A look at how Tyson Fury’s strategy in the ring has made him a knock-out specialist

(Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

From 2015 to 2020, Tyson Fury had boxed in a somewhat circumspect manner. At least, he outfoxed his opponents and proved hard to hit which won him a string of matches courtesy of the judges’ scorecard. It also, however, earned him the nickname of ‘pillow fists’ from his fellow heavyweight pros who would, up until the start of 2020, consistently taunt Fury about his inability to knock his opponents out. 

These days though, this is not an insult that anyone can use against Fury and if you bet on boxing then you will have a good understanding as to why with the WBC champion set to take on fellow Englishman Dillian Whyte.

Indeed, the latest Fury v Whyte odds for their upcoming showdown at Wembley paint a very revealing picture of Fury’s devastating punching power with the 33-year-old at a price of just 4/6 to win by way of KO or TKO. So, what has changed and why is Fury now arguably the most destructive puncher in the whole of world boxing?  

“Everybody has a chance… anything can happen in the heavyweight division” 👀@tyson_fury‘s trainer SugarHill Steward weighs up Dillian Whyte’s chance ahead of #FuryWhyte 🥊

Watch the full interview on YouTube.

— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) March 29, 2022

Essentially, it comes down to one man and that is Fury’s trainer SugarHill Steward who has molded Fury’s gameplan around being on the front foot right from the first bell. It has been an inspired change of tack orchestrated by Steward which has seen Fury deliver some of the most ruthless displays ever witnessed in the heavyweight division. 

Of course, up until Fury appointed Steward, he had been working with Ben Davison who many felt did not have the required experience to be overseeing operations in Fury’s corner. All things considered, it was a bold decision by Fury to ax Davison with just ten weeks to go before he stepped into the ring with Deontay Wilder for the second time given that the 25-year-old had been the mastermind behind Fury’s comeback fight against the American which ended in a controversial draw. It should be said that there were those who blamed Davison for his tactics during the draw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but there were also many others who praised the young trainer’s fitness regime which enabled Fury to return to the highest level of professional boxing after a few traumatic years out the ring. 

The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle with Davison deserving a lot of credit for his role in Fury’s road back to the ring but it did look at times like Fury was in third gear and was being held back from his jaw-dropping best.

Those suspicions about Fury not reaching his full potential under Davison were confirmed when Steward took over with only two months to go before Fury fought Wilder in their initial rematch. At the time, Wilder was laughing off suggestions that Fury would knock him out but as it turned out, it only took seven rounds for referee Kenny Bayless to call the fight off after the American’s corner threw the towel in such was the merciless beating he was taking from Fury.

The last time @Tyson_Fury predicted a KO he delivered – will it happen again on April 23? 🔮#FuryWhyte pic.twitter.com/HRyVmuCYB9

— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) March 31, 2022

Following that and during their third and final fight, Fury would brutally knock Wilder out in the 11th round and in doing so, leave no one in doubt about his punching power. Indeed, Fury’s hands were not made from pillows after all and a motionless Wilder was all the proof anyone needed. 

In short, it has been a game-changing new strategy of all-out attack from Steward which has made the Englishman one of the most feared fighters of any era.

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