For many, the sport of boxing is a dying breed, not for this blogger. I love boxing, it’s one of my favorite sports. It stems from when I was nine years old and my grandparents were babysitting me and my grandfather allowed me to stay up with him and watch Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis. June 8th, 2002, I will remember that day forever, I felt so cool, staying up late, eating snacks and bonding with my grandfather while we rooted for Tyson. Now that I look back on it, clearly my Pops had a wager on Iron Mike, another loss for gramps.
From that moment, I loved the sport of boxing, I got obsessed with the Rocky movies and as a young Italian kid, Rocky Balboa was like a mythical god, I looked up to him as much as any real person I ever met. I hung the heavy bag in my garage and would pound away at it listening to “Hearts On Fire”. Not to brag, I have a heavy bag in my garage now as an adult, it’s still in the box collecting dust but one of these days, I am going to buy a stand for it. If i do, I guess I will have to find a new place for all those coats because heavy bags make a phenomenal DIY coat rack if you are in the market.
On Saturday night we are treated to a phenomenal rematch for the Heavyweight Title between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. This is a throwback to the boxing that I grew up watching and falling in love with. These two guys are not going to do much dancing around the ring, they are not going to be doing too much dancing around the ring, they are going to want to hit and hit hard, for the entire fight. The fight is taking place in Las Vegas and as the kids say, Vegas just “slaps” differently, hope I used that correctly. Regardless, it’s the truth, Vegas and Heavyweight Title fights go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can feel the electricity in the air when you descend upon Vegas from an overhead camera shot knowing that two men are about to wage war.
The final press conference today was pure electricity, both of these fighters thinks and publicly states that they are the best in the world and those two differing opinions came to head when Fury and Wilder began shoving each other on stage. Is it all for show? At one point in boxing history, it was never for show, when Ali called out Joe Frazier or Tyson uttered the infamous phrase “i’m going to eat your children” that wasn’t fake, I can guarantee you that. While today’s pre fight hype seems to be a more WWF style faking, every part of me wants to believe that these two guys weren’t pulling any punches, no pun intended, that these two guys were ready to go at each others throats, that’s boxing baby. Fury made a claim that he is the reason that Wilder is involved with big time boxing and Wilder responded back that “when I found you, you were in your big house, contemplating killing yourself, so don’t you ever forget who brought you to big-time boxing, I put food on your table for your family to eat”. Those to me sound like fighting words, not the words of two guys putting on a show for their press conference before the must anticipated heavyweight rematch in boxing since Tyson vs Holyfield II.
Wilder comes into this fight at 42-0-1 and Fury is a respectable 29-0-1 and in their first meeting the fight ended in a split decision draw, a remarkable outcome that left boxing fans around the World in shock. The first fight between these two warriors was an instant classic, Wilder knocked Fury down twice, the second time coming in the 12th and final round with a devastating right hand. Fury someone got up and kept fighting and finished the fight, I thought Wilder did enough to win the fight but Fury’s will to keep fighting and get up off the canvas was the stuff of legend.
Both of these fighters need a win to cement their legacy as the best of their era in the heavyweight ranks and although Fury comes into this fight with a better mindset and in better shape than last time, I think I have to give the slight edge to Wilder. This fight could end at any moment, both of these guys bring so much thunder that one blow to the chin and this fight will be over. I hope we get a long fight and hopefully it comes down to a center of the ring showdown in the final round, all boxing fans can hope. Wilder likes to end fights early and Fury likes to extend them and get his opponents to keep their guard down for one shot to the jaw, contrasting styles usually make for some of the best fights. Wilder vs Fury II has a tall task to live up to the hype and toughness of their first bout together, but if any two heavyweights can match that type of firepower, it’s these two heavyweights. This is a must buy and well worth the price of the pay per view.