Tyson Fury is the real deal.
There is a ton of hype in the fight game. It can often stymie the analysis and cloud the viewer’s judgement. Fighters are salespeople. They make their living by convincing the sporting public that they are the greatest of all time, that they are going to light up an arena and shock the world.
Some fighters believe their own hype and compete accordingly. Others pump themselves up with fake confidence and bravado only to deflate like ruptured balloons when they hit the canvas. Former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey is a classic example. She entered the cage in a such a state of maniacal self-belief that she fell to pieces when resistance emerged and worthy opponents struck back. Rousey thought it inconceivable that she would ever lose. She slumped into a deep depression following her first defeat, unable to face the world as a loser, a mere mortal.
Conor McGregor is a brash and arrogant salesman, but he has handled all losses with surprising grace and humility. He also backs up the hype, as evidenced by his recent demolition of Cowboy Cerrone.
As stated previously, Tyson Fury is a modern-day hero. He’s a man plagued by demons, who pulled himself back from the brink of suicide to re-conquer boxing’s highest peaks. He has been tested by the fire of adversity to emerge stronger and even more formidable. Fighting is in his blood, coded into his very DNA. The Travellers of Northern Britain have been fighting with their fists for the length of their history. They are proud yet disparaged people, but they love to fight, and Fury is their king.
During the lead-up to the rematch with Deontay Wilder, Fury was adamant he would win via knockout, having been robbed in a disgraceful decision in their first encounter. Pundits took this to be trash talk, another fighter pumping himself up for the sake of his confidence and the extra pay-per-views. Bookmakers agreed, with the likelihood of a Fury knockout victory showing the juicy odds of $5. The consensus had Fury evading the Wilder right hand to win by points, or not evading the right hand and ending the bout unconscious. As a classic boxer, Fury’s game is built of defence and evasion, winning each round while avoiding undue risk.
The Weakness of False Personas
During the rematch promotion Wilder came across as an unconvincing salesman. He is not an eloquent man and would often repeat a line that sounded tough or impressive. He’s favourite line was, “I brought you into big time boxing, you owe me,” an obvious fallacy. Wilder is also one of those strange alter ego types, performers who are not themselves when on stage. Beyoncé is another. She becomes Sasha Fierce and has described performances in the third person, like she is watching herself from afar.
This MK Ultra phenomena has afflicted Wilder, who slips into a gaudy mask and is transformed into the Bronze Bomber. His persona becomes dark and sinister. He surrounds himself with skulls, that has stated that the Bomber hopes one day to kill a man in the ring. So, could the Bronze Bomber, who only emerges on fight night defeat Tyson Fury, the real deal, a living walking warrior who lives his truth and embraces cold, hard reality? Would a fake persona be solid enough to deal with real life adversity, or would it cave in like a hollow vessel?
The Advantages of Authenticity
The answer was clear. Truth won the day. Authenticity paid off. Leading up to the rematch Fury changed camps to a more aggressive team, dodged the sauna and came in at his natural weight, and dominated the fight from the opening bell. Just as he had calmly predicted, he bullied the bully. He forced the power puncher into retreat. He took the result out of the hands of the judges and finished the bout in the 7th round with relentless attack that left Wilder bloodied, wobbly, and unable to continue. Fury was true to his word and emerged as the biggest combat sports star on the planet.
In today’s fake world of social media influencers selling improbable lifestyles to the gullible and easily fooled, authenticity is in short supply. But it is this priceless commodity that separates the actual winners from the fake ones. We are surrounded by pretenders, wannabes that talk a big game only to collapse when the battle gets hot. Tyson Fury is the real deal. Deontay Wilder/The Bronze Bomber is not. We now know that for certain.
May authenticity reign supreme.
Jackson Byrne – Combat Sports Correspondent