Deontay Wilder knows his career is on the line – says Lou Dibella
By Allan Fox: Promoter Lou DiBella says Deontay Wilder knows his career is on the line in his fight against Tyson Fury on July 24th. If Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) gets knocked out against by Fury 30-0-1, 21 KOs), he’ll no longer be an elite heavyweight, and his career would be in dire shape.
DiBella doesn’t like how Wilder chose to wear headphones to block out Fury’s comments during their recent kickoff press conference for their trilogy fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Wilder still needs to help market his PPV fight against Fury, and he can’t do that if he’s disengaged during the press conferences.
Deontay has got to interact with Fury to help build interest in the contest with the fans. Even if it’s mentally painful for Wilder, he should speak to Fury during their onstage events.
DiBella says it’s important that Wilder is in the right place mentally for the fight because he can’t afford to fight the way he did last time when he was stopped in the seventh round by Fury.
Deontay’s head has got to be in the right place
“He’s obviously getting himself into shape to be strong for this fight, so I’m not going to get on him for the video,” said Lou DiBella to Secondsout in reacting to Wilder’s weightlifting video posted last week on social media.
“I think his strength is his best hope. He’s not outboxing Tyson Fury. He’s not. And he’s [Wilder] either knocking him out or beating him up.
“It’s virtually impossible to see him outboxing him, so physical strength is probably an important component for him.
“If he’s to win the fight by knockout if his puncher’s chance is to come through, his head has to be in the right place.
“So if part of this stuff that looks weird by Malik and the people around him to get his head in the right space, then it’s probably smart.
“You can get hurt by lifting a lot of weight with bad form. That being said, getting your head right if you’re Deontay Wilder, it’s hugely important right now,” DiBella said.
Wilder must go into this fight with the right mental attitude, which is why he’s keeping Fury from talking to him.
Deontay doesn’t want to let Fury psyche him out with his trash-talking before they’ve gotten into the ring. However, it’s hard to believe that Wilder hasn’t watched the press conference by now and heard all the negative things Fury had to say about him.
Wearing headphones only works if Wilder is disciplined enough not to get curious later to hear what Fury said. Anyway, Wilder should be mature enough to know that it’s just words.
Fury can’t win a fight by talking Wilder’s head off. He’s got to get in there and throw punches and hope that Wilder makes the same mistakes as last time.
Deontay knows his career is on the line
“It’s not something I like,” said DiBella about Wilder wearing headphones during his press conference with Fury. “Look, his career is on the line, and he knows it.
“I mean, if he gets smoked again by Fury, where does he go? He’s no longer among the elite in the heavyweight division.
“So whatever he wants to do right now to carry him into the fight with the greatest confidence and personal peace is probably what he should be doing.
“That being said, you get paid for promoting the fight. You get paid for proportionally or the performance of the pay-per-view.
“They got a pretty good undercard, but people want to see a good fight. For it to be a good fight, his [Wilder] head has got to be in the right place, and he’s got to be better than he was in his last fight.
“I personally don’t see the advantage of leaving your headphones on your ears and making believe that you’re not present.
“What’s the sense of sitting on that day, but it’s about his own head. When he sits across the ring from Fury on that night, is he prepared for that moment?
“Maybe they know better than we do what’s going to prepare him for that moment,” said DiBella on Deontay’s preparation.
Wilder’s career isn’t on the line, but his status as one of the elite fighters surely is. Losing to Fury by another knockout, it would finish Wilder as an elite-level fighter.
That wouldn’t stop Wilder from making big paydays against other fighters in the division, but it would change how fans perceive him.
A tune-up wouldn’t have helped Wilder
“I think Mark [Breland] did the correct thing the night of the fight because he [Deontay] was seriously in danger of being hurt,” said DiBella. “That fight was stopped exactly when it needed to be stopped.
“Yeah, I think fighting in between would have been helpful to him, but you know what? Things happen,” said DiBella when asked if Deontay should have taken a tune-up before fighting Fury again.
“He had a rematch clause, and by the way, it was that clause that got him the rematch. Once other things start happening, you’re contractual right, the likelihood of getting it is diminished.
“So it may not have been an option [to get a tune-up]. He called in this rematch clause that he had, this third fight clause that he had as part of the Fury deal.
“So I’m not going to criticize that because it may not have been an alternative. The other thing is, Wilder against a total stooge, what is that [going to do for him?].
“Wilder has been around. Knocking out another dude that doesn’t belong in the ring with him, is that really going to do much for him?
“I don’t know the answer to that. If you fought a guy like Andy Ruiz, who knows if you ever get to a third Fury fight? So I’m not going to second guess their decision-making,” said DiBella.
The rematch clause that Wilder had in the contract with Fury made it impossible for him to take a tune-up.
When Fury tried to walk away from the rematch, Wilder’s management took it to an arbitrator, who gave a deadline for when the fight had to take place by September.
The only useful tune-up that would have helped Wilder prepare for the trilogy match against Fury would have been if he fought someone with a similar style.
Given what happened to Wilder last time, it would have been a mistake for him to take a risky tune-up and put his with Fury in jeopardy.
Deontay must box better
“He’s got to box a lot better than he boxed [last time],” said DiBella on what Wilder must do to beat Fury on July 24th.
“Look, he’s not a great boxer. He’s not Tyson Fury as a boxer, but he’s nowhere near as bad as he looked in the last fight, and I worked with him enough to know that.
“Frankly, he boxed much better in Fury-Wilder 1 than he did in Wilder-Fury 2.
“He needs to show that he can pop a jab and box Fury. And then, if he sees an opening, he needs to take it. He needs to back Fury up some.
“And he needs to get Fury’s respect again, and maybe Fury is complacent sitting on the top of the mountain. But in order to prove that, he needs to back him up and assert himself a little bit.
“But he also needs to not fight stupidly, and he needs to pop a jab, do some fundamental stuff, and box a little bit.
“If he can keep the fight close, the puncher’s advantage swings more towards him a little bit,” said DiBella about Wilder.
There’s a good chance Wilder will box better in the trilogy match than he did in the first two contests.
The training that Wilder’s new coach Malik Scott has been doing with him shows that he will be using his legs more and not standing in front of Fury as he did in the first two contests.
If Fury is going to back Wilder up against the ropes, he’s going to have to cut off the ring on him.
Wilder made it easy for Fury last time by backing straight up and letting him use his 42-lb weight advantage to work him over against the ropes.
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