Fresh off one of the greatest heavyweight title fights of all-time, the Boxing Social team mull over its significance for the protagonists and the future of the division in the form of three questions.
What does this fight do for both men’s reputations?
Both men enhanced their reputations in what was truly a battle for the ages. Wilder truly proved his heart and warrior spirit – how he carried on fighting when all looked lost and he also looked totally gassed I will never know. Yet he never stopped trying to turn the fight around and ultimately he had to be nailed to the canvas to be beaten. Fury showed intense desire, brilliant recuperative powers and – most impressively of all – an utter determination to get the stoppage even when it was clear he was well ahead and could have boxed his was to a points win. He has long had a reputation as a cautious boxer, but he went out and mixed it with the biggest puncher of his generation in a slug fest. – Luke G. Williams.
Fury is the man. I can’t see him losing at heavyweight with the current crop of challengers, and to dominate a trilogy of both in-form, prime-age heavyweights really boosts his standing in the division historically. Wilder, he was brave, he came again and again, but I think his body slumped in the stool refusing to embrace Fury signals the excuses – and the hope – has run out. Beaten by the better man. Conclusively. – Craig Scott.
Think it takes the reputations of both men to another level. Wilder displayed the heart and bravery of a warrior who would have rather the fight ended that way, in defeat, than being stopped or another towel. His credibility goes up and with that power still there in moments when he seemed done he still remains one of the most dangerous fighters out there. Fury defies logic. That frame doing what it did and coming on strong at the end. He can do it all. – Shaun Brown.
Fury has cemented his place as the number one in the division. In the first fight, he outboxed Wilder for large portions, in the rematch The Gypsy King utilised tactics which took away any chance of the Bronze Bomber landing the punch he needed to win. This morning, he engaged in the type of fight that best suited Wilder and was victorious in emphatic fashion. Three very different performances which demonstrates that Fury is a far more complete fighter than many assumed. Wilder displayed great heart. His refusal to quit allied with that right hand still makes him must-watch tv. Wilder has been maligned for the best part of his career, but when he eventually hangs up the gloves, I think he will be remembered fondly. – John A. MacDonald.
Like Bowe and Holyfield, Ali and Frazier, their names will forever be linked. Much like Frazier in Manila, this was Wilder’s near redemption moment. Many expected him to be blown away, in the UK at least, but he sailed close to victory in an astonishing fourth round and proved his heart and credentials beyond question. Fury is evidently the premier heavyweight on the planet with another impressive win on away soil. He’d cause problems for any heavy in history. – Mark Butcher.
Was it the fight of the year?
Along with Estrada-Chocolatito it’s the leading contender for fight of the year for me. I would give Fury-Wilder 3 the edge because it provided the more conclusive finish and – as a world heavyweight title fight – it possessed a sense of dramatic occasion that Estrada and Chocolatito couldn’t match. – Luke G. Williams.
It was absolutely fight of the year for me. Drama, big men swinging away at one another, and a decisive ending. It was excellent – just as it was sloppy. Sometimes that’s what lights the spark. – Craig Scott.
It’s a contender. To see men that size do what they did is jaw dropping. It almost elevates its status. – Shaun Brown.
For me, yes. It had just about everything: every shot was thrown with bad intentions, the pace was mad for two men of that size, it had swings in momentum, knockdowns and a conclusive ending. – John A. MacDonald.
Great fights are often defined by momentum-changing knockdowns and this had three twists in the tale. The bitter rivals traded bombs with impunity and you never knew with complete confidence what would transpire until the end. That gives it ‘fight of the year’ status, especially given the high-profile nature of the event. – Mark Butcher.
What’s the best fight that can now be made in the heavyweight division?
I would love to see Wilder vs Joshua – I think that’s a fantastically exciting fight. But the fight I would love to see above all others is Usyk vs Fury. It would be utterly fascinating. And I think Usyk has the best chance of anyone to topple Fury. – Luke G. Williams.
The obvious answer is Fury v Usyk. But I’d still pay the price of a Chinese takeaway and a few beers to watch AJ v Wilder. It was intriguing/exciting then, and it still is now with vulnerabilities exposed. – Craig Scott.
There are so many. For me it’s Fury v Usyk. A fight that has the most ifs and buts, and its for all the belts. Wilder v Joshua, Ruiz or Whyte would be great. There are at least a half dozen fights I’d like to see. – Shaun Brown.
Nothing is straightforward in this division. The fight to make is Fury-Usyk, assuming the Gypsy King beats Dillian Whyte and the Ukrainian is victorious against AJ once more, oh and dependant on Whyte winning his upcoming bout against Otto Wallin. In the meantime, sign me up for things that can be made like Ruiz-Helenius. – John A. MacDonald.
Despite the results of their last two fights, I’d still like to see Fury vs Joshua in the UK, at Wembley or Tottenham. A British stadium fight is all that’s missing from Fury’s resume and Joshua’s role as a clear underdog should see him take greater risks and add to the spectacle. Fury vs Usyk has more meaning for the division, but lacks the same mega-event stature. – Mark Butcher.
Main image: Fury and Wilder at war in their epic trilogy fight. Photo: Sumio Yamada/World Boxing Council.