By Scoop Malinowski
What made former Heavyweight champion great was his unbreakable confidence and total self belief in his powers and skills. He talked with such supreme confidence that you just knew it was real. The great ones have that – Bernard Hopkins, prime Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Fury, that ability to convince you of their invincibility by their tone and vehemence in their voices. Fury had it but that quality is gone now.
Look at what Fury said this week…
“I see something with Wilder. And I’m not going to tell anybody until I reveal it on the night. There’s a chink in that armor. My movement and speed is enough to disarm anybody. My length is very underestimated. Wilder has never fought anybody bigger than him and he’s never had to punch up before. He’s never had to chase someone down who’s moving. With all power punchers, they’ve got to set their feet. He can’t land power punches on the move. He’s got to stand still and that’s something I don’t do.”
But then, strangely, Fury began to backtrack and hedge – on himself. His powers. His aura of invincibility.
“Don’t get me wrong – he’s a tough fight for anybody. People think it’ll be this big war, but it will be a chess match, cagey early on. It is the biggest challenge of my career. If I make one mistake, it’s over. It could be over, because he’s probably the biggest puncher in history. Definitely one of them. I’m a heavyweight historian and I don’t believe anyone has had that record [39 out of 40 knockouts]. Being the hungry challenger, not a champion, gets more out of me. When I’m expected to beat Sefer Seferi, Francesco Pianeta or Joe Bloggs, I only do enough to win.
“But when you’ve got someone like Wilder, who is a real challenge, it’s different. I know I have to be on my mettle for every second, because he’s so dangerous.”
Then Fury did something he never did before the Klitschko fight. He left the door open for failure, he expressed self doubts. He showed weakness.
“I believe I can do everything I need to do. But you can never tell if it’s going to be good enough on the night, until you’re in there. As soon as I’m in there for 10 seconds I’ll know what will happen, I’ll know if I’m going to win or lose.”
Strange, uncharacteristic choice of words from the undefeated Lineal Heavyweight champion Fury. Not the kind of pre-fight message that will intimidate and psyche out Wilder, as Fury managed to do against Klitschko with constant insults, taunts and relentless verbal jabs at Klitschko’s personal and professional flaws.
Is Fury laying the foundation for the loss to Wilder because he’s in the pocket now of the American establishment? What happened to the mesmerizing unyielding, unbreakable, impervious Fury confidence?
It sounds like Fury has laid the groundwork for failure and the American establishment is hoping this win will vault Wilder to superstardom and unlimited earning and drawing power in the United States.
As has been said many times in this column, the American money machine is backing Wilder, not Fury. And you know what they always say: Follow the $$$.