By Jeff Aronow: David Haye admits that he got his prediction wrong in picking Deontay Wilder to defeat Tyson Fury last Saturday night in their third and possibly final fight.
Despite getting his prediction wrong, Haye came away impressed with Wilder’s way he stayed on the battlefield, emptying his gun in no man’s land.
Wilder didn’t run for the trenches the way some fighters would when exposed to the superior firepower of Fury. Wilder stayed in there out in the open until Fury blasted him out in the 11th.
With that being said, it was a brave thing for Wilder to do, and he made the fight with Fury one of the best in recent years.
Haye believed going in that Wilder would be too much for Fury now that he was coming into their trilogy fight with his surgically repaired right bicep 100% and back in commission.
In Wilder’s last fight with Fury in February 2020, he hadn’t been able to use his right hand effectively because he had torn his bicep in training camp.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) wore Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) down and stopped him in the 11th round to retain his WBC heavyweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Haye admits he got it wrong
“I definitely got it wrong because I thought Deontay Wilder now that he was coming with both guns blazing now that he had his right hand back, that would be enough to take Fury out if the opportunity around, which I knew at some stage it would,” said David Haye to iFL TV on him getting his pick wrong.
“It nearly happened. He heavily put Fury down a couple of times in the fourth round, but to Tyson Fury’s credit, he was able to shake him off and get back up and put it straight back on Wilder.
“Not only was it a great performance by Fury, but he also took Wilder’s best biggest punches. I consider him the single biggest punch as a heavyweight ever with his right hand, and he took it clean in the forehead.
“It shook him to his boots. That same shot [from Wilder] has knocked out 41 people in the past. Fury showed that his chin was as good as everything thought it was prior to that fight.
“It was a great performance. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was a fight where both fighters showed up and did their very best, and we got a very, very clear conclusive victor. Fury, that performance for me, showed he’s number one.
“I dismissed the second fight because Wilder only had one arm in that fight. It kind of showed in the third fight how much more he brought to the table,” Haye said.
The fourth round was a surprise because it looked like Fury was going to have an easy fight of it after he’d knocked Wilder down in round three.
In the fourth, Wilder timed Fury perfectly with his right hand, nailing him and putting him down.
Fury was thoroughly hurt from the shot and unable to stay on his feet when Wilder followed up with another brutal right-hand shot to the head.
Deontay finished on the battlefield – says Haye
“He looked very, very tired, Wilder, from early,” Haye said. “Loading up on punches way too soon like in a school by era. He’s been able to learn not to pace himself in his fights because he never needed to.
“Watch his fight with ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, and he just waits and waits and waits. This time, he wasn’t waiting.
“He was trying to force it. When you try to force it, it doesn’t work, but it’s a tough lesson to learn—credit to Wilder.
“I know a lot of people wrote Wilder off [after the second fight], but he showed tremendous heart to stay in there.
“True to his word, he didn’t want this corner to throw in the towel to save him for this day, which was a great thing.
“It appeared to everyone’s point of view to be the right thing, and this time around, I’m sure Malik Scott was given strict instructions that no matter what happened to him in that fight, no matter how much of a beating he was taking, don’t even pick up that towel to throw it.
“‘I’d rather die in the ring,’ he said that, and he proved it. He [Deontay] finished out on the battlefield with no bullets left in his gun. He could not have done anything more. Credit to him,” said Haye.
Wilder fought until he had nothing left in the tank and was finally stopped by Fury after he’d run out of bullets.
The Bronze Bomber had nothing left by the 10th round, and it was apparent that Fury would knock him out. Fury put Wilder down in the 10th but wasn’t able to keep him down in that round.
In the 11th, Fury trapped Wilder up against the ropes and nailed him with a big right hand that dropped him hard. The knockdown was scary to watch because Wilder was hurt and looked in bad shape while on the canvas.
Wilder was able to hurt Fury
“He [Wilder] was able to land a big shot that he wasn’t able to land in fight two,” said Haye about Deontay dropping Fury twice in round four.
“It was right down the middle with the right hand. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the punch technique.
“He doesn’t put his punches together in combinations. It’s normally just one big one-two down the pipe.
“Outside of that, there’s not much else, but his one-two has been his trick, and it’s knocked out pretty much everybody out with it.
“So outside of that, there wasn’t much more. To beat Fury, you need more than a one-two.
“You need to be able to do a lot of different things, and you got to get moving.
“There are so many different elements to a strategy to best someone that is big and strong, elusive, and as well-rounded as Fury is. Wilder, that was his chance.
“If he wasn’t going to beat him after having him as hurt as badly as he has, it will never be. He could fight him 100 times. That was his chance.
“His first fight was his real chance. If he turned up in the first fight in the shape, he turned up for this fight with the strategy to jab to the body and appeared like he was taking his time.
“If you rewatch the first fight, he was throwing punches from way out of range.
“But Fury has significantly improved since then. If he was ever going to beat him, it was in that first fight or knock him out in that round in the fourth round. In the third round, he got put down in real soul-searching stuff,” Haye said.
As Haye points out, Wilder hurt Fury in the fourth round and put him down twice. However, with the improvements Fury has made in his game since his first fight with Deontay in 2018, Wilder needed more elements to his game for him to beat him.
It wasn’t going to be enough for Wilder to use his one-two combination to defeat Fury because he’s too good to be beaten with his one-dimensional offense.
The fact that Wilder was able to do as well as he did with his primary offense shows how great his punching power is.
Haye reacts to Wilder refusing to shake Fury’s hand
“You don’t know where Wilder’s head is at. There’s so much ego, so much at stake. His whole life was at stake,” said Haye on Deontay, refusing to shake Fury’s hand after the fight.
“Tyson Fury had literally taken his soul. Now also Tyson Fury wants a handshake.
“I’m sure in his [Wilder] mind; he’s like ‘You’ve taken it all. I’m not giving you anything else. You’ve taken everything; you’ve ruined me.’ Maybe he said, ‘I can’t give you my hand.’
“Also, he’s taken a lot of punches to the head. You’re not going to be coherent enough to maybe shaking somebody’s hand.
“You don’t know where someone is at emotionally. He might have had a breakdown if he shook his hand.
“Maybe the realization of ‘This man is better than me. Maybe he never wants it to go to that point.
“It would have been nice for him to shake hands and embrace him and say, ‘Yeah, you’re the better man.
“You beat me tonight; you beat me last time out. Good luck in the future,'” said Haye about Wilder not shaking Fury’s hand.
It could be that in Wilder’s mind, if he had chosen to accept Fury’s handshake at the end, he would be admitting that he’s giving him a pass for what he believes was cheating in their last fight.
If Wilder does believe that Fury did something to his gloves to harm him in their rematch in 2020, it’s understandable why he would refuse to shake his hand.
How do you shake someone’s hand if you 100% believe that they cheated with the intent to hurt you? This appears to have gone over Fury’s head entirely, as he sees it as a lack of sportsmanship on Wilder’s part.
He’s not looking at Wilder’s reasons for not wanting to shake his hand. It’s not likely because he lost twice in a row to him but rather because he feels he cheated in the past. Who knows?
Wilder may feel that Fury cheated in the trilogy fight last Saturday with his holding and roughhouse tactics.