Deontay Wilder Attempts Redemption Against Tyson Fury This Week

Image Credit: Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions

You counted Deontay Wilder out.

Admit it, so did most of the world paying attention. The Tuscaloosa slugger came into the ring in the most gilded splendor with the best intentions on Feb. 22, 2020.

When Things Fall Apart

But the traditional ring walk that led him towards a trail of 41 cold bodies via devastating KO was already fated. The cryptic skeleton king costume that weighed down his legs, allegedly. The supposed tainted water by his former trainer and American boxing gold medalist Mark Breland.

All and more were clutched as reasons why the man with the most devastating KO power the heavyweight division has seen since “Iron” Mike Tyson himself took an unceremonious “L.”

However, in the ring, for the first time, Wilder was overmatched. His opponent weighed a bulky 273 pounds to Wilder’s career-heaviest 231. The British self-proclaimed Gypsy king named after “Iron” Mike himself came in with the “fury” his last name bespeaks.

The Sound And The Fury

With a new trainer and Emanuel Steward acolyte “Sugar Hill” Steward in tow, Tyson Fury dominated Deontay Wilder, laying on him a mix of dirty boxing and straight finesse.

Then came the third round. With a brilliant left hook and right overhand combination rare for a man of 6 feet 9, Fury dropped Wilder in the third round. Reality began to set in for the Team Wilder faithful.

The fifth round saw more of the same when Fury knocked Wilder down again, this time with a body shot. By the seventh round, a flurry in the corner had Wilder looking lost, and ultimately his trainer Mark Breland did his job, saving his fighter from a potential canvas face plant embarrassment.

Breland threw in the towel, and with it Wilder’s air of invincibility and hallowed green belt, the WBC heavyweight title.

CompuBox data revealed that Fury landed 82 of his 267 total punches (31 percent), including 58 out of 160 power punches (36 percent). However, Wilder landed 34 of his 141 total punches (24 percent), including 18 out of 55 power punches (33 percent).

The Second “L”

In the aftermath, Wilder took another “L” in the court of public opinion. The excuses flowed, and never was accountability taken for looking complacent before and during the fight. The boxing world turned on Wilder, but in retrospect the fans were looking for a reason.

America never accepted Deontay Wilder. He was too dark, too country, and not corporate sponsorship worthy. Fury invaded America like The Beatles and took the core of America’s heart with his bad-boy antics and general badassery.

Wilder, of the same ilk, once famously said he didn’t mind killing a man in the ring and was destroyed by the press for it. It was crass but in line with the most significant heels of today from McGregor to Fury; however, Wilder was not the complexion for the public opinion protection.

Like Jake Paul to Tyron Woodley, Fury moved past Wilder and discarded their mandatory rematch for an all-British showdown against Anthony Joshua.

The Road To Redemption

However, Wilder then began to reclaim his former glory. On May 17, 2021, arbitration judge Daniel Weinstein ruled against Fury. He would have to honor his contractual clause third fight with Wilder.

Wilder seems renewed after adding a new trainer in Malik Scott and working on his fundamentals in widely circulated social media videos. He didn’t speak much at the news conference announcing their trilogy, and he has been having fun leading up to this week.

This Oct. 9 fight is Wilder’s redemption song, but it is also America’s. The British support Anthony Joshua and are not happy at all at Joshua losing his unified heavyweight titles to the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, so should America be behind Wilder?

Did he falter inside the ring and outside of it? Yes. But he is worthy of redemption.

He still possesses a terrorizing right hand, and the world is always ready for a comeback story.

Like Andy Dufresne in the Stephen King novella and cinema classic “The Shawshank Redemption,” Deontay Wilder crawled through 500 yards of muck and personal demons to arrive an opportunity to cleanse his soul in the squared circle.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.