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Third Time’s A Charm? Deontay Wilder exercises rematch clause with WBC Champ Tyson Fury

Understandable, but probably unnecessary

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Boxing: Wilder vs Fury II

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

That was quick.

Despite getting outboxed in 17 of 19 rounds against Tyson Fury, and suffering his only career loss and career draw, Deontay Wilder isn’t ready to let it go without one more bite at the apple.

His contract called for a rematch if exercised within 30 days of Saturday night’s bout. Less than 72 hours later, his camp signaled their intent to make Wilder— Fury III a thing.

I’m of two minds on this one.

On one hand, at 34-years-old, this may be the last truly elite payday that Wilder can draw, to say nothing of getting a shot at his WBC belt — and the long-shot chance at unifying all the belts by taking down Anthony Joshua. You can’t blame a man pining for vengeance, having ambition, or maximizing his earnings while he can. And this fulfills all three prerogatives of the ego, in that Freudian sense.

On the other hand, Wilder, who proclaimed that he would have rather died on his shield Saturday night, very well could have done just that. After suffering a ruptured eardrum in the second, Wilder spent the next four-plus rounds with no equilibrium, no sea legs, and being teed off on by the Gypsy King. Watching the fight again, you saw how clearly hurt he was; Fury saw how hurt he was and in many respects laid off. It could have been a much worse beating. We’ve seen 19 rounds and Fury has been the better fighter in 90% of them. Also, is the public actually clamoring for Wilder-Fury III? I highly doubt it.

The last thing is that we really need to consider what kind of fighter Wilder actually is. He’s not good off his back foot and, aside from Fury, has never had to fight much from that position. Tyson’s father, John Fury, absolutely nailed the analysis four days beforehand: what good is the eraser of a counterpunching Wilder if he never gets to unload them — and particularly against a fighter like Fury, who eats punches to little effect? If you can take Wilder’s blow, you can punish D’s body, put him on his backfoot, and put him on the mat.

That’s what we saw in the Saturday. And, unless Wilder is suddenly going to become someone different than who he has been the last two decades, that likely won’t change in four or six months.

But, here we are: Fury-Wilder III, a fight few have clamored for but one that could be as redemptive for Wilder as Fury’s was Saturday night. Let’s just hope, no matter the outcome, that Wilder doesn’t blame another loss on a 45-pound costume, rather than being beaten by the better man.


Do we need Wilder — Fury III?

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