As the disappointment wanes among fans over the postponement of Heavyweight Superstar Tyson Fury’s defense of the lineal Championship and Undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk, interesting facts have begun to emerge.
(Photo credit: Tyson Fury’s Instagram)
Fans and critics of the undefeated Fury were equally shocked after seeing photos of the ripped and ready Tyson Fury, at first hidden among the postponement announcement that followed the nasty cut Fury suffered from a freak elbow hit in sparring. Ironically, it is here that the genius of Fury is becoming unveiled, sending chills down the spines of Tyson’s harshest and most brash critics.
The Most Avoided Heavyweight Champion in History
For the most part, the UK’s Tyson Fury is universally accepted as the most avoided Heavyweight Champion in history. Since his unexpected thrashing of Wladimir Klitschko, which forever made fools and enemies of casual-level fans, many heavyweights have found it much more desirable to play boxing politics and pressure corrupt sanctioning organizations into stripping belts from Fury.
They could then vie for these paper titles against the opponent of their choice. Casual-level fans are none the wiser to the difference between a championship and a paper title, which is essentially the same as US inflation dollars not backed by gold.
The Path of Least Resistance
One such heavyweight, UK rival Anthony Joshua, was the first to realize that Boxing Politics was the path of least resistance to becoming a belt-holder. In 2015, Joshua had been urging his fans to be patient with his growth and development while secretly lying in wait for the two heavyweights he feared the most to eliminate each other rather than vying for the legitimate championship.
After Fury’s shocking and dominating victory, which earned him 5 championship belts, including the coveted lineal Championship, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn pounced. Knowing a rematch clause was in place between Fury and Klitschko, Joshua suddenly decided he was now ready for a championship. He and Hearn pressured the IBF into stripping Fury of one belt for not defending against mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov a ridiculous 10 days after Fury’s victory over Klitschko.
This left Anthony Joshua vs Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant title, right? WRONG. Shamelessly, the IBF allowed Joshua to hand-pick the slow, plodding, powerless, and weak-chinned Charles Martin as his tailor-made opponent for the vacant IBF title belt, avoiding the exact fighter they had just stripped Fury over.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the now thrice-beaten Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn were poised to employ this same political tactic, already publicly and shamelessly targeting, you guessed it, the IBF title, which was due to be immediately stripped once again from the winner of the undisputed championship to create another easy path for Joshua to claim belt-holder status.
Fury Learned Early
Gypsy King Fury, a lifelong fighter from a family of rough and tumble bare-knuckle and professional fighters, was new to Boxing Politics at the time of his first championship. It never even occurred to him to shuck and jive his way to belt-holder status via the path of least resistance.
A true throwback fighter like Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson, Fury holds the integrity to only call himself a champion if he beats the Champion. Tyson went straight for the Lineal Champion, Klitschko, and earned his five belts and the right to be called Champion. Unfortunately, Fury immediately got his first taste of Boxing politics by being unrightfully gutted of one of his hard-earned championship belts.
Tyson then sunk into an understandably deep depression. Years of inactivity and physical deterioration followed until another vulture, Heavyweight Deontay Wilder, who had made a name for himself by KOing every single one of the carefully chosen opponents he had faced, estimated that Fury had regressed far enough that he would be easy pickings and Wilder would finally be able to get a marquee name on his abysmal resume with minimal risk considering that Fury had over 100 pounds to lose after his three-year hiatus from the ring.
Wilder’s miscalculation, however, was the last mistake he would make as a legitimate heavyweight contender. Fury came into the fight with nothing but heart and won every round against Wilder. What genuinely amazed fans was how Fury arose from the ashes not once but twice from foul rabbit-punch knockdowns delivered by possibly the hardest-hitting puncher in the history of Boxing.
Although boxing politics once again reared its ugly head and gifted Wilder with a split decision draw, allowing Wilder to keep the WBC belt but the absolute thinnest of margins, Fury became a legend at that moment, and he also learned the most valuable lesson of his career: Today’s heavyweights will not fight him unless he shows vulnerability.
After making things right by KOing Wilder twice in two completely uncompetitive rematches and winning the 6th and final heavyweight belt, Fury again was ducked by the sport’s more prominent names. Anthony Joshua was so shaken by the pressure from his promoter, Eddie Hearn, and DAZN to face Fury that he temporarily gave up the sport and entered into psychological therapy via Dark Room Sensory Depravation in the middle of their most recent round of negotiations with Fury.
This is where Fury once again realized he would need a poor showing to lure the contenders back in. Enter Francis Ngannou, the heavyweight Champion of Mixed Martial Arts. Fury decided to face Francis while 47 pounds overweight, with only 13 days of half-hearted training.
Fury’s plan nearly backfired, as Ngannou proved to be a live dog with devastating punching power. Fury won 9 rounds of the fight but suffered a flash knockdown, which made the fight much closer than he or anybody else expected.
So shocked were fans and so energized were critics that some casual-level fans allowed their irrational hatred of Fury to go so far as to claim that Francis deserved the victory by winning three rounds and scoring a flash knockdown in one of those three rounds. Although this was ridiculous, Fury’s miscalculation was a short-sighted stumble but a massive victory in the big-picture plan of luring the contenders in for a perceived safe and easy victory over Fury.
Fury Roped the Dopes
As soon as Fury’s victory over Ngannou was finished, the top contenders flocked for the chance to face a seemingly vulnerable Fury. Even Anthony Joshua got a big confidence boost from Fury’s performance and rose from his mental prison to begin his campaign of fighting Fury leftovers to convince himself and casual-level fans that he could compete with the Ngannou version of Fury.
Oleksandr Usyk, who had previously priced himself way out of the fight to save face with the fans and his countrymen, who are currently fighting a war they cannot win, was now suddenly chomping at the bit to face Fury and eager to accept a reasonable financial package for the fight that he previously considered unacceptable.
Fury has kept quiet in training, knowing that his only chance of getting Usyk into the ring was to let him believe he was facing the same Tyson Fury who did not train for Francis Ngannou. Usyk is now unquestionably on his knees, thanking his guardian angel that Fury’s plan was thwarted by a freak elbow hit, now that the world and Team Usyk can see that Fury was already in the best shape of his entire career and had tricked them into accepting the fight not expecting the true Gypsy King to show up.
The Final Heavyweight Champion?
Fury will need 2-3 months for that deep cut to heal before any commission will allow him to fight. Casual-level fans need to realize that it would not be up to Fury when or if he has healed enough to fight. Pre-fight physicals have become much more stringent since Julio Cesar Chavez, desperate for a payday, hid a much smaller cut with special and coconut putty make-up used in funeral homes during the pre-fight physical for his rematch against Oscar De La Hoya.
It then took just one of Oscar’s machine gun hall of fame jabs to rip the cut open, practically the first punch he landed, drenching the ring in blood and robbing the fans of a costly fight. Now that the likes of Usyk and Joshua realize that Fury will not afford either of them the luxury of going easy in training camp, the chances of either fight ever happening are next to none.
Suppose Fury is forced to retire without any top contenders facing him. In that case, he will go down in history as the man who fought any and all comers, cleaned out the division by winning all six recognized title belts from long-reigning champions and the lineal Champion and remains immortal and undefeated for all eternity as the man to finally accept the baton from Rocky Marciano.
Fury will go down in history as the final Heavyweight Champion of the World once he retires and the lineage is broken. The rest of the heavyweights will be cursed to finish their careers without ever becoming The Heavyweight Champion of the World, but instead the beneficiaries of boxing politics and title belt inflation, with up to 10 fighters all having equally illegitimate claims to the title of Champion.