By Sean Jones: Deontay Wilder’s former promoter Lou DiBella expects him to make improvements for his trilogy fight with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for when they meet up again.
DiBella says Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) didn’t look like the same person he’d known during his rematch with Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) on February 22.
He’s not sure what the problem was for Wilder during the fight, but he believes he’s going to be an improved fighter for the third clash. With that said, DiBella still believes Fury will be the favorite going into the match.
The way that Fury was able to walk Wilder down in their second fight, he’s undoubtedly going to try the same approach for the third contest. If Wilder is ready to meet Fury’s attacks head-on with straight right hands down the pipe, we could see a repeat of the 12th round of their first fight.
One of the biggest things Wilder has going for him is Fury is now going to be cocky and overconfident due to the ease of which he won their rematch. That overconfidence will likely lead Fury to re-use the same gameplan for the third fight.
Wilder will be ready for Fury next time, and you can bet that he’ll be looking to take his head off as soon as he comes forward. Whether Fury’s ego will let him go back to the defensive style of their first fight remains to be seen.
Wilder needs to do some things differently
“I think there are some things that they’re going to need to do differently, and I think that they are,” said Lou DiBella to Seconds Out about Wilder needing to change for Fury rematch. “Fury was brilliant.
“No one can take anything away from Tyson Fury. He was brilliant that night. And right now anybody who tries to argue that Fury is not the best heavyweight at the moment, I think they’re just wrong. They’re wrong until proven otherwise. Right now the best heavyweight in the world is Tyson Fury,” said Dibella
“He didn’t look like himself to me the whole fight,” said Dibella about Wilder. “He looked like from the time, even standing in the ring before the first bell rang, he didn’t look right to me. I don’t think he looked right, his legs didn’t look right, and he didn’t look right at all,” said DiBella on Wilder.
In looking at the second fight, it’s easy to identify the things that Wilder did wrong. He came into the match carrying too much muscle weight for his thin Babe Ruth pipestem legs to move him around the ring.
Wilder doesn’t have the legs to support more than 215 lbs at best in this writer’s opinion. Secondly, Wilder probably worn out from the heavy ring-walk vest that he wore before the fight.
He needs to leave those toys at home and save them for handing out candy to the Trick or Treaters that came to his house on October 31. Wilder needs to be able to hit Fury with his right hands when he comes forward looking to exchange.
Deontay can do better
“He just didn’t seem to have his bearings. I’m not attributing that by any outfit he wore in the ring,” said DiBella on Wilder, potentially improving in the third fight with Fury. “But I do believe something was wrong, and I do think he can be better. Can he beat Tyson Fury? That remains to be seen.
“He’s going to be an underdog, and he deserves to be an underdog. I don’t think it’s hopeless. He wasn’t able [to perform]. A lot of it had to do with Fury because he was brilliant. But Fury’s whole game was excellent. Fury told everybody, I’m going to go right after this guy, and he did it. He was backing up Deontay Wilder from the beginning of the fight.
“It was no accident that Wilder couldn’t land his big punch because he couldn’t throw. But I still think he’s a huge puncher, and I still think he can be better than he was that night. I would expect the third fight to be more competitive than the second, though Fury will obviously be a big favorite,” said DiBella.
Fury is going to come straight at Wilder in the rematch because he had so much success fighting that way in the last fight. He’s not going to want to tinker with that success by trying to box Wilder, even though he did well with that game plan in the first fight.
If Wilder can focus on throwing straight right hands, he could take the overly aggressive Fury out in the first three rounds.
The good news for Wilder is that he can only improve. He can’t get any worse than what he showed in the first two fights, so he needs to work on the flaws in his game as soon as possible.
DiBella talks meeting with DAZN
“The meeting was a year ago,” said Dibella on him meeting with DAZN. “Neither me and Deontay spoke much about anything. I only came out and spoke about it in the last few months because people asked questions. But the meeting was over a year ago, and Deontay knew I was setting up a meeting.
“He was aware of it, and we spoke about it, and I think it was the right thing to do. With all due respect, as a promoter, whether or not he had strong management with Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel, he did. But I still felt the right thing for me was to pursue every avenge out there.
“Things had come to a roadblock with Eddie Hearn. Shelly was running discussions with Eddie Hearn, and they came to a roadblock. But it occurred to me that it didn’t make any sense to me why there weren’t direct discussions with DAZN.
“And I set up the meeting, and I felt I did the right thing. I’d have done the same thing again, but literally by the time I left the room, I was pretty much out of the Deontay Wilder business,” said DiBella.
It sounds like a real mess that Dibella stumbled into with meeting with DAZN. It’s unclear whether Wilder is coming out ahead by not signing with them.
Lou grateful for working with Deontay
“I’m a little bit surprised as far as Deontay and my relationship, but I wasn’t surprised that Shelly and Al didn’t want me involved because I think they wanted total control over the situation,” said Dibella. “Deontay was a PBC fighter, and I was meeting with DAZN. I’ve got no regrets and no bad feelings.
“I wouldn’t have been involved with Deontay if he didn’t make that decision. I promoted Deontay pretty much without a written agreement for years because Deontay wanted me as his promoter, and we had a good relationship.
“He gave me that opportunity. So yeah, we’re not working together any longer, but I don’t have any bad feelings towards him. I wasn’t rooting against him when he fought Fury, and I only want to see the best things for him.
“You can look at it like I’m upset because of the way we parted ways, but I’m grateful for the time that we had together. In my old age, I’m trying to be a little bit more philosophical,” said Dibella.