The first fight in 2018, one of the best heavyweight fights of the modern era, ended in a draw after Fury remarkably came off the canvas after a 12th round knockdown. He appeared to be cold as he descended to the ground, but managed to get up and continue throwing his hands at an incredulous Wilder.
“Finally I got it. I’m partying, kisses to the woman …” Wilder said later. “And then I turn around and there’s the Gypsy King, rising from the dead!”
In the second fight in February of last year, Fury clearly passed Wilder, dropping him in the third and fifth rounds before the fight was stopped in the seventh.
Wilder then accused Fury of using “loaded gloves” and continued to make those claims at pre-fight press conferences in Las Vegas this week. Thursday, the traditional face-to-face had to be abandoned after a heated press conference.
“You don’t know anything about knocking anyone out. You don’t have eliminatory power, ”Wilder said of Fury.
Fury replied, “Your legacy is in pieces. Apologies, you’ve been destroyed. No one believed you. They all laugh at you like some weak shit.
Most experts agree that Fury is the far superior boxer and, as he showed while rising from the canvas, can take a punch. Wilder is more of an agent of chaos, bringing chaos and raw power, if not a lot of technical prowess, to his fights. He is, as he will happily tell you, a knockout artist and has been called the most destructive puncher in heavyweight boxing history. Yeah, that includes a guy who wore black underpants. To win, Wilder must land one of his signature tooth rattles.
Although the antipathy between the two men is real rather than one of the fabricated oxen that characterized modern boxing’s “age of exposure”, they perhaps share more in common than they would like to see. ‘admit, both having struggled with serious mental health issues. .
Wilder, who is the father of eight children in Alabama, was a relative laggard in soft science after suffering from depression brought on by difficulty caring for a girl with spina bifuda. Before the second fight, he said: “In 2005 it became very difficult for me to the point where I lost my family and had a gun in my lap. I was ready to kill myself. But boxing got me out of this desert. It’s a dark and heavy profession, but boxing is also a place of dreams and hope. It saved me. I put the gun away for good. And here I am today… heavyweight world champion.
Fury, meanwhile, spent three years out of the ring due to mental health issues after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to win the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles. His weight shot up to over 180kg as he battled depression, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts, nearly knocking his Ferrari off a bridge at over 300 km / h. He said in these dark times that he “prayed for death daily”.
This week he spoke of his comeback, recounting The Guardian, “To get off the weight I was at, where I was in my life, weighing 400 lbs (180 kg), I couldn’t sleep with the light off, I was scared of everything, anxiety was killing me. I’ve come a long, long, long way. My anxiety was terrible. I believe anxiety is one of the worst things anyone can have. It’s fear of the unknown. crazy.”
Fury has been praised for using his platform to talk about mental health issues and encouraging others who are struggling to do the same.
“One of the best things I did was talk about it, because with communication you can overcome any obstacle. But by keeping everything to yourself and not communicating with others, you are a shaken and shaken bottle of champagne, waiting for the summit to explode. And you’ll have a nervous breakdown and won’t recover – or you seek help and try to recover. “
It promises to be one hell of a fight with Fury the frontrunner to defend his crown. Still, one way or another, you can’t help but feel that there is more at stake this weekend than the heavyweight title.
The lifeline is 13 11 14.