Pushing Forward

Photo by Heloisa Freitas

I’ve always been a huge boxing fan ever since I was 8 years old. Like many other sports, perseverance and overcoming obstacles are key elements of boxing. If you watch many of the highlight reels of some of the sport’s greats, you’ll most likely see spectacular knockouts by all-time greats like Mike Tyson or speed and quickness like Oscar De La Hoya. What gets lost most of the time are the stories in between some of those highlight reel moments that really stick and leave a lasting positive impact on others. This past February, another one of those moments left a positive impact on me personally that I think about a lot as we navigate the challenging times we are facing as a society today.

In 2015, Tyson Fury defeated longtime Heavyweight Boxing legend, Wladimir Klitschko, capturing the sport’s Lineal World Heavyweight Championship in an autumn bout.  Fury, undefeated and in his late twenties at the time, had found his way at the pinnacle of boxing’s mountaintop destined to carve his name in the history books as one of the all-time greats. 

Instead of continuing on his path to greatness, Fury had fallen into a deep bout of depression and personal demons that saw him relinquish his championship titles and exit the sport. Many had written him off for good. After a two and a half year layoff, Tyson Fury had made his return to competition in 2018 and added a couple of victories to his record, leading to a December matchup against World Champion Deontay Wilder. With the long-layoff and out-of-the-ring issues, many had questioned his ability to perform at the level he once did years prior. What unfolded in the bout was remarkable.

Tyson Fury dominated the matchup showcasing superb boxing technical skills through the majority of the fight, with many considering him the winner on the scorecards. Deontay Wilder, a notorious power puncher, sent Fury to the canvas with a lights-out shot in the late rounds. Fury did the unthinkable and rose to his feet before the referee called off the fight. At the conclusion of the fight, the judges had scored it as a draw.

While the bout was critically acclaimed, fans and members of the media had clamored for a rematch to determine the true winner. In February 2020, Wilder and Fury had finally met in a high-anticipated rematch. What had unfolded was shocking. Fury, who had come in heavier than the first bout, showcased an entirely different game plan than the initial matchup stepping forward into and overpowering the smaller Wilder with draining shots, instead of the technical and defensive style used in the 2018 fight. Wilder is an extremely dangerous boxer with power to end a fight with a single punch. Many boxers tend to shy away from Wilder’s line of fire. Fury challenged him with superior confidence by walking forward, essentially beating him at his own game. The referee stopped the fight in the 7th round awarding Tyson Fury with the Heavyweight crown once again.

This story is remarkable to me, not only because it is a comeback story, but because it is a story about overcoming personal struggles, being confident and fearless, learning to evolve and ultimately coming back stronger than ever. 

We are undoubtedly experiencing challenging times this year. While it is unclear when or if things will return to the normal that we once experienced, we must come together and help one another now more than ever. Like Tyson Fury, through perseverance, confidence, and positive thinking, I have no doubt, that we will overcome these struggles and come back stronger than ever.

Be safe. With Love.



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