Fury avoids dangerous Wilder, in a business decision
By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury had a good excuse this week for choosing not to fight Deontay Wilder in January by saying to the Athletic that he’s “messing around with the date.”
The reality is, WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is making a business move to avoid a dangerous third fight with the knockout artist Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) so that he won’t jeopardize the massive payday that he’ll get in his unification clash against IBF/WBA/WBA champion Anthony Joshua in the first half of 2021.
Fury swerving Deontay
Fury chooses to avoid Wilder by not waiting one month to fight him in January instead of in December. Fury’s decision NOT to fight Wilder in January will cost him millions and prevent him from getting a massive payday in the trilogy match.
Instead of waiting for one easily month to make a boatload of money against Wilder in January, Fury will be fighting on December 5th against one of these five heavyweights:
- Agit Kabayel – rumored to be the leading option for Fury
- Efe Ajagba
- Charles Martin
- Oscar Rivas
- Michael Hunter
None of those fighters will bring in the kind of dough that the third fight between Fury and the talented 6’7″ Deontay would bring in.
You got to imagine that ESPN isn’t overjoyed with Fury’s announcement of forgoing the trilogy match against Deontay.
If you’re one of the top brass with ESPN, you’re probably not too pleased with Fury choosing not to wait one month to fight Wilder in January so that he can lesser opponent for a tune-up in December.
Only the best fights must get made during the pandemic because boxing needs a shot of adrenalin right now.
For Fury to swerve the Wilder to take an easy match against the likes of Kabayel, it hurts boxing, and it’ll definitely hurt ESPN’s ratings for the December 5th fight.
There’s no way that Fury will be able to bring in the same kind of ratings he would by fighting Wilder with him taking a warm-up fight against one of the five options on Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s list of candidates for his December 5th fight.
Fury makes a tactical move to avoid Deontay
“Tyson Fury told ‘The Athletic that he has said that he’s moved on from his third fight with Wilder,” said Chris Mannix at DAZN. “Fury added, ‘I was looking forward to smashing Wilder again, but Wilder and his team were messing around with the date.
‘They tried to change the date until next year. I’ve been training; I’m ready. When they tried moving off of December 19th and pushing it to next year, enough was enough. I’ve moved on.’ Is Tyson Fury right to try and forgo the Deontay Wilder fight?”
“Yes, I’ve been saying this all along. I think they [Team Fury] should go straight into the 2021 fight [with Anthony Joshua], and not risk losing, but since they both want to get that tune-up fight, I think that’s the right idea,” said Sergio Mora in agreeing with Fury swerving the Wilder trilogy match.
“Kubrat Pulev for Joshua. Charles Martin makes sense for me, a former [IBF heavyweight] champion for Tyson Fury, but they’re safe mandatories, safe tune-ups leading to the mega-fight. I think both of them need that to knock the rust off and shake off 2020.”
“I think this is a brilliant negotiating move by Tyson Fury,” said Mannix in commenting on him choosing not to face the dangerous Wilder.”
It’s a brilliant move for Fury to avoid the last obstacle he has standing in front of him before a fight with Joshua. But at the same time, what Fury is doing in fleeing the battlefield by avoiding Deontay is utterly weak. This is war.
Fury should stick it out and meet his adversary Wilder in no man’s land and fight to the finish instead of going into the retreat mode to take an easy opponent in the back lines.
Wilder = The Knight
In chess, the most dangerous piece for the ‘King’ is the ‘Knight.’ That piece can move all around the board and is a major threat to the King.
You can argue that Wilder is the equivalent of the ‘Knight’ chess piece, which makes him a grave danger for the King, Tyson Fury. As such, King Fury has no other way of protecting himself from the Knight-like Wilder other than to avoid him by making an excuse and taking a soft job from Arum’s list.
Again, this ducking move by Fury will hurt the ratings for ESPN when it comes to his next fight, and he’ll make a lot less money. Heck, Fury might as well have a bonfire of money in his front yard because he’s burning money by not fighting Wilder.
It’s hard for the average boxing fans to contemplate a fighter like Fury walking away from millions that he could in a trilogy match against Deontay, but it shows you how much fear he has.
Fury’s decision not to fight the Knight, Wilder the third time, is basically him admitting that he’s worried about what he can do to him. It’s so disappointing because this is the fight that Fury needs to make his unification fight against Joshua into a huge fight.
There aren’t enough U.S boxing fans familiar with Fury right now, and he’s missing out on winning over those people by fighting Wilder.
If Fury fights an unknown guy from the five candidates that Arum is pouring over for December 5th, it’s not going to register a blip on the radar screen with the American fans. Trotting out Agit Kabayel as Fury’s opponent on December 5th will result in the U.S fans tuning out and watching something else that night.
No live gate possible for Fury-Wilder 3
“One of the reasons why Fury-Wilder can’t take place anytime soon is that it’s reliant on either a live gate, a big $17 million gate in the second fight, or a massive site fee from someplace in the Middle East and none of those things exist right now.
“You just can’t have that type of revenue during a global pandemic. So Fury is using that against Deontay Wilder as a way of getting himself out of that fight.
“If he [Fury] fought Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, he would get two big paydays, but Wilder still represents a serious risk. I think Fury would rather take a lesser fight, as he will maybe in December before going into the Anthony Joshua fight.
“So we will have a clear path to getting that massive British showdown against AJ. If Fury fights in December and Joshua fights Pulev in December, both of these guys can take three, four, or maybe five months off, allow the pandemic to lift a little bit, allow the vaccine to be disseminated globally, and then get back in Wembley Stadium or an arena in Saudi Arabia and get the payday they have coming to them.”
Fury would get TWO big paydays if he fought Wilder in January and Joshua in June of 2021. But Wilder represents a serious risk to Fury, and he’s not going to put himself in harm’s way by meeting the knockout artist again.
Fury electing to take a lesser fight against a non-puncher, who can showcase his boxing skills against Wilder on December 5th will protect him from what may happen in the third match.
At this point, Wilder will be seeing red by the time he gets inside the ring with Fury again, and he’ll be swingging for the fences to knock him cold again.
Fury and his handlers obviously know that already. Hence, they’ve chosen not to take the risk of messing about with angry Wilder, who would potentially be bad news for Fury.
Tyson makes a business decision
“I think this is a smart business decision by Tyson Fury,” said Mannix.
“Very smart,” said Mora about Fury’s move to avoid a third fight with Wilder. “It has to be a safe and respectable opponent. You don’t want no Andy Ruiz coming in and messing up the undisputed championship of the world.
“So someone with a respectable name, a former champion, but also someone tall that can get you ready for Anthony Joshua’s size. I think Charles Martin hits all those checkboxes for me, but either way, a smart move.”
So there it is. Fury is making a “business decision” by NOT fighting Wilder again and instead choosing someone that he can beat the brakes off of, like the light-hitting Kabayel on December 5th.
It’s a bad look on Fury’s part in choosing the weaker path, as he’s not aspiring to be great, and he’s doing nothing to build his match against AJ in 2021. But it gives one a good glimpse of Fury’s mindset and how he thinks.
When you get a fighter that ducks a dangerous opponent, it suggests that they don’t feel they’re up to the task, so they’d rather give ground to avoid a potentially unpleasant outcome.
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