If you were to walk up to 10 random people on the street and ask them to name a heavyweight boxer you would probably get predictable answers like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and of course Muhammad Ali. Maybe Lennox Lewis too. None of those fighters who would be named have been an active fighter in at least the last 15 years. In fact, in the last 20 years the state of heavyweight boxing has not been able to generate much excitement or create any household names. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are both hoping to change all that this Saturday night.
For those who don’t know, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are currently champions in boxing’s heavyweight division. Back in December of 2018 the two heavyweights fought to a disputed draw. Wilder knocked Fury down twice in that fight while Fury controlled the action during most of the other rounds with a strong jab and his superior boxing skills. The rematch between the two will take place this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Wilder (42-0-1, 41 Knockouts) who is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama is an undefeated hard-hitting destroyer. He has knocked down or knocked out every opponent he’s ever faced in the ring. Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO’s), is the super confident and loud-talking Englishman who checks in at 6-foot-9-inches tall. He moves in the ring like someone 130 pounds and not like someone the near 300 pounds he actually is.
When Wilder and Fury meet in the ring Saturday night, some 14 plus months since they first fought, they will be fighting for a little bit more than bragging rights. They will be fighting to establish once and for all who’s the best heavyweight in boxing today. They are fighting to become maybe the new face in whole sport of boxing. They are fighting to make the heavyweight division in boxing relevant again. Both fighters want to make a statement and both think they will do so Saturday night in both dramatic and impressive fashion. Oh yeah and they both have made it clear that they don’t like each other and know what they want from this fight.
“There’s no love lost between us. I want to knock Deontay Wilder out cold,” Fury told Dukes and Bell on 92-9 The Game last week.
“This time around he won’t be able to get up. Don’t blink. This will be a must see event,” Wilder confidently stated at the initial press conference last month to announce the rematch.
Both fighters know a lot is at stake for this fight Saturday night. Wilder’s and Fury’s legacies in the sport are on the line with Saturday night’s fight. It’s easily the biggest fight not just for the two fighters, but for the sport of boxing as well. The promotion for this fight has talked about it being “Unfinished Business” for both fighters. It could turn out to be extremely big business for the winner and the sport of boxing.
Many people like to mention that the sport of boxing is dying or even dead altogether. And for the longest time those thoughts weren’t that far-fetched. For years the heavyweight division in boxing was struggling to find not just a big name who could be a star for the heavyweight division, but big exciting fights as well. In fact the heavyweight division in boxing hasn’t been at the forefront of the sports world since maybe 1997 when Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson had their infamous rematch. Yes the fight Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear.
Saturday night for the first time in over 20 years the heavyweight division in boxing has a chance to matter again in sports. Two undefeated fighters, both in their primes in Wilder and Fury will face off and be the center of attention of the sports world. They are laying down the foundation to the potential rebirth of the sport of boxing to the masses. The winner Saturday night has a chance to become a household name in not just boxing, but the sports world as a whole. The winner could become that household name like Tyson, Holyfield, or Ali that people will remember 20 years from now. We will find out Saturday night if Wilder and Fury can deliver on all the attention the sport will have on it or will it be an all bark and a no bite kind of evening in Vegas. Like many I’m looking forward to finding out.