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Kal Yafai is Britain's longest reigning world champion, but he nearly let his world title slip away before a career-defining clash with Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez.
By: Kirk JacksonThere’sa fork in the road with two paths to take. One false misstep, can lead towardsan ill-fated pathway of no return.One path,is opting into an immediate rematch against the highly sophisticated, 6-foot-9,270 lbs. plus sized behemoth. The scenario of overcoming this measure ofadversity to some, may appear as the first step in a thousand-mile march. Somemay deem the task impossible altogether.Theother path opposite of an immediate rematch, is to meditate over the previousdefeat, aim towards improvement, grind towards craft refinement, while fightingdifferent, (and in most cases) lesser opposition, working towards redemption.This isthe scenario former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder(42-1-1, 41 KO’s) is faced with. Pride and competitive nature may suggest tohim, seek an immediate rematch.Accordingto terms of the two-fight contracts Wilder and “The Gypsy King” Tyson Furysigned in 2019, Wilder is owed a third bout against Fury, without any bouts foreither boxer between their second and third encounters. Wilder has 30 days fromFeb. 22 to exercise that contractual right. That proposed third bout would takeplace at some point during the summer. Whilethere is dissension amongst Wilder’s team at the moment, his head trainer JayDeas, hinted at the third bout transpiring in the immediate future.“Myguess is knowing him like I do that he will absolutely want to rematch,” saidDeas. “And, I mean, these guys have put on two tremendous fights already. So, Icertainly think that the public will want it. And I think we’ll want it. And Ithink Fury’s team will want it. And so, it seems a natural. So, I think that’swhat you’ll see happen.”Wilder’steam seemingly wants the third fight, but one of Fury’s handlers appearsopposed to it at the juncture.“Iprefer to go straight to (Anthony) Joshua, but that is the contract,” Frank Warrensaid to English publication, BBC Sport.“It hasto be honored unless we can reach some accommodation for him to step aside. Wecould pay him to step aside if he wants to do that, but that is his choice. Itwould be lucrative for (Wilder), but I have spoken to his manager and Deontaydoes believe he has the beating of Tyson, and he can knock him out. I don'tbelieve that. I fancied Tyson to stop him before the fight at the weekend. Ifhe insists on the fight, we're locked into it.”Joshuais the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion and a unification boutwith Fury would be historic and should be financially lucrative. However makeno mistake, the third bout between familiar foes would be lucrative for WilderAND for Fury. Due to the performance of the rematch this weekend, the thirdbout would trend towards favorable numbers as well.The MGMGrand Garden Arena was packed to capacity with a sellout crowd of 15,816 and thelive gate produced $16,916,440 in ticket revenue. Also confirmed by a MGMResorts International official, the live gate for Wilder-Fury II broke theNevada record for a heavyweight fight.Forcompetitive and lucrative motives, there is reason to pursue the third fight.On the other end for Wilder, it can be argued, the best decision to make is anon-emotionally based decision. There isnothing wrong with regrouping and fine tuning your craft. It’s important toremember, Fury did that very same thing after the first encounter with Wilderin December 2018.https://youtu.be/2k_Ia3NVwBcFormermulti-divisional champion, future Hall of Famer and current ESPN Boxing AnalystAndre Ward, eloquently stated some of the road blocks that stand in front ofWilder and the tall task required to overcome. Ward advocates Wilder to go backto the drawing board, before challenging Fury again. Eitherchoice Wilder decides to pursue, something to keep in mind is not overreactingto the results of this past weekend.Thereisn’t a blank canvas, regarding what Wilder needs to do and to what he can doagainst Fury. Contrary to popular belief, he experienced success against Furyand “The Gypsy King” himself acknowledged Wilder’s improvements in betweenfights.“I feltlike Deontay’s jab had improved, and he did take his time more, like he said hewould,” Fury said. “Yeah, and he was using his jab quite well, actually. I wasvery impressed with his double-jab that he was using. And credit to his teamfor applying that in this fight, because when you’ve got two giant guys, Ithink the jab is very important. It sets everything up.”