Psychologists will know that you have two kinds of conversations everyday: those you have with other people and those you have with yourself.
Those you have with other people fit within accepted but unwritten social and moral guidelines but all hell can break lose in those you have within yourself.
With no barrier to reason and no accountability you can think what you like.
Anything and everything is possible.
So when you start to weigh up a fight, you start to consider all eventualities without any kind of recrimination and without the opportunity of smearing egg across your face.
It’s probably around here that those who told you a fight would end a certain way will say after the event that they knew that a fight was going to end a certain way. They had possibly covered that ground in their mind and gone through a number of ‘what if’ scenarios – without, of course, actually telling anyone.
Give your mind some fuel and it can run wild, and sure enough as the trilogy fight between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder draws near, plenty of soothsayers have started to make a case for the American, or have a hunch that Wilder might be able to do something he’s not managed in two previous attempts and that’s defeat Fury.
But when it comes back to Wilder, we know what we’ve always known and nothing has changed. His best chance in a fight is a thunderbolt shot out of nowhere… maybe from the guard, maybe with his arms swinging from his sides, maybe as he launches his gloves from his hips, maybe as he moves forward or maybe as he’s being backed up. He’s done it before. It’s hard to close off your own mind and say that Wilder has zero chance. Then you factor in what you know about both fighters. The American HAS knocked Fury down before. Tyson did originally say he was demotivated going over old ground. Fury has had Covid, will there be any lasting effects? We’ve seen and heard from fighters who said they’ve not been the same after having it. Then you wonder if Wilder will improve with Malik
Scott as the main man in his corner, and how much stress Fury has been under with a newborn who just a few weeks ago was fighting for her life in intensive care?
All of these things leave the door ajar for your mind to wonder as you consider the unimaginable.
But apply logic for a moment and there’s only one outcome.
Although Fury didn’t get the decision in the first fight, he’s basically beaten Wilder on the front foot and the back foot. He’s maybe lost three or four rounds of the 20 they’ve shared and last time was a demolition that left Wilder searching for answers that he’s been unable to find within the realms of believability. And goodness me has he searched for them, from a heavy ringwalk suit to conspiracy theories about his own team and loaded gloves, he’s looked everywhere for justification as to why he’s lost without even starting closer to home.
Because when you assess the fight without allowing your mind to run wild, there is only one sane prediction to make and that is that Fury will again walk through the smaller American.
Yes, there is a chance he gets hit by something he doesn’t see if he’s careless and has a lapse in concentration and what if the cuts that took more than 40 stitches after the Otto Wallin fight reopen?
But you can’t make a fight prediction based on a Hail Mary punch.
Fury, never beaten as a pro, is quite possibly at the very top of his game and is fighting with an increased confidence every time he boxes. For someone who has struggled with self-confidence, the fact he’s now comfortable in his own skin has allowed him to become far more expressive as a fighter.
It’s not an arrogance he’s boxing with, it’s belief and there’s a difference.
Neither have fought since their last meeting almost two years ago but you get the sense that the scars run deep for Wilder and the superficial methods he’s used for healing them – layer after layer of excuses – will count for nothing once the bell goes.
What if it wasn’t his costume that took his legs away? What if the punches hurt just as much this time? That’s a stark reality he will wind up facing and it’s a lonely place in there, and even lonelier without someone like Mark Breland looking out for you.
It’s hard to see how 44-fight veteran Wilder, without any kind of tune up, can make the adjustments needed to turn things around.
Sure, let your mind run wild with different possibilities and enjoy the fact that we have another big heavyweight fight only a couple of weeks after the last, but don’t expect anything other than a big Fury win.