My Dad used to love boxing. I can remember being in our living room with the T.V. on and watching the fight when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. After that era of heavyweights aged out, I can’t really remember watching any boxing.
The Floyd Mayweather era completely passed me by. I might have watched 1 or 2 fights at a social gathering. I also missed the Manny Pacquiao era. I can only recall the Pacquiao v. Thurman fight in 2019. I certainly had no real clue who Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder were.
Around the second half of 2019, I began listening to a good amount of the Joe Rogan Podcast. The episodes that quickly became some of my favorites were the ones where fighters or coaches would come on the show and break down the mentality of a fighter – whether it be the diet, the confidence, the dedication, or the perseverance.
It’s a sport everyone can relate to. Everyone has their own battle to fight- from the cancer patient to the college student. (There is a valid argument that this same discipline exists in every sport but there is something about it being 1 on 1 rather than it being a team effort)
From that point on, I really just decided to learn more about it for both the entertainment and inspiration aspects.
That’s where Deontay Wilder came in. If I was going to get into this sport – I needed to become a fan of a fighter.
As far as his back story, he was clearly a family man who had gotten into boxing originally as a chance to provide medical care for his daughter. While his leg movement and positioning has been a constant source of criticism, he had an undeniable gift – what is referred to in boxing as “power.” It is often said that Wilder is not the most technically proficient fighter. However, his knock out power is undeniable and that is – as Teddy Atlas once put it – “the great equalizer.”
What made it really clear that Deontay Wilder was my guy, was his vision to bring the heavyweight boxing division back to the glory days of Sonny Lipton, Smokin Joe Frazier, Ali, Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, and Mike Tyson. Along with his desire to become (or for there to be) an undisputed heavyweight champion – two things that would only serve to improve the sport.
I watched Wilder v. Ortiz 2 and next up, was Tyson Fury. Wilder v. Fury 2 was really THE chance for Deontay Wilder to make his case for being the unified champion. There was a lot of hype for this fight. Tyson Fury was working with a different trainer and there were rumors that he was going to go for the knock-out. Based on those rumors and others, a lot of analysts were leaning towards a Wilder win, but nobody was bold enough to count Fury out.
After months of waiting for the day to arrive, Wilder ultimately lost the fight. After the fifth round, it became tough to watch. However, fans were still holding onto hope. However, once Wilder became unable to regain his balance and appeared to have ruptured his ear drum, his (former) trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.
It was a tough loss, maybe even a demoralizing loss, but isn’t that where the champions are made? The really big losses are what show you what is in you.
So, it was so difficult to watch the video that surfaced wherein Wilder made allegations that his former trainer spiked his water and a second allegation that Tyson Fury cheated. Let’s say that those allegations are true, at this point they are unsupported. There’s no drug test wherein Wilder tested positive for some foreign substance and there hasn’t been any investigation supporting the position that Fury cheated It is, for lack of a better phrase – sucker sh*t. There’s a right and a wrong way to lose. We’ll see how this continues to pan out but that video was disappointing. In other news, this week we should hear the fate of Fury v. Wilder 3.
(Note: This is written by a flawed human being and isn’t mean to be a harsh criticism just a genuine reaction)