It was one year ago today that Tyson Fury went into the ring in Las Vegas, destroyed Deontay Wilder as he’d promised he would, and lifted the WBC heavyweight title.
Fury and Wilder had going to a controversial draw in Dec. 2018, and after spending 2019 looking to make the WBC-ordered rematch bigger, they finally locked horns in the rematch, following another heated build-up between the two explosive heavyweight personalities.
Fury, not really known as a big puncher, had vowed to stop Wilder early. He didn’t get it done quite as exactly predicted, but he ultimately beat Wilder down, dropping the heavy-handed American in the third and fifth rounds, before Wilder trainer Mark Breland threw the towel in the seventh to end what had become a one-sided smashing.
A lot has changed since then, and yet nothing has really, actually happened in the ring.
The two were expected to meet in a trilogy bout, with Wilder exercising his rematch clause. But plans for the summer and fall fell through, obviously, in part due to COVID-19, and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO) also entered into what some see as something of a personal meltdown. He’s thrown out wild conspiracy theories that involve Fury having loaded gloves, plus Breland and referee Kenny Bayless being in on some kind of fix. He’s fired Breland, but hasn’t fought since.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) tried to fight in December, but the Wilder team blocked that with a legal claim. Last anyone knew the sides were still in mediation over that contract, but Fury and his team have moved on to targeting an undisputed heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua instead, which has been two weeks away from announcement for about two months now. He also hasn’t fought since.
We may still someday see Fury-Wilder 3, mind you. There would certainly be money in it, and a lot of ways to hype it. But for now, this fight is the lasting image we have of the Fury-Wilder rivalry.