Deontay Wilder will need to revamp his gameplan if he wants to seek revenge and recapture the WBC heavyweight crown he dropped to Tyson Fury in February.
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is currently recovering from a biceps injury sustained in the loss that later required surgery, and he’s admitted to keeping his core team intact with trainers Jay Deas and Mark Breland. Yet, he’s seeking outside counsel from the likes of George Foreman so that he can beat Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs).
Fury co-trainer Andy Lee (35-3-1 24 KOs), a former middleweight titleholder who retired in 2017 and joined the British boxer’s corner along with head trainer SugarHill Steward for the rematch, offered his advice on what Wilder needs to do to successfully to have a shot in the trilogy.
“He has to try and be more aggressive and improve his balance, which is not an easy thing to do. He was taken aback by Tyson’s pressure. When a big man is coming at you like that, it feels like you’re in quicksand,” Lee told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“It’s something he needs to be working on now, even, when there is nothing happening [because of coronavirus]. I’ve watched the fight several times, and his balance did not look good to me. I know he’s had a lot of excuses, but maybe there was some issue. I think he definitely got his ear drum busted, which would affect your balance. I heard they are bringing Joe Goossen into his camp. That would be a good move. He’s a good, respected trainer.”
Immediately following the fight, Wilder attributed his lackluster performance due to the heavy artillery he wore for his ring walk. Ultimately, the attire sucked the life out of his legs, he said.
Lee countered and said Wilder has gotten better since the first fight with Fury in 2018, a controversial draw, because he had two great knockouts against Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz in 2019.
“[Wilder and Fury] looked like two completely different fighters compared to how the first fight went,” said Lee. “Tyson has a jab that will damage. He’s made huge improvements. The thing is, he’s only going to continue to improve and get better and better.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.