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Tyson Fury: Trainer decision was bad timing; Mass confusion now?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Ut oh!

Tyson Fury is unpredictable and that's one of his many traits that make him special. However, it's also a trait that can get someone in a lot of trouble.

Rumors suggest things haven't been going well in training camp. And we stress, they are simply "rumors."

After all, we could be witnessing more mind games from Fury in an attempt to get into Wilder's head. Nevertheless, based on the details, it wouldn't be surprising if his training camp has been a bit chaotic.

Tyson Fury: Trainer / Training Issues?

First, promoter Eddie Hearn, who isn't involved in the Wilder vs Fury 2 card, indicated he had a change of opinion about who would win the fight.

"I thought Fury would win the fight," Hearn recently told TalkSport. "But I've heard a few things in camp...it might be rubbish, but now I do think Wilder's going to win the fight by stoppage."

Of course, it wouldn't be boxing without a little innuendo, right? As a result, many of us shrugged off his comments. After all, the promoters mainly responsible for the card, Bob Arum and Frank Warren, are rivals of Hearn's so Eddie's not exactly trying to sell the promotion.

However, within the past 48 hours, retired boxing star David Haye seems to have supported Hearn's claims. "The fact Ben’s not in his [Fury's] corner is the biggest factor in this fight," Haye told The Metro newspaper.

In mid December, Fury shocked the boxing world by announcing he'd released Ben Davison as his trainer and hired Javan 'Sugar' Hill, nephew of the late, great mentor Emanuel Steward.

Haye elaborated, telling The Metro newspaper:

"I thought this was an uphill battle for him anyway and I would have edged towards Wilder, but now he doesn’t have Ben… I haven’t heard positive things from behind the scenes."

"You can only go by what you’ve heard but having someone in your corner you’ve no history with isn’t ideal preparation for such a high-profile fight."

Although Fury does have "some" history with Hill, why did he make the change just 8 weeks ago when he could have done so following his bout with Otto Wallin on September 14?

Regardless of whether there's any truth to the rumor, Fury's timing is odd.

Of course, Fury downplayed the rumors and has always insisted he hired Hill in order to adopt a more aggressive style with the hopes of knocking out Wilder.

And yes, Hill is a direct Kronk Gym disciple of Emmanuel 'Manny' Steward who preached patient aggression and knockouts. Manny loved heavy-handed punchers with a tendency towards ring violence.

Problem: Tyson Fury has never been that type of fighter.

The more this is examined, the more credence the rumor gains.

  • Tyson Fury gives, arguably, two of the most impressive performances of his career against Wilder (Dec 2018) and Tom Schultz (Jun 2019)

  • He suffers a bad cut but unremarkably defeats previously unbeaten Otto Wallin (Sep 2019) who was tougher than most had assumed

  • Fury agrees to the Wilder rematch

  • He then waits 3 months to unexpectedly hire a new trainer, which is a mere 8 weeks prior the rematch, who preaches a style that's alien to Fury.

  • Rumors suggest there are issues in training.

That's a lot of soap opera.... The directors of Young and the Restless would be proud.

It's never good when a fighter changes trainers often, especially just 2 months prior to a superfight.

Each trainer has his own way of doing things as it relates to the regimen he adopts in camp and approach to preparation as well as fundamentals and technique.

Yes, technique.

The 'Peek-A-Boo' style for instance... Some trainers will say it's effective while others would insist it's a flawed way of fighting, even threatening to 'kick you out of the gym' if they catch you using it again.

Yes, been there and done that.

Trainers put there own spin on what's an appropriate offense and defense, and how to move, throw, block and parry punches, and so much more. 

Tyson Fury certainly understands the "basic" fundamentals of boxing and Ben Davison's version of those fundamentals. But, has he learned Javan Hill's version of those fundamentals in such a short time?

Rest-assured, they are probably nothing like Davison's.

Fury may very well walk into the ring a confused fighter. He'll remember what he worked on with Davison because they were together nearly 2 years. What won't be fresh are the new things he's still learning from Hill.

Larry Merchant analogy coming...And it's a true story.

In my Freshman year of college, I took back-to-back semesters of French 101 and 102 as an elective but didn't like it. So, in my sophomore year I decided to take Spanish 101 instead, and it was the only time I ever failed a class.

My Spanish teacher, after every exam, would always ask, "Why are you answering my questions in French?"

"If this were a French class you'd easily get a B, but this is Spanish so I can't pass you."

And yes, I still managed to graduate with a 3.0.

I was confused because after full year of college French, Francais was still in my head. It was my natural foreign language. When I wanted to impress a date, I'd instinctively speak French.

But unfortunately, I also responded to Spanish exam questions in .... French.

On Saturday night, will Tyson Fury do what comes natural to him while, at the same time, attempt to do something that's unnatural?

Will he apply previous tactics that won't fit in his new approach?

Will Tyson Fury, new trainer and all, get a F too?

... Profiter du combat.

 
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Wlad and Lennox
Wlad and Lennox didn't look good at all in their respective first fights with Steward. They won lackluster decisions.

In fact, it took several fights (including the Lamon Brewster fiasco) for Wlad and Steward to get in sync.

And those guys were Olympic Gold medalists :)

It often takes some time to adopt a new style, especially when it doesn't come natural.
Owner's reply February 19, 2020

* Correction *
Wlad lost his first fight with Steward

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Javan should prove to be Tyson's "Ace in the Hole" on Fight Night!!
Those are all valid points in your well written and insightful article, Mr. Cleveland!! And if Tyson Fury weren't such an intelligent fighter and "quick study", I would agree that it was probably a bad idea to implement a new trainer this late in the game. But the primary reason why Tyson decided to replace a very smart fight trainer like Davison is that he focuses on distance without countering effectively. If you notice in the first fight, Tyson does a great job of avoiding incoming fire, but really misses out on the opportunities when Wilder fell out of position after he missed. Fury could have made him pay after making him miss, but was too far out of position to land an effective counter. Emanuel really hated when Wladimir did that, and always stressed staying in the pocket rather than moving out of firing range. Javan is showing Tyson how to counter effecetively after making his opponent miss...it's something that he desperately needs for a more decisive victory. But great article, brother!! Keep cranking out the gold!!
Owner's reply February 19, 2020

Can Javan teach a new style in 2 months?

When you've been fighting a certain way for years, you can't just adopt a new strategy overnight. It's a lot like learning a foreign language.

Wlad, in his first fight with Steward, was far from impressive because he was still learning.

I've never been a fan of switching trainers who have guided you to success.

As someone who boxed for 8 years, I know trainers have their own styles and it's easy for a fighter to get confused because he's being taught something totally different. In the end, it often leaves a fighter worse off.

GGG might be experiencing this...

And why change a fighter's style if it has been successful?

Reminds me of the first fight between Leonard and Duran. Leonard intentionally "brawled" with the brawler in order to try to prove a point, and he lost. In the rematch,Ray fought the way he was used to fighting and made Duran quit.

And Fury knows how to KO opponents. Look at the Schulz fight. He certainly capitalized on opportunities then. Does Fury think he's capable of doing that to everyone?

I think David Haye made some good points about the importance staying with the style that got you there - and if you decide to change, give yourself time.

I also question the timing of everything. Why so last minute?

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