Saturday night saw long-time WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (41-1-1) fall at the hands of the Lineal champion, Tyson Fury (30-0-1) in their highly-anticipated rematch that turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Wilder looked like a beaten man following a devastating blow that landed in the third round. That punch looked to have possibly resulted in not only a ruptured eardrum, but also a broken jaw (pending medical report). From then on, Wilder was not the same menacing presence we have come to know.
Through the remainder of the bout, Fury effectively brought pressure and continued to punish Wilder, sending him to the canvas another time in the fifth round before finally finishing Wilder in the seventh round.
Wilder has had other bouts in which he has shown vulnerabilities. However, in all of those fights he was able to erase those flaws with his right hand. He has never looked more beatable than he did on Saturday night, to the credit of Fury’s effective smothering style.
It is always interesting to see how a fighter responds to their first loss, especially considering the manner in which Wilder’s “0” was taken.
Recently, we saw Anthony Joshua exercise his rematch clause immediately following his loss to Andy Ruiz; Wilder has the opportunity to do the same with Fury.
So, what’s next for now former Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder?
Make Training Adjustments
I am not one for immediately firing trainers following a first loss, but a change of sort might finally be in order for Deontay Wilder. A new set of eyes and another mind could prove beneficial for Wilder at this point of his career.
Wilder displayed troubling tendencies in the ring against Fury. Particularly, Wilder’s deficiencies on the defensive end could result in a shortened career if the proper adjustments aren’t made in order to minimize that type of damage from occurring.
A criticism during and following the bout was Wilder’s corner’s inability to make in-fight adjustments. Wilder had no answers for Fury, and his corner was not able to assist him in solving the puzzle.
Sometimes, a trainer’s word can fall on deaf ears after years of a fighter hearing the same thing. Perhaps now is a time for change. However, there is something to be said about a fighter maintaining comfort and familiarity with coaching.
Wilder will likely look to maintain at least a certain level of consistency, so bringing in another trainer to supplement what he already has is the most likely route.
Additionally, Wilder has stated in the past that he has a disdain for road work. This bout with Fury exemplified the necessity of running in preparation of a hard-fought bout. Wilder needed his legs in this fight, but his legs were not there for him.
It is important for Wilder to make slight and subtle changes to improve himself without overreacting and completely changing everything that has brought him success thus far.
Responding from a loss is an inexact science, but how a fighter responds in his training is always of vital importance.
Trilogy Bout with Tyson Fury
The trilogy bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder seems as though it is the most likely next step in Wilder’s career. The post-fight press conference was geared towards the existence of a third fight being a top priority.
The next time Wilder steps in the ring with Fury, he will likely and rightfully be a heavy underdog. Wilder will clearly need to make adjustments in order to change the outcome of the second bout.
Of course, Wilder has a chance in any bout he is in with his historic level of power.
But, to beat Fury, Wilder will need to look to improve his stamina and utilize his jab effectively. More importantly, he will need to find a home for his right hand.
Fight Someone Not Named Tyson Fury
Possibly, the best course of action would be for Deontay Wilder to look to have a “tune-up” fight of sorts in aims of improving on areas in which he will need to have more success in against Tyson Fury.
An immediate rematch may not allocate Wilder enough time to effectively make the necessary changes.
A bout with another title contending level opponent may be exactly what the doctor ordered for The Bronze Bomber.
Someone like Joseph Parker could provide a World Champion level challenge and the prestige of a former champion with relatively low risk.
Possibly the most unlikely, but still attractive, would be a showdown with Anthony Joshua.
Now, with Wilder coming off a loss, it might be more difficult to sell, but Joshua would certainly be able to demand the lions-share of profit in the bout which could help speed up negotiation (or, maybe not, this is boxing).
A fight with Joshua would allow Wilder the opportunity to improve himself outside of facing Fury, while also having the chance of claiming a couple of pieces of the Heavyweight title and catapulting himself back to the top of the conversation.
Additionally, with Wilder potentially being a newly crowned champion, it would only expand the magnitude of a trilogy bout with Tyson Fury.