Fightful Boxing Newsletter (3/1/2020) Table Of Contents:
- Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 Fallout: What Happened? (Page 1)
- Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2: Where Do We Go From Here? (Page 2)
- Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2: Full Card Results, Review (Page 3)
- Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas Full Card Results, Review (Page 4)
- Latest On WBO Light Heavyweight Title Tournament (Page 5)
- News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 6)
- Fightful Boxing Rankings (Pages 7-8)
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 Fallout: What Happened?
The fallout to Tyson Fury’s stoppage win over Deontay Wilder was always going to be one to watch out for, but very few, if any could have predicted how chaotic it would have been, particularly in regards to Wilder’s entrance gear of all things.
Wilder's ring gear used for his entrance right before his rematch against Tyson Fury was certainly eye-opening, but the now former-WBC Heavyweight champion pinned that as a potential reason for his loss.
Wilder walked into the ring wearing a complex black suit that covered most of his upper body and included eyes that lit up. All that and more was part of the entrance that was used to honor Black History Month. The fight, however, went awry for Wilder. Fury dominated the bout, scoring two knockdowns en route to a seventh-round stoppage to win the WBC title and Wilder said his legs were shot because the suit he wore was too heavy.
“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is ... that my uniform was way too heavy for me. I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform," Wilder told Yahoo Sports after his February 22 loss to Fury.
When Wilder first wore the suit the day before the fight, he didn't think it would be that big of an issue. The weight of the full ensemble proved to be too much for him, according to Wilder.
“I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything," Wilder said.
This probably will go down as one of the worst excuses for a loss in the ring in modern boxing history just based on the sheer absurdity of it. Even if Wilder truly believes this, there’s no reason to say that because no one will come to his side upon hearing this and it does make him look weak.
If the purpose of saying this is to build some weird narrative for the third fight, then it clearly isn’t working. It’s not like Wilder has to goad Fury into a trilogy fight given that it is Wilder who has the right to exercise a rematch clause.
Maybe it is Wilder’s own way of coping with a loss and a performance as lackluster as he had on February 22. Regardless, the third fight will more than likely happen and Wilder will have to make some serious changes.
The other big story of the aftermath was the decision by Wilder co-trainer Mark Breland to throw in the towel in the seventh round. In that same interview with Yahoo Sports, Wilder said he completely disagrees with Breland’s decision and that he has spoken with his team in the past and that under no circumstances are they ever allowed to throw in the towel.
However, what Wilder fails to realize is that a trainer’s job isn’t to bend to a fighter’s will, especially when it comes to a fighter’s safety inside the ring.
Wilder looked bad in the rematch against Fury and looked like he never recovered after the first knockdown he suffered in the third round. Throughout the last four rounds of the fight, Wilder was arguably performing worse than he did in the first three rounds.
Seeing Wilder bleeding from his left ear and struggling to do anything against the bigger fighter in Fury, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that throwing in the towel to protect Wilder is the right decision to come to.
For as much as Wilder, and other boxers, want to go out on their shields in the ring, we now live in a world where we know enough about CTE and concussions to recognize that there are immediate and long-term problems associated with boxing or any sport that involves hits to the head to allow fighters to dictate when they should go out.
A full calendar year has yet to pass since the tragic passing of Maxim Dadashev, who died due to injuries suffered in the ring when he fought Subriel Matias on a Top Rank card last summer. That wound is still relatively fresh in the eyes of many involved with the sport and it’s easy to be overly cautious nowadays just to make sure that the fighters can come home to their families at the end of the night.
Even if it means losing a world title on a major pay-per-view, Breland valued Wilder’s life and his family more than being proud and borderline reckless in continuing the fight. Even if Wilder’s life was never in danger in the fight against Fury, in boxing, it’s always better to be too early on stopping a fight than too late.
As for the specifics of the fight and the business that it drew, it’s hard to deny that it was a big success by today’s standards.
The card, which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, sold 15,210 tickets with just 84 comps and a live gate of $16,916,440. The live gate did break the record for a heavyweight fight in Nevada of $16,860,300 set by Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield on November 13, 1999, at the Thomas & Mack Center.
In terms of PPV buyrates, early numbers indicate that it did somewhere between 800,000 and 850,000 buys and at $79.95, the show did at least $80 million between the live gate and pay-per-view buyrates. It should be considered a massive success on all sides considering the first fight didn’t even do half of that buyrate, but the resources used in the buildup to the fight may have still rendered 850,000 buys a minor disappointment.
FOX and ESPN worked together for the promotion of this heavyweight fight, airing a ton of shoulder programming on both networks, putting up ads on a lot of television programs on both networks as well as putting a television ad during the Super Bowl in early February and that alone costs millions of dollars.
The big picture regarding the pay-per-view buyrate is what it means for future collaborations between Top Rank (ESPN) and PBC (FOX). The one fight that many want to see both sides collaborate on making is one between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., which would be the biggest welterweight fight in years, (at least since Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia in 2017 which aired on CBS and did monster television numbers). At 800,000 buys, the two networks have to realize that making Crawford vs. Spence might not even come close to that number, so is it worth it from a business sense.
Crawford has definitely proven to be a consistent television draw, but his time as a pay-per-view draw has been less than stellar. Spence, on the other hand, performed adequately in his two pay-per-view main events, but isn’t necessarily a mega star in that regard either.
For that fight to happen, ESPN and FOX have to realize a collaboration between the two for a pay-per-view like that could yield something like 500,000 buys. To some, that might not be worth doing, but as far as making the best fights possible, it is definitely worth exploring.
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