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Carl Frampton

Tyson Fury bullied the bully with amazing performance in Wilder fight

Carl Frampton


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Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder went toe to toe in Las Vegas (Isaac Brekken/AP)

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder went toe to toe in Las Vegas (Isaac Brekken/AP)

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder went toe to toe in Las Vegas (Isaac Brekken/AP)

Tyson Fury gave one of the best ever performances by a British fighter when he took away Deontay Wilder's WBC World heavyweight title and the crucial factor was his courage.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, it's 20/20 vision, and looking back at Wilder's previous fights he was always the one dictating because of his incredible power in either hand. He could box at a relaxed pace because nobody was putting any pressure on him and he just had to wait for an opening to land his big shots and the fight was over.

Fury, to his credit, learned from the first fight and realised that the way to beat Wilder was to put pressure on him and he went out and bullied the bully. Nobody had the guts to do that to Wilder, to go out and take on the puncher at close range, but Fury had the guts and the courage to implement a perfect game plan.

He was able to dominate Wilder with smart aggression, keeping the American on edge and picking him off. The only performance by a British fighter in recent times I could compare it to was Joe Calzaghe's punishing victory over Jeff Lacy at the Manchester Arena in 2006. Fury was punch-perfect - it was the best heavyweight display in years.

He is now without doubt the No.1 heavyweight on the planet and if the third fight goes ahead in the summer, Fury will win again because he has the answer to whatever Wilder can bring to the table.

The only disappointing aspect of an amazing spectacle was Wilder's excuses afterwards and one of his coaches Jay Deas saying that he didn't want to throw the towel in.

It's a confusing set-up because you don't know who actually is the head coach but Mark Breland threw in the towel and he was right to do so. The only argument I could see was whether or not the fight should have been ended earlier because Wilder was a spent force.

At the end of the sixth round in the corner, his head was slumped on Breland's shoulder.

I understand Wilder saying he wanted to go out on his shield but a cornerman's duty is to protect his fighter first and foremost and that's what Breland did. That's the difference between Breland, a former world champion and Olympian, and someone who doesn't know anywhere near as much about the sport. Wilder had nothing left and needed to be stopped from taking further punishment.

These big men are throwing sledgehammer blows at each other so Breland deserves credit, not criticism for the stoppage.

Then Wilder comes out and says the costume he wore to the ring sapped his energy and that was one of the reasons why he lost. That's just embarrassing. You can't say on the one hand you're a warrior and then start making excuses like that.

So now we can look forward to a third fight back in Las Vegas and it will be another good one. It may not be as one-sided but Fury will start a clear favourite. That will then surely lead to the one we all want to see - Fury against Anthony Joshua.

That would be the biggest sporting attraction in decades with all four world title belts on the line.

It's good to hear both promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn saying it has to happen and they can agree a 50-50 split because the fans deserve such a once-in-a-lifetime fight.

In the meantime, Fury can sit back and enjoy an extraordinary performance that has elevated him to being one of the all-time great heavyweights.

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Carl Frampton, Naomi Long and Paddy Barnes at Hydebank Wood in Belfast (Presseye/PA)

Carl Frampton, Naomi Long and Paddy Barnes at Hydebank Wood in Belfast (Presseye/PA)

Carl Frampton, Naomi Long and Paddy Barnes at Hydebank Wood in Belfast (Presseye/PA)

More proof boxing is great education

In last week's column, I made the case for boxing being promoted in schools and this week when I made a visit to the Hydebank young offenders' and women's prison it just convinced me even more about how the sport can transform lives.

In a follow-up to my article, I know that the Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster put out a tweet stating "Carl Frampton says boxing should be taught alongside English and maths in schools" which didn't reflect my thoughts.

I'm not saying it should be a subject like maths, English or history - the point I'm making is that it should be an option on the PE curriculum. It should be an after-school option as well, even if it is non-contact.

Those at Hydebank had gone through a six-week programme of non-contact boxing training. They were shadow boxing, learning footwork drills, skipping and hitting the pads. When Paddy Barnes, Justice Minister Naomi Long and I went to see how it had gone, the prison authorities told us they were amazed at the positive impact.

The prisoners all gave great feedback and described how even in that short space of time it had improved their mental health and one woman described how she had lost weight and that in itself had helped her.

It was so successful they are now planning to spread it out across more prisons and have longer programmes.

Getting back to schools, this kind of programme brought into schools by qualified amateur boxing coaches has the potential to help so many kids - boys and girls who could be put on a path that means they don't end up in prison one day. That's the stark reality of the effect boxing has in working class areas.

It's a sport that clearly invokes respect in people and that is badly needed in our society. There is a great lack of respect shown towards adults, and boxing can address that because it automatically gives that to kids - it offers self-respect and that then relates to giving respect to others.

Boxing also gives kids a competitive edge for life. This is crucial because we seem to have a generation of too many snowflakes. Competitiveness seems to have been lost a lot on schools and that doesn't set you up well for what life can throw at you.

Boxing shows kids how hard you have to train to be successful, the discipline required in training to be the best you can be and how if you're not then you fail.

I really feel the education authority needs to be awakened to the good boxing can do.

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