Tyson Fury Refuses to Make Deontay Wilder Rematch About Race

Wilder vs. Fury 2

Getty Boxers Deontay Wilder (L) and Tyson Fury (R) face-off during a press conference in Los Angeles, California.

Reporters keep asking Tyson Fury about his upcoming rematch against Deontay Wilder and how that relates to race relations in the U.S., and Fury keeps shutting them down over the matter.

Fury, 31, from England, takes on Wilder, 34, from the U.S. on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be telecast via pay-per-view as a joint-collaboration between Fox Sports and ESPN.

The fighters fought to a draw in December 2018. During that contest, Wilder knocked down Fury twice in the fight but was largely outboxed over the rest of the bout to leave judges knotted in a split draw verdict. The two undefeated heavyweights meet again this weekend after notching two straight wins to each remain undefeated.

That story alone would seem enough for Wilder vs. Fury 2 to sell on its own. Add to it that both Fury and Wilder lay claim to a portion of the heavyweight championship and are considered the top two heavyweight boxers in the world today according to The Ring magazine and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and the fight seems suited to do well without bringing anything else to the story.

But that hasn’t kept reporters from trotting out racial tropes and paradigms.

In one instance, Sporting News’ Andreas Hale, following several questions to Wilder over it being Black History Month, asked Fury if Wilder would be able to win a decision against Fury, seemingly insinuating that Wilder, who is an African-American, wouldn’t be able to get the nod from the judges because Fury is caucasian.


Similar Thing Happened On Fox Sports Show

A similar thing happened when Fury appeared on “Speak For Yourself”, a Fox Sports show hosted by famed sportscasters Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock. During that appearance, Whitlock asked Fury about the so-called “racial element” that Whitlock claimed was present during the pre-fight buildup of the first fight.

Fury quickly shut down the notion, and his response to Whitlock was met with cheers by the live studio audience.

“We’re all human beings, whether your black, white, pink or green,” Fury said. “We share the same blood. We are humans.”

Fury dismissed the idea that there was any sort of racial trope used to promote their first bout, and he said the second fight has been promoted the same way.

“This fight isn’t a racial war between blacks and whites,” Fury said. “This is a fight between the two most high performing heavyweights on the planet going toe-to-toe. There’s nothing racial about this fight.”

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