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Andre Ward says Fury can do whatever he wants

Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Allan Fox: Andre Ward says Tyson Fury is in a position where he can do whatever he wants because of his success and popularity in the sport.

WBC heavyweight champion Fury’s eleventh round knockout victory over Deontay Wilder last Saturday night in Las Vegas has elevated his popularity to new heights.

Although Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) had already beaten Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) last year by a seventh round blowout, his victory, last Saturday meant more because he had to get up off the deck twice and overcome adversity to win in a thrilling contest.

I dare say that even Wilder gained fame in that fight despite losing. There was no loser in that fight because Wilder showed courage to take a lot of punishment and inflict pain on Fury.

It’s one of those fights that stays in your mind like an afterglow from looking at a bright light. The image is still there in your head even when you look away.

Ward says Fury has few challenges left

Fury has at least seven or eight real challenges ahead of him if he chooses to stick around long enough to fight them all. The immediate target for Fury is Dillian Whyte, his WBC mandatory, and then the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch next year.

Great options for Fury:

  • Anthony Joshua
  • Oleksandr Usyk
  • Deontay Wilder – 4th fight
  • Frank Sanchez
  • Dillian Whyte
  • Andy Ruiz Jr.
  • Joe Joyce
  • Daniel Dubois

I don’t know that Fury wants to follow in Ward’s footsteps by retiring while still in his prime the way he did.

Ward’s decision to retire in the prime of his career at 33 in 2017 was a questionable move, considering he didn’t accomplish all that he could in his career. He still had a TON of challenges out there waiting for him in the form of Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, along with the young lions at 168.

By retiring early, Ward artificially preserved his unbeaten record by choosing to walk away before getting beaten. Would he have lost if Ward had stuck around long enough to fight Usyk, Beterbiev, Bivol, Canelo Alvarez, and David Benavidez? Probably.

Ward’s mauling style to beat Kovalev twice likely wouldn’t have worked against Beterbiev, Canelo, and Usyk. Ward would have had to try and conventionally fight them without wrestling, and that probably wouldn’t have gone well for him.

Hopefully, Fury chooses NOT to stunt his career by retiring while he’s still in his prime the way Ward did because he’s capable of doing a lot more before he’s done.

Fury had all the advantages

“I’ve been in this business for 25 years. That is the greatest fight I’ve ever attended,” said Stephen A. Smith to ESPN in talking about last Saturday’s Fury vs. Wilder trilogy. “The bigger man, the smarter man, the better man won the fight.

Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

“Tyson is just a superior boxer, and he was brilliant, and he adjusted to Deontay Wilder, who came out for this fight and was trying to use his jab and stuff like that.

“Then he got hurt in the third round, and from that point forward, the jab went away, and they were just a slugfest.

“I thought Deontay Wilder was finished in the third round because he got dropped by Tyson and couldn’t avoid the punches.

“I said he ain’t getting out of the fourth. The next thing you know it, he dropped Tyson in the fourth. Not once but twice, and Tyson looked like he wasn’t going to survive.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe what I’m seeing.’ I was stunned. They then went back and forth, and he dropped him [Deontay] again; I think it was the seventh.

“Then obviously in the 11th round, it was a wrap, but here’s the deal. Deontay Wilder was valiant, he talked about wanting to go out on his shield, and he did just that,” said Smith.

Should there be a super heavyweight division?

What there needs to be is a super heavyweight division that starts 245 lbs.

But even if the sanctioning bodies did create a super heavyweight division for huge fighters like Joshua and Fury, Wilder would have likely bulked up enough to meet the weight requirement for the division.

Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

As we saw last Saturday, Wilder’s decision to bulk up to 238 lbs from the 219 he weighed in a couple of years ago hurt him in the stamina department.

Wilder added weight, but his cardiovascular system couldn’t feed the oxygen to all that new mass efficiently, which is why he faded after four rounds.

There does need to be a super heavyweight division because it’s ridiculous to have fighters outweigh their opponents by 40+ lbs at heavyweight, and that’s so wrong. If there were a super heavyweight division, it would extend the career of Fury because he dominates bigger heavyweights.

Wilder showed Fury NO respect

“Deontay Wilder is a good man. He’s a family man, he works hard, the whole bit, but he was classless in failing to acknowledge that the better man won.

“He didn’t want to shake his hand and say a compliment. He’s better than that, but it’s hard because he got humbled.

” In boxing, there’s a 40 lb difference between junior lightweight to the light heavyweight division.

“There are that many divisions with a 40-lb division, but Tyson Fury is allowed to be 40 pounds heavier than Deontay Wilder.

“Deontay Wilder came in at 238; he was bigger. As a result, I thought his legs were ultimately going to leave him. Let’s face reality. He also got beat up.

“Tyson Fury connected on a lot of blows. Clearly, Deontay Wilder connected as well when it counted, but in the end, Tyson Fury was just too much for him. To be there, I have never been to a more exciting better fight,” said Smith.

Wilder had reasons why he didn’t want to shake Fury’s hands after the fight last Saturday, and you got to respect that.

If you walked around in Wilder’s shoes for the last three years and seen what he’s seen, you probably wouldn’t have shaken Fury’s hand either.

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