By Andrew Peters: This summer, boxing fans will be delivered the third installment of the Fury v Wilder saga. What’s clear is that there’s a lot a stake in this fight; an interesting question, though, is: who has more on the line?
The undisputed heavyweight championship with AJ awaits Fury. He made a big statement with his demolition of Wilder in their second encounter. Wilder was made to look like an amateur. He had no plan B, when a bulldozing Fury kept him on the back foot all throughout. This statement was heard by both AJ’s management and boxing fans around the world, and with any luck, that fight will be made once Wilder is out of the picture.
Fury also stands to gain more attention in the U.S. from another victory in more combat codes than one. He came out recently stating that he’ll be interested in fighting against UFC combatant Francis Ngannou. This would likely be a welcome encounter between fans of both codes in light of the disappointment felt by many with the Mayweather-McGregor crossover.
Wilder stands to regain his dignity. After the poor performance he gave in both fights – with most fight fans believing that Fury won the first encounter also – Wilder needs something special. This fight is a must-win if he dreams of one day having the undisputed with AJ. Naturally, a fourth fight with Fury would be required if Wilder prevails this time, since the overall score will be a wash. Many fight fans question Wilder’s intentions in this regard, though, given that he’s admitted publicly that he’s turned down big-money offers from AJ’s management in the past.
If Wilder is to win this fight, he needs to do so in a way that’s clean. He’s developed a bit of a reputation for illegal punches over the years. He assaulted Fury with rabbit punches throughout both their encounters. His fight with Ortiz was riddled with similar shots and numerous strikes with his forearm. Wilder is in desperate need of an image improvement, and an unlikely victory here would be the first of many steps towards that.