ON this day in 1971 Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier. It was the beginning of one the sport’s most celebrated rivalries, it was an iconic event and was just one part of the history that made the two boxing legends.
There probably is a lesson there for our modern heavyweights. That the best need to fight the best, something along those lines. Overcoming defeat, arguably, is part of the progress towards achieving something great. And so forth.
The heavyweight division ought to be in rude health in the year 2019. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have different claims to supremacy. They are big names, big men and big personalities. Nobody, not even Tyson Fury on a good day, is claiming they’re the second coming of Muhammad Ali. But surely these is something to be learned from the sport’s legends. Top level boxers deserve to be well paid, but having great fights is what they’ll be remembered for.
Recent history has not been a heavyweight wilderness, it should be said. Anthony Joshua did fight Wladimir Klitschko in a thriller to unify world titles. Tyson Fury did travel to America to take on Deontay Wilder. It’s the near future that looks more bleak. Joshua is fighting on new broadcaster DAZN. Negotiations for Fury to rematch Wilder hit a roadblock when the former signed a significant deal with ESPN. It seems likely now that Wilder’s next fight will be against Dominic Breazeale, probably on their regular television partner Showtime.
In the meantime we’re left with Wilder and Fury hurling quips at each other across social media instead.
Fury responded to Wilder calling him boring, asking the American, “Is that why ESPN gave me the $100 mil deal and not you? What you mean is your nothing without the Gypsy King, you big dosser.”
Wilder hit back. “The rumours are true, Tyson Fury, I knocked you into a concussion. Let me update your brain. I got receipts and it says you’re a lying rat. We’ll see who needs who and I’m telling you it’s going to hurt but you’ll get over it meanwhile let me drop this receipt,” he declared.
“Stop being a Clout Chasing Hoe [sic], Tyson Fury. Your boss [promoter Bob Arum] said that’s not close to being accurate in fact that deal was made off the hopes of a rematch with me and if I don’t bless you again you’re f****d you. Big, boring, no power dosser. I’m the champ.”
“Is somebody a touch jealous?” Fury wondered in turn.
Despite the flying insults the two appear no closer to securing a rematch.