Andre Ward thinks it would be a smart move from Tyson Fury to delay his scheduled February 22 rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Ward thinks heavyweight lineal champion Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) should have more time for his damaged right eye to heal before he faces Wilder a second time.
“It’s never going to be the same, but it’s going to be better,” said Ward to Max on Boxing. “The scar tissue will have formed, and he won’t have the softness and the redness around his eye that he would have if he tried to come back too soon, because we don’t want any excuses.”
“Both guys feel like they got jobbed in the first fight. Wilder feels like it wasn’t a draw. Fury feels like he eked it out. We don’t want that kind of conversation after the rematch. Give the eye time to heal. Take a couple of extra months so we can give the fans, and the media what they want to see in the rematch.”
“I’ve been screaming about the rematch as much as anybody,” said Ward about the Wilder vs. Fury rematch. “The fighters need it for their legacy, but I’m not as optimistic as a lot of people right now who are saying the cut is a foregone conclusion. Tyson is going to get cleared. That cut took 47 stitches. He may be cleared by a Commission, but that cut is going to be soft, and it’s going to be red.”
“You’re going up against probably the hardest puncher in boxing in Deontay Wilder. That’s not a guy that you want hitting on that eye that just got cut several months prior. Personally, even though it’s not ideal, and even though it makes people wait even longer, I would like to see this fight pushed back a little bit more just to make sure Tyson Fury’s eye is ready to go. It’s never going to be perfect,” said Ward.