By Charles Brun: Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin wonders aloud whether the two devastating knockdowns Tyson Fury suffered in his fight with Deontay Wilder might have lowered his punch resistance. Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs) is facing Fury, who refers to himself as the ‘heavyweight champion of the world,’ on September 14 on ESPN+ at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The way that Fury, 31, was knocked down in round 12 by Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) leaves questions whether the 6’9″ Brit can still take a hard shot without going down. Fury’s promoters at Top Rank were quick to steer him away from an immediate rematch with Wilder when they signed him recently, and it’s obvious why they did that. It would have been insane to throw Fury back in there with Wilder for a second helping.
Top Rank chose to match Fury against an obscure heavyweight in Tom Schwarz last June, and he easily stopped him in the second round without getting hit more than two or three times. Schwarz had zero power, and couldn’t properly test Fury’s chin to see if his punch resistance has evaporated or not.
Wallin has doubts about Fury’s punch resistance
“Fury showed a good chin and a lot of heart in that fight, but maybe those shots have taken something out of him too,” said Wallin to skysports.com. “It would mean the world. I would beat the top guy in the division and it puts me in a fantastic spot to fight for a world title.
To have this fight is a dream coming true. Now it’s time to show I belong here.”He can do whatever he wants in terms of taking me seriously or not. I’ll be focusing on what I need to do to be 100% ready for fight night, and I will be.”
Presumably, Fury has had neurological tests performed following his fight against Wilder to make sure that he’s 100%, but that equate to his being the same. Being knocked down the way Fury was in the 12th round, that’s a devastating experience. We won’t know whether Fury is the same until he gets hit hard to the head, and it’s unclear whether the 6’6″ Wallin has enough power to fully test his chin.
Why is Top Rank matching Fury against weak heavyweights?
While Top Rank boss Bob Arum says he chose to delay the rematch between them in order to increase Fury’s popularity in the U.S, it’s believed by some that the real reason Tyson was steered away Wilder is because the potential of lingering damage from his 12th round knockdown. Let’s not sugarcoat it.
Fury was knocked clean out by Wilder in round 12 last December. The referee Jack Reiss arguably should have stopped the fight on the spot, because Fury was unconscious. After Fury was knocked down, the referee looked at Wilder while he celebrated around the ring. He then turned and walked over to Fury, who appeared to be still unconscious, and he gave him a count. Ultimately what’s important isn’t the result of the fight. What’s important is whether Fury is suffering any lingering effects from the knockdown.
Fury is now about to fight his second non-puncher in Otto Wallin on September 14th, and it looks obvious that Top Rank wants to make sure he doesn’t get his chin tested. For any promoter that puts a bunch of money into a fighter that is coming off of a devastating knockdown like Fury did, you’re going to want to put him in showcase fights against powder puff punchers until you can cash out with him. In this case, Fury has fought the light hitting Schwarz, and now he’s fighting another weak puncher in Wallin. Top Rank is paying Fury too much money to delay the Wilder fight for the next 10 years, which is why they’ve signed for the rematch to take place next February.
Wilder: I definitely beat Fury
“I think with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said about his fight with Fury. “We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops, I think I won the fight.”
It’s pretty clear that Wilder deserved a knockout win over Fury last December, but the referee decided to play it old school by giving a count to a badly hurt Fury. Some Boxing fans believe that the referee would have played it differently if Fury was a no name heavyweight. In other words, they think Fury was given preferential treatment due to his popularity. So instead of the fight being stopped on the spot when Fury was dropped in the 12th, the referee gave a count while he lay motionless on the canvas.
Fury got lucky with the referee giving him a count, and he dodged a sure thing knockout loss by that move. Like this writer said, it doesn’t matter one bit. What’s important is whether the punishment Fury sustained by Wilder took something out of him, making him vulnerable to future knockdowns. If Wallin knocks Fury down like Wilder did, it could be game over for Tyson. Does the referee choose to give a count to Fury while he lays there unconscious like we saw in the Wilder fight or does he do the logical thing in stopping the fight. It’s going to look bad for Fury if he keeps getting dropped viciously, and the referees aren’t stopping the fights.
You can bet that Wallin is going to be head hunting like no tomorrow when he gets inside the ring with Fury on September 14. That’s why any heavyweight would do after seeing the way Fury was laid out by Wilder.