Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are the real rivalry of boxing, but more people show up to see Pompey!
A woman fainted while waiting for Deontay Wilder to appear in the MGM Grand on Thursday afternoon, but this was not a boxer Beatlemania. Las Vegas can do that to someone.
All slots and no clocks, it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. She might not even know she was part of a small meeting hoping to catch a glimpse of the WBC heavyweight champion.
Flash mobs also appear from scratch in Vegas. It is like Madness’ Our House, but scattered insanely over a city. “Something always happens and it’s usually pretty loud.” What happens this weekend is the biggest heavyweight title fight of this century, it is claimed.
For two elite levels, iconic boxers, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have had to deliver drama
Fury’s newest trick was to wear a blazer embroidered with his favorite taunt: “Big file”
Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury. And is it loud? Well yes and no. The wallet is huge, the financial rewards spectacular. The Stateside pay-per-view price is £ 62 and the withdrawal is expected to be more than one million.
Regarding tickets, they will bring you back as much as, uh, face value. That’s right. It is not a sale and the arena only has 17,000 visitors. That is one of the many contradictions of boxing. These men could split more than £ 100 million while failing to raise so much money every week to watch Portsmouth in League One. Boxing is now from the broadcasters.
On Saturday the usual famous faces will be in the crowd and the high rollers will get their compositions as always, but it is a British and Irish invasion that will guarantee the atmosphere in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Despite the fainting of ladies, Wilder’s status in his home country coincides with the double existence of boxing.
Wilder arrived shiny with his belt, but his presence did not excite the biggest fanfare
He was expected on stage late in the morning for a Fox Sports broadcast. Tyson Fury was already gone and was loudly appreciated. Not bothered or besieged like LeBron James would have been, but they like him here, they find him colorfully eccentric.
When Fury left the stage, we waited for Wilder. And waited. And waited some more. But it was an uncomfortable break. Not the buzz of expectation that would normally precede the appearance of an athlete of his stature.
The crowd did not grow with the spread of Chinese whispers. Some rubber collars were bored and drifted away, others stopped because they saw a crowd and curiosity overcame them. Floyd Mayweather’s manager, Leonard Ellerbe, came on stage and nobody really knew who he was, even though his client was the man who had raised the financial ante for the entire industry.
Occasionally television runners tried to make the atmosphere a little better, to promote the strange cry of ‘Bomb Squad’, Wilder’s slogan. But it didn’t work, Mike Tyson employed a member of his community as a hype man. Steve Fitch, known as The Crocodile, would be two minutes ahead of him through every public space during the fight week and the odds shout. ‘He is here! Mike Tyson! Pound for pound, the best hunter in the world! The worst man in the world! Mike Tyson! Guerilla warfare, honey! ”
And the scene took place, through which Tyson and his team would march, to pandemonium. Wilder needs such a bark that praises his talents. Instead, without brass band, close to anonymous, the Bronze Bomber stood at the side of the stage, waiting to make its entrance. He casually wore the WBC belt over his shoulder and, dressed in inconspicuous gray sweat, looked like the man who worked for the heavyweight world champion, rather than the man himself. And while he was standing there, the absence of a buzz was almost astonishing.
If that had been Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, at a place where football fans had met, there would have been chaos. Spikes, as individuals scramble for selfies, or just an observation, cheers, roars. It didn’t matter that a live show was recorded. As every reporter of the deadline day will confirm, fans are not respecting decorum on camera.
The match will be a record of the record after the December 2018 collision
But for Wilder, nothing. He just stood patiently for a striking absence of hullabuloo and when he was finally called, it was a muffled reception, except for a loud throat chant that came from a gentleman with headphones from the broadcaster. Boxing promoters paper the halls, but increasing the audience is usually not necessary. There was then a five-minute delay while Wilder had connected his microphones, dutifully cooperative, while the sound engineer carried out his subordinate job.
Camera on, he was a showman like Fury is, but no fighters have to work that hard on a Thursday to sell a show. Certainly not the heavyweight champion. Shortly afterwards Fury was back in the media room for a new round of interviews with broadcasts. At one point he gave a short exclusive to the young man who manages Conor McGregor’s YouTube channel and promotes his own Irish whiskey.
“You don’t have to hurry, he’s here for an hour,” said a Fury conductor. One hour. Lennox Lewis would do one official media day and not be seen until the weighing. It was absurd to see how Wilder and Fury tried to penetrate their way further into public consciousness, while this should be a competition that is not hard to sell. It’s that unique beast, a fight between two excellent, undefeated heavyweights at their peak.
How often does that happen? Wladimir Klitschko was beyond his best when he fought Anthony Joshua; Andy Ruiz Jr. was nobody’s idea of a champion. It is very rare for two hunters to come together, with so much at stake and in their prime. It is also very rare that a fight provides so many permutations and possibilities.
And no, this is not the golden age of the heavyweight division, but it’s not a bad one, and seeing Fury sat on the podium, nervous energy leaking from his bouncing legs and spinning fingers, singing for his last supper, actually felt good touching.
He is going to fight against one of the most explosive punchers the sport has seen. That’s Wilder’s bomb. And as that point gets closer, most of the money says that Wilder is excluding him. Over the past 24 hours, 80 percent of bets preferred Wilder.
It is very rare for two hunters to come together, with so much at stake and in their prime
This is the point where athletes withdraw into a world of intense focus. “They will both try to find time for themselves so that they can be right physically and mentally,” said Lennox Lewis. But here was Fury, dressed in his latest tailor-made headline maker – his suit was embroidered with the words “Big Dosser,” his favorite insult to Wilder – and made another sales pitch. There was even a plan to put him in a room with some YouTube influencers if possible.
And certainly, for £ 60 million, you could do that too. Yet, while waiting for the next connection, there were times when one of the most dangerous men on the planet looked almost vulnerable.
There have been some lurid stories about his mental state in this fight. If he loses, it would not be a big surprise to hear a rather frightening story for explanation. For all hype and fuss, the ring is the strongest arena ever left to the fighters, and Fury’s disease is just as real.
Andy Lee, the trainer of Fury, has talked about getting him out of dark mental troughs in the build-up several times. At one point it was considered to hire an Elvis Presley impersonator to raise his mood, the depression had become so bad.
But if Fury fights well, if he wins? It would give boxing its most truly charismatic champion in years. A talker, a cod philosopher, a hypnotic figure, unpredictable and brave, but flawed, just like all populist sports heroes. Boxing often appears in an existential crisis, but the only thing it needs is one big fight or one big champion and this is potentially that fight and that champion.
A potential win over Fury would give boxing its most truly charismatic champion in years
Wilder came to Britain in search of a challenger and Fury, to his merit, resigned. Joshua has more belts than the pair put together, but losing to Ruiz has degraded him. This is the division of Fury and Wilder at the moment, with talk about creating a trilogy.
And no matter how self-destructive it may sound – if there are plans for part three, what is the point of part two – then it is clear that these boxers have started to define each other and thereby define the current heavyweight division. They have unique styles and a unique rivalry that should sell itself.
That it needs the most difficult fields, says as much about the sport as the main players. Yet hundreds of millions remain at stake. Some seats may be empty, the crocodile may have broken its last, but even above Vegas’ cacophony the ringing of boxing remains loud.