lower opposition – Wilder
“I’m not mad, because it became a blessing in disguise,” said Wilder about being robbed of a knockout of Fury last December. “Controversy sells. What I’ve been doing and he’s [Fury] been doing is day and night. He’s been fighting lower level opposition, and I’ve been fighting nothing but the best. I’ve been giving the world nothing but the best as a champion. Me doing that, it sends a strong message.
“I came back with [Dominic] Breazeale, and then came right back with [Luis] Ortiz, and then going Fury. What can we say for him? [Fury]. We can’t say too much. They want to hide behind talking about getting signed with ESPN, and lie about numbers. So people can say, ‘Yeah, that was a good idea. I would have did.’ No, no, no,” said Wilder.
Once Top Rank signed Fury, they weren’t going to let him face Wilder in an immediate rematch. The official reason why they chose not to make the rematch right away is because they wanted to let build more so that would make more money.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum felt that Fury needed to be seen more by the casual boxing fans in the States to increase his popularity before putting him back in with Wilder. However, view that a lot of fans have is Top Rank didn’t want to throw Fury in with Wilder right away due to the back knockout that he suffered in the 12th.
With a knockout like that, there’s the potential of Fury being susceptible to being knocked out again but much easier. So, Top Rank giving Fury time to recover by putting him in with two soft opponents Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, it let his head clear.
Wilder: Fury should have fought me immediately if he thought he could win
“If he really felt like he beat me by a wide margin, and his fans of his felt like he beat me by a wide margin, then why did he not take the rematch immediately,” said Wilder. ” And if I feel like I beat you so strong, I don’t care who offered me any money, because if I beat him and get that title, I’m worth way much more than what they offered him.
“If they offered him a certain amount, and ESPN offered him a certain amount, if you beat me, you’re worth way more now. But, he understands I gave him a concussion,” said Wilder.
It wasn’t up to Fury whether to fight Wilder in an immediate rematch. That was Top Rank’s decision to let the rematch marinate more before putting them in with each other, and it’s debatable whether it helped or not. Fury doesn’t appear to be any more popular now in America than he was last December when fought Wilder in Los Angeles.
The problem is, Fury’s opponents were obscure fighters that the U.S boxing fans had never seen before, and they looked poor. Even the casual fans understood that Fury was being matched against dreadful opposition to make him look good. You can argue that Top Rank wasted their money putting Fury in with Otto Wallin and Tom Schwarz. They should have just put Fury back in with Wilder in early 2019, and hoped for the best.
Deontay says he’s going to beat Fury and say goodbye
“As you can see, I knocked my opponent out again. I’m in all these heavyweights’ heads, and I can’t wait until February 22 for the rematch. I’m going to beat him once and for all, like I did the first time, and I’m going to say goodbye to him,” said Wilder.
There’s talk of a potential trilogy match between Fury and Wilder in 2020. If that’s the case, then their February 22 rematch won’t close the door on their rivalry. That’s not surprising though, because Top Rank has a history of doing a lot of rematches between their fighters. For example, former Top Rank fighter Manny Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez 4 times, and Erik Morales 3 times. He also fought Marco Antonio Barrera and Tim Bradley 2 times.