Proper trainer could have helped Wilder tame Fury
Deontay Wilder can reclaim the WBC belt and actually go as far as to unify the division. But I am convinced – after his 11th-round knockout by Tyson Fury last weekend – that he will not achieve that goal with Malik Scott as his only trainer.
That is not because Scott, who was a capable professional boxer, is not good enough but purely because I base my opinion on Wilder’s performance.
They went into that fight, the third between these two fighters, with one plan and that was to knock Fury out. Wilder tried and it looked like he was succeeding after dropping Fury twice – in one round. Had he dropped him for the third time in that same round the fight would have automatically been stopped. Those are the rules.
Wilder tried very hard but sadly he was too wild and threw punches without aiming or picking the right spot.
There was no plan B. Malik could not bark the appropriate instructions in the corner to change the complexion of the fight. Malik, who is also a friend of Wilder's, could not take full control of the build-up, which was dominated by verbal barbs. Fury came up tops all the time and at some point he even insulted Malik and threatened to deal with him once he was done with Wilder.
Wilder needed someone to calm him down and teach him patience. That talks to working behind a jab while painstakingly paving the way for that big right hand. Wilder also needs a game reader who will focus on his opponents and change Wilder’s game plan when necessary.
That is where the greatest boxing trainer of all time, Emmanuel Steward – the Godfather of Detroit boxing – was the master. Boxers respected him and his views.
Malik’s biggest challenge is he cannot tell Wilder straight up that he lacks the basics of boxing.
Wilder has enough heavy weapons in his armoury to destroy any boxer, one of which is power, which saw him knock out 41 of his 42 victims. But he must first be taught about the importance of balance.
Another advantage Wilder has is his small physique. He should be able to float like a butterfly. Muhammad Ali did that with splendour – he would flick jabs while bouncing up and down. Ali knew he had a small physique, so he would not just engage in a toe-to-toe stance. But he would move side to side and at times fight on his heels and swiftly surprise opponents with his combinations. Wilder knows nothing about combinations.
He blundered badly by pushing tonnes of weights trying to make up for his small body. He thought he could stand and trade punches with Fury, who outweighed him by 18kg. Wilder was just over 100kg.
Fury did two things right – get under Wilder’s skin during the build-up and make Wilder believe he was in control of the fight as he pushed him backwards, when in truth he was taking his legs away.
The long and short of it is that Wilder must bolster his corner by employing the services of a boxing tutor who will teach him the fundamentals.
Look at Wladmir Klitschko, a physical specimen from Ukraine who knew he had no boxing brains but he had the size. So he went to the US where he joined Steward.
Klitschko held the world heavyweight championship twice, including the unified WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine titles.
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