Opinion | Aug 22 2018

This is the right time for Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury

Is it too soon for Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury? Matt Christie deliberates
Deontay WIlder vs Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury v Francesco Pianeta

HEAVYWEIGHT super-fight Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder is set for later this year. No one should question the former world champion’s guts and belief in himself. It’s a wholly admirable move, and one that will erase the horror of the Sefer Seferi debacle which triggered accusations that Fury may well be lacking in confidence.

As we knew, and were told plentifully just in case we didn’t, Fury had to start somewhere after two-and-a-half years out of the ring. But Seferi, seemingly overwhelmed with respect for Fury, was a false start so glaring both could have been disqualified for their loved-up shenanigans in the opening two rounds back in June. Even the next opponent, Francesco Pianeta – whose world title shot five years ago was wildly undeserved – is so far behind Wilder it would, on paper, make the leap to the WBC heavyweight boss not only audacious, but preposterous.

It’s that jump from Pianeta to Wilder that has led some to suggest that Fury should wait. But Tyson and promoter Frank Warren should be applauded for going for the jugular at this point. For me, it’s exactly the right move at exactly the right time. After all, how many more Seferis and Pianetas does Fury need? In the past, Tyson has thrived when the odds are stacked against him and looked ordinary when they’re very much in his favour. And would anyone, even now, be that confident in writing off the Englishman’s chances? Certainly, given Wilder’s clumsy (albeit effective) style, it’s easy to envision Fury boxing rings around the American.