Was the towel the right move?
That was a major topic of conversation after we saw Tyson Fury write a chapter on his section of the book, “Boxing, Theater of the Unexpected.”
Unexpected, because, really, the number of folks who thought that it would go as he said — that he’d go from 256 to 273, and use a brand new style, and KO Deontay Wilder — well, let’s just say most everyone was in a “trust but verify” mode when pondering the stated Fury game plan.
Fury at the post-fight presser reminded folks that he’d been mocked as a pillow-fisted fighter, but, he said, that’s only because he’d never properly sat down on his shots.
Yeah, those shots were thumpers. Of the sixty or so landed, you could tell by the third round that Wilder was feeling them.
One knockdown in round three, another in the fifth, people started wondering if Team Wilder would pull the plug.
Indeed, in round seven, a debate occurred. Head trainer Jay Deas at the post-fight presser said that co-trainer Mark Breland asked him about tossing in the towel while Fury landed in round seven. No, said Deas. But after a few more shots, Breland threw in the towel. Deas said he wished he hadn’t; Deontay is the sort of guy who wants to go out on his shield. Wilder said the same thing to Bernardo Osuna center ring after the ending.
Nonsense, I say. Solid stoppage, and full props to Mr. Breland for showing love and mercy to Deontay. Is there any question as to what Deontay’s kids would vote, throw in the towel or let dad be pummeled unconscious?
For the record, let me state for the record, I take issue again with Max Kellerman of ESPN. The talking head told Brian Kenny and Tim Bradley that he likes the idea of the old school-style, “go out on your shield” ethos, and that the top boxers are built from sturdier cloth.
Basically, he all but stated that Breland was wrong. Nope, Max is wrong. Again, just as when he took aim at Oleksandr Gvozdyk for being stopped by Artur Beterbiev. Kellerman said that Gvozdyk didn’t give his 100% to the task, that he should have given more of himself.
Bullshit, then and now.
Unless Max Kellerman is agreeing to pay for the medical bills for continuing care for catastrophic head trauma, he should smarten up and get with the new era. We know too much about head trauma and the effects down the line; going out on your shield sounds cool, but talking heads have a loud bark, then are nowhere to be found when a fighter pays a stiff price for being too brave.
Shame on Max, and anyone else taking issue with Mark Breland.
Breland has been in that ring, knows how it feels the next day, and he was positively heroic in choosing surrender. Everyone should respect his choice, and STFU if they feel otherwise, unless they want to start a $30 million fund for the care of the fighters.
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