On Saturday, February 22, 2020, Tyson Fury (30-0-1) proved to be the best Heavyweight on the planet with a dominant TKO victory over longtime WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder (41-1-1).
Aside from some success in the second round for Wilder, Fury controlled the action the entire fight.
What began as a high stakes game of chess in the first fight, culminated into a one-sided beatdown in the sequel that saw Fury prove his boxing prowess and definitively announce himself as the world’s best Heavyweight.
Fury’s victory was not only the most impressive of his career, but may have been the most impressive and emphatic victory in the Heavyweight division in recent memory.
With this performance, Fury now owns the most expansive resume of the current Heavyweight field and should be in control of who he faces next as the top dog of the division.
However, the current politics of Heavyweight boxing mean that things don’t always pan out as they perhaps should.
Let’s take a look at what should be Tyson Fury’s next two fights as he eyes a unification of the Heavyweight division.
Trilogy Fight with Deontay Wilder
According to Bob Arum [via ESPN], the third fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is now set for July 18 in Las Vegas as Wilder has exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch. Although the second fight was one-sided, Wilder always has a puncher’s chance which helps drive the intrigue of another showdown between the two.
Tyson Fury would likely look to employ the same tactics that saw him dominate in the second fight with the addition of the Kronk Gym team. Some may view a third fight as being unnecessary, but there are several aspects that could contribute to public interest in another meeting between the two Heavyweight giants.
While the match itself left no doubt as to who won, there were a couple of question marks that could be brought up. What if Wilder hadn’t been rocked early? Could Wilder have recovered if his corner hadn’t stopped the fight?
While these questions may seem inconsequential in the scope of the second fight, there is enough to promote and warrant a third fight, at least in the eyes of the promoters.
A trilogy between the two would likely be made bigger if Wilder was able to first get back into the win column or become a champion again prior to facing Fury again. However, Wilder has already made it clear that the next time we see him across the ring from Fury will next in a few months.
Wilder will look to answer questions, while Fury will look to erase all remaining doubt and strengthen his grasp on the crown of the Heavyweight division.
If Fury is successful against Wilder in their third fight, only one fight remains…
Unify the Division
It has been 20 years since boxing has seen an undisputed champion, with Lennox Lewis being the last man to hold that title in the year 2000. Tyson Fury could look to face his country mate, and current multi-belt owner, Anthony Joshua.
Joshua showed vast improvement in his rematch with Andy Ruiz, but Fury looked like a man with all of the answers in his second faceoff with Deontay Wilder. Fury would likely be the favorite in a potential unifying showdown.
While Joshua’s upcoming bout against Kubrat Pulev is not an easy task, if he does retain his titles than he’ll almost certainly look to unify against Fury.
A Joshua-Fury bout would undoubtedly be a huge event in the UK, but with Fury’s recent activity in the United States and the current appeal of the Heavyweight division it would be an event with global reach.
Additionally, the appeal of a single Heavyweight champion cannot be overstated. The public has been starved of the ability to look at a single fighter and know undoubtedly that he is the “baddest man on the planet.”
Fury and Wilder displayed a willingness to face each other in a high stakes, winner-takes-all bout that should influence other fighters to be willing to make the same sort of risk.
Hopefully, the Wilder-Fury rivalry leads us into a new era of Heavyweight boxing that sees the best facing the best, once more.