On the 1st December in Los Angeles, and the early hours of the 2nd December in the UK, two titans of heavyweight boxing will come together in a fight typifying the ‘immovable object against the unstoppable force’ adage. It is the heavyweight champion of the world, Deontay Wilder, against former champion fallen from grace, Tyson Fury.
This fight gives Wilder the chance to silence the doubters once and for all
It is a match-up straight out of a Hollywood writer’s notebook, of two fighters each with their own fairytale story and staggering ego. In a combined 66 fights, neither fighter has ever lost a bout, and the reigning champion Deontay Wilder has knocked out all but 1 of the opponents he has faced.
Wilder only started boxing at the age of 20, incredibly late for a man who would go on to have the startling career he has had. He has defied all the people who said his frame was too skinny and too small, rising to the top thanks to a right hook with a strike akin to Thor’s hammer to flaw any opponent. However, despite his unrivalled success, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ has not received the fame nor notoriety of previous world champions, so this fight gives him the chance to silence the doubters once and for all and make his name as one of the greatest of all time.
Neither can lose or else they risk their entire legacy being shattered
Fury’s is a tale of tragedy. Beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, he recorded one of the most unexpected triumphs in British boxing history, claiming a points victory to win the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring and therefore lineal heavyweight titles. However, following that fight, he succumbed to depression and alcoholism, disappearing from the world stage and failing to defend his world titles.
In June of this year, Tyson Fury made his astonishing comeback having battled his illnesses for almost 3 years, defeating first Sefer Seferi and then Francesco Pianetta to set up the Championship bout with Deontay Wilder. In his own words, “if I can beat depression and alcoholism then what is a man with a pair of boxing gloves?”.
Two men poised to write history but only one pen
It is a battle of respect versus redemption, tactics versus pure power, the old king taking on the new. There may only be one man leaving that ring with their unbeaten record intact, but neither can lose or else they risk their entire legacy being shattered. Two men poised to write history but only one pen. Will it be Deontay Wilder who proves everyone wrong to go from serving pancakes in a dead-end job to becoming a ‘hall-of-famer’? Or will it be the ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury who reclaims his place on the boxing throne after going as low as it is possible for a man to go? One thing is for sure, it is going to be a fight that goes down in history.