“Soyeah, I thought he was definitely an improved fighter to what I fought before.And he was heavier. I wasn’t able to bully him around, as I did last time, inclose, because he was a lot heavier than he ever was. So yeah, I did seeimprovements in his game. But tonight was my night, and I was never gonna letanybody take it from me.”Asdocumented, following Fury’s first encounter with Wilder, he took two tune-upsagainst lesser known, lowly rated opposition; Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KO’s) andOtto Wallin (20-1, 13 KO’s) respectively.While itwas implied by some analysts and boxing personalities, thatWilder did not want an immediate rematch Fury the first go-around, his actionsafter their first encounter suggested otherwise. How the rematch unfolded andhow he generally carries himself overall, suggests that he wants immediaterevenge and retaliation. https://twitter.com/bronzebomber/status/1100758625440710662?lang=enBut thistime around, it may be more beneficial for Wilder to fight a tune-up or two,before hurling back into the fire of Fury. If others have opted for a similarroute past and present, why can’t he? If others get a pass for doing so,shouldn’t he as well? Or will double-standards apply?And ifWilder is to take a subsequent tune-up or two, who would the opponents beagainst? Premier Boxing Champions stablemates Adam Kownacki, Charles Martin orAndy Ruiz? Or overseas rival Dillian Whyte? Or someone similar to Otto Wallin?Thepursuit of the immediate rematch or the choice of chasing revenge later downthe line, is what Wilder is pitted with.Becauseit will take more than heart and desire to dethrone the king of the hill. Ittakes more than a right hand, it will take everything including the kitchensink.Wilder’sascension back to the top is figuring out the Rubik’s cube that is Fury. How doyou overcome a 6-feet-9, 273-pound virtuoso who can punch? How do you contend witha fighter who is also willing to get physical, tenacious and will use any meansto secure victory? Perhapsthe answers lie within the quest. Some of the pieces may be sorted throughdevelopment and facing others in route to the rematch. To quote Americanmarathon runner and author Kathrine Switzer, “Triumph over adversity, that’swhat the marathon is all about. Nothing in life can’t triumph after that.”One loss should not bea death sentence. One singular defeat should not indicate a fighter is a sucks,especially considering said fighter’s historic accomplishments. But that’s nothow the current climate of boxing works. In many cases, all it takes is for oneloss to for the fighter to be considered fraudulent. Notwanting to be ordinary, daring to be great, Wilder wants more. If “The BronzeBomber” is to reclaim his crown, he must cross that abyss of danger, thecavernous river of peril and stake his claim as king. Just as “The Gypsy King”did before him. So whichpath will he take?The post Deontay Wilder: Crossing the Rubicon appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.
By: Sean Crose Top level boxers make top level money. This is especially true when said boxers are engaged in top level fights. With that in mind, it's clear that both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder made a boatload from their heavyweight title rematch last Saturday night in Las Vegas. The fight, which Fury won by what was essentially a one sided beatdown, lasted less than seven full rounds. In an era where many work by the hour, iTech Media has taken the liberty of breaking down Wilder and Fury's pay for the general public. Those who resent athletes making enormous sums of moola might want to stop reading right about now.Judging from the amount Fury and Wilder earned last weekend, iTech states that “if both fighters worked a 40-hour work- week, their annual salary for the fight would be 3 billion!” That's billion, not million. What's more, “the new heavyweight champion earned $93,633 for every shot he threw at Wilder across just over 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the dethroned American secured $177,305 for every punch he attempted in his maiden professional career defeat.” That, to quote Lee Van Cleef in “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly,” is “a tidy sum.”Yet there's more. According to iTech, “Wilder and Fury both earned more than 20 times as much as every other fighter that featured on the card combined.” As for Sade's dictum that “it's never as good as the first time,” iTech has provided a counterpoint regarding last weekend's rematch. “Wilder was assured of $4 million the first time around,” it reports, “with Fury seeing an income of $3 million. But they both were guaranteed at least $25 million in this follow-up encounter, before even getting their 50-50 split of the PPV (Pay Per View) on top.” And the costume Wilder now at least partially blames his loss to Fury on? ITech took a look at that, as well. “Wilder,” the company says, “forked out a massive $40,000 on his extravagant ring walk outfit!” Looks like the getup may have cost the man in more ways than one.Also worth noting is the fact iTech took a look at the social media presence of the fighters. “Throughout the duration of the actual content,” iTech claims, “Fury saw a rise of 400,000 followers on Instagram and 105,788 on Twitter. Wilder, despite coming up short for the first time, gained 200,000 and 28,762 on Instagram and Twitter respectively.” The post Fury Earned $93,633 Per Punch Against Wilder appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.