Wilder vs Fury 2: Tyson's former trainer sheds light on Deontay's deceptively high ring IQ
"The foundation of any fighter's defense is his footwork" - Emanuel Steward
After waiting over a year to see Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury get it on once again in the squared circle, fans will finally get to see arguably the two best heavyweights in the world lock horns to determine The Ring's lineal and WBC championship on February 22nd.
Despite ending in an anticlimactic split draw, the first fight, which took place in December of 2018, may have revealed more details than most recognize.
While promoting the upcoming PPV event on BT Sport, former Fury trainer, Ben Davison, revealed in great detail a "bad habit" that both fighters had heading into the highly anticipated championship bout.
"There's a point here, and I wasn't going to mention, but I know Tyson is aware of it because we spoke about it before the fight," trainer Ben Davison discussed with BT Sport. "Fighters have habits and tendencies, and that's what you look for in training. If you do something too often or for too long at the top level, you'll get made to pay for it."
"What Wilder does is he'll bounce in one spot...not back and forth, he'll bounce on the spot. It's a mental reset. Something that Tyson does is that when Tyson touches his face and wipes his nose, I know that Wilder's team worked on it and went to throw."
Obviously being a fight of great magnitude, both camps meticulously prepared for their opponent, apparently studying hours and hours of fight tape, looking for any advantage to exploit during the scheduled twelve round affair. Both men ostensibly had a minor "tick" or "tell" in their technique, which signaled the optimum time to launch an offensive attack.
Davison explains that Fury's minor "tell" almost got him knocked out in the closing minutes of the championship fight.
"Something happened at the end of the eighth round, right before Tyson got hit on the top of his head, Tyson wiped his nose and touched his face...it's a little bit of a reset. This is what he actually did in the twelfth round (before he got knocked down)."
At exactly the 2:23 mark of the final round, Fury did indeed wipe his nose and touch his face with both gloves. This seemed to signal the appropriate time to launch Wilder's vaunted one-two with a follow up let hook that seemed to floor Tyson for good. Miraculously, the brave lineal champ mustered the strength and determination to beat the referee's count and continue the fight.
The talented British fight trainer expounds on why he believes Tyson got caught with Wilder's monstrous combination after successfully controlling range with his footwork and sporadic jab for the great majority of the contest, and what measures to take in correcting the minor "tick" during his preparation for the upcoming rematch.
"When there was space behind Tyson to step into, to take the distance away, he didn't do it. And I believe it was just a momentary lack of concentration because of that habit. But it's something to be aware of...so while he's training, if he does it, add a step on it. Add a little reset on it where he moves his feet. Change your position, and then it takes that away."
"It's something that Wilder's team was aware of and worked on."
The revealing detail exposed by trainer Ben Davison also sheds light on something Wilder has been expressing throughout the entire year leading up to the highly anticipated rematch; that he is indeed much more intelligent in the ring than most of his critics care to admit.
After stopping Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz in the 7th round this past September, Wilder insisted that he had been working on setting up the hard right hand throughout the entire fight...slowly closing the distance and finding the appropriate range and angle to land the show-stopping straight right hand.
"I had to measure him carefully because he's such a smart fighter and he's always dangerous," stated Deontay Wilder following his impressive KO victory over Luis Ortiz. "Going backward and forward, I was slowly working on finding range the entire time."
"My intellect is very high in the ring, although I never get credit for it. I finally measured him during the seventh round, I saw the shot and I took it. I pulled the trigger at exactly the right time."
Sounds a lot like what trainer Ben Davison described when breaking down Deontay's flooring combination in the twelfth and final round of his first fight with Tyson Fury.
Will Wilder find his opening once again during the highly anticipated rematch, and will he be able to close the show this time if he does?
Fight fans will ultimately find out on February 22nd in Las Vegas, Nevada!