Former Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison discusses changes Fury made against Deontay Wilder

Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Mike Tyson
Image: Tyson Fury on Instagram

Before his rematch with Deontay Wilder this month, Tyson Fury changed head trainers as he replaced Ben Davison with a longtime friend and former trainer Javan “Sugar Hill” Steward. While Fury maintained a good relationship with Davison who was with him in the first fight against Deontay Wilder, the change came as a shock to many, as it happened just a couple months before the fight against Wilder

The change in trainers proved to pay off for Fury and his team, as he stopped Wilder in the seventh-round and claimed the WBC heavyweight championship, and the praises have poured in ever since.

Despite the change in trainers, Davison and Fury have maintained a good friendship with each other, and as Fury celebrates his win, Davison has been all complimentary.

On Thursday, Davison was a guest on The Luke Thomas Show and discussed the changes he saw in the ring from Fury in the rematch against Wilder.

“What Tyson did was, and we actually spoke about this back in November after the Luis Ortiz fight [vs Wilder], we knew Wilder was going to approach this fight in a more patient manner,” Davison said. “I always picture Deontay Wilder similar to a Thomas Hearns, you know the two men who beat Hearns are Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler, and speaking about it, Tyson was the one who said to me ‘look, I want to start fast, I want to have a hard start, an aggressive approach.’ I said I agree, I believe that could work knowing Wilder was going to take a more patient approach into the fight.”

While Fury and Davison agreed that a fast start for Tyson Fury would help him in the rematch against Wilder, Davison pointed out to something that happened in their first fight which was critical to Fury’s success in the rematch.

“I think one thing that has not been mentioned much that was a real key factor in this whole fight was the 12th round [in their first fight] if you go back and look at the 12th round, and the way Tyson dominated in that part of the fight, I think that took a hell of a lot from Deontay Wilder,” he said. “Now as a fighter you can sometimes see things and more importantly feel things that the trainer can’t, and sometimes the trainer can see things that the fighter can’t and I believe Tyson felt something from Wilder in that 12th-round that made him adamant that was the way he wanted to approach the fight. It was the right approach.”

As far as the technical side of Fury’s changes in the rematch against Wilder, one key Davison noted was a change in the placement of Fury’s lead hand.

“I noticed that his lead hand positioning was slightly different. He sort of used it while pressing towards Deontay, he used it to occupy that space between the two of them, making it not so easy for Wilder to lunge into his attack as he usually does,” he said. “I also believe Wilder’s weight was a factor in that him not being as effective lunging into his attack. In the first round Tyson got hit with a right hand from Wilder taking that approach and again in the second round he got hit with two right hands by doing the same thing but he [Tyson] made an adaption where rather than getting back in a straight line, he adjusted to come underneath the right hand and smother Wilder and was able to use Wilder’s punches as an entry point to then be offensive and manhandle Wilder. I just believe that approach and the fast start really set the tone for the rest of the fight.”

While he may not be his trainer anymore, Ben Davison clearly saw some critical changes from Tyson Fury in the rematch against Deontay Wilder, and those changes certainly paid off.

What do you think of the changes noted by Ben Davison?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/28/2020.