Olympic gold medallist and European heavyweight champion Audley Harrison writes that Wilder will want to prove he can make the adjustments that Fury made in the rematch
PEOPLE are calling for a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua yet if he still wants the third fight, Deontay Wilder should be given it and the chance to get his revenge. Say what you like, but he was the WBC champ for a long time, made a lot of defences and he has a great team around him who put a rematch clause in on his behalf. The contract should stand.
Wilder has made enough money to ignore offers to step aside and can let the fight happen. The only way around it might be that Deontay and his team step aside, and then Kubrat Pulev does the same, yet we all know what it is like with boxing: you’ve got teams, managers and sanctioning bodies to deal with.
What I think is that Joshua fights Pulev, Wilder gets the trilogy fight with Fury, and the only way that doesn’t happen is if Deontay decides not to take the contractually obligated contest. I just can’t see him doing that and it doesn’t look that way at the time of writing. We saw that Deontay has stuff he needs to work on in terms of how he performed in the second fight, I imagine he was in the gym working on them straight after the loss because that first defeat would have stung him.
We have been in lockdown so he has had that time to work on the things he needs to work on. Money won’t be a motivation for him, if he goes ahead with it he will be doing it to set the record straight. Anyone who follows and studies boxing knows that for his entire career Fury has been a great boxer — he uses his height, weight and ability to his best advantage. Fury showed all that when he boxed Klitschko. Prior to that fight he wasn’t given the credit he deserved for his ability. Then he won the titles and people said: “Oh my god, this guy is the real deal!”
Now he is with SugarHill Steward and Andy Lee we’ve seen a different side to him. If you know boxing you know the Kronk, you know Emanuel Steward, you know what he liked to see from the fighters he trained. I had the same situation with Thel Torrance, who liked you to be an aggressive counter-puncher. Steward did it with Lennox Lewis, too, and with all the guys who had certain physical attributes.
Look at what he did with Wladimir Klitschko, he teaches you a beautiful jab, ring control, ring generalship, but they also impressed on you in the Kronk that if you get your guy going you take him out. SugarHill and Andy did a great job with Tyson. It is all about timing, distance and controlling that boxing ring. They took away Wilder’s range and backed him up — that was the key.
I had Wilder in camp for four weeks before I fought David Price, he is a very hard guy to back up. That is the key to what they did. No one had done that to him before in his career, which is why we saw the fight we did. No one had had the gumption to do that until Fury made those adjustments from the first fight. They did what Wilder didn’t think they could do and that’s why he won. Now Wilder has to go away and the question is what can he do to change the outcome?
It is still an exciting fight. Wilder is young enough, good enough and brave enough to get into the gym, figure out what went wrong and, as a fighter, he was unbeaten for so long so he will want to fix that. Fighters don’t want to lose, so when they do lose they don’t always want to give the other fighter credit. That is what makes them fighters. If I was in his position I’d push for the third fight, but they definitely have to change the gameplan to win it.