LAS VEGAS — As the evening began, Deontay Wilder looked as if he had stepped out of a comic book. The shoulders, the arms, the fearsome arch of his torso — it all suggested a character on loan from the Marvel universe.
Turned out, he was even more than that. He was flesh and blood and a vastly improved fighter, much of it owing to his new trainer, Malik Scott. He began by jabbing to Tyson Fury’s fleshy body. He remained violent in the clinches. And he knocked down the champion twice in the fourth.
As a rule, nobody gets up after Wilder knocks him down. But Fury — the exception to all rules — has now made a career of it. If Wilder demonstrated all the heart he had promised, it still wasn’t enough to beat Fury.
By the tenth round, Wilder seemed a superhero no more. There he was, sitting on the stool, waiting for the bell, gruesomely ennobled, having shown a heart no animator could imagine. His features swollen, his mouth bloodied, his eyes closed — the sight of him recalled what Muhammad Ali had said of his third fight with Joe Frazier in Manila: This was the closest you could come to death without actually dying.
It’s not a gratuitous comparison, but one that was earned — in blood, sweat and anguish. Fury-Wilder will be remembered as more than the great trilogy of a still-young century. It was anomalous in all ways. The nature of a these things is for the third fight to break the tie. That wasn’t the case here, though. While the first fight went into the books as a draw, it resurrected Fury — then a huge underdog — as a star. The second was all Fury, of course. Then, as Wilder finally toppled forward for the last time in the 11th round, one can argue that Fury-Wilder ended in a clean sweep.
What’s more, it was improbably thrilling every step of the way. “As worthy as any trilogy in the history of the sport,” Fury said.
Here were three fights that broke every rule, every convention. Fury and Wilder will be remembered forever…
Source : espn