Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder rematch could be ‘pushed back’ by cuts
Tyson Fury’s proposed rematch with Deontay Wilder could be delayed as a result of the cuts the Briton suffered in beating Otto Wallin on points in Las Vegas, says promoter Frank Warren.
Fury, 31, boxed for over nine rounds with cuts around his right eye and was later taken to hospital for surgery.
Warren said Fury’s recovery timescale could impact the Wilder bout, which has a provisional date of 22 February.
“If it doesn’t heal well the fight may have to be pushed back,” Warren said.
“Hopefully that will not be the case. It depends how it heals. If it’s OK it won’t be a problem.”
He added: “It’s not just the fight, it’s the training and sparring. He has to be 100% right.”
‘Worst cuts I’ve seen’
The February rematch – following last December’s thrilling draw in Los Angeles – looked ambitious anyway given WBC heavyweight champion Wilder is only due to fight Luis Ortiz in late November.
But the injuries Wallin inflicted with a third-round punch at the T-Mobile Arena almost led to a stoppage that would have ruined plans of a repeat fixture.
The ringside doctor was twice called up to Fury’s corner to check the damage and, as a legal punch had drawn the blood, Wallin would have landed a shock win by technical knockout had the Briton not been allowed to continue.
Former world middleweight champion Andy Lee said the fight would have been stopped had it been “any other fighter” than Fury, while commentator Mike Costello said he thinks in the UK, the cuts would have ended the contest.
Steve Bunce said the cuts inflicted “were some of the worst I have seen in boxing”.
Lee believes a delay to a Wilder bout is inevitable, adding: “We’ll see how the cut cleans up, but it’s hard to see him fighting in February. That’s one that will take six to eight months to heal.”
Speaking from hospital in Las Vegas, Warren added: “We are waiting for a plastic surgeon to come and stitch his eye.
“The cut hampered his performance but, at the end of the day, he prevailed. He will have micro-surgery on the cuts – one above the eye and one on the eye-lid. It gave Wallin a lot of heart.”
Fury’s father calls for change
Fury did no post-fight media because of his injuries, leaving trainer Ben Davison to field difficult questions as a result of comments made by the fighter’s father.
John Fury, who has not been able to travel to the US for fights because of previous convictions, said his son looked “weak as a kitten”, adding the display was “the worst I have seen from Tyson”.
“It looked like he had nothing after round two,” he told BT Sport. “At 18st 1lb, I’ve warned him and warned him. He is a 19st fighter.
“If I had my way, the lot [Tyson’s team] would be gone. If they keep that team that will be his career [gone].”
Criticism of Fury seems harsh given the nature of cuts that clearly forced him to change his style and seek a quick knockout as ringside doctors showed concern.
Davison, who has worked with him since late 2017, said: “If he was as weak as a kitten he wouldn’t have been able to do 12 rounds like that.
“It was his engine, experience, strength and size that was the difference. I am happy.
“John is Tyson’s dad so you have to respect him. Tyson was feeling prepared. You can’t do anything about a bad cut.”