Teddy Atlas weighs in on whether Tyson Fury is the greatest of all-time

Fight commentator and former boxing trainer Teddy Atlas weighed in his opinion of Tyson Fury’s victory against Dillian Whyte last weekend on his podcast THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.

Atlas was one of the many who tuned into Wembley to witness the all-British heavyweight showdown between the WBC champion Tyson Fury and his challenger Dillian Whyte.

One of the highlights of the evening was watching Tyson Fury relish the screams of a record-breaking 94,000 crowd as Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' echoed around the stadium during his entrance to the ring.

Despite the spectacle, Atlas was disappointed with the fight itself with the American saying 'it was not a good fight, it became one-sided and it became boring'.

Tyson Fury after Dillian Whyte bout

"Sometimes heavyweight title fights are overhyped, even the ones that sell out 94,000 seats at Wembley

"The knockout saved it, the first thing I'd say is, as well prepared as Fury was and how he wound up looking, that's how bad Dillian Whyte was, instead of talking about the push, what he should talk about is his lack of preparation for the style he's facing

"His corner, everyone who got paid, everybody who has a responsibility, everybody who's part of that effort, they did a lousy job."

Jamaican-born Whyte made claims after the contest that he had hit his head on the canvas due to a push from Fury that came after the uppercut that caught the challenger flush on his chin.

Whyte was adamant that it was the push that had caused an end to his world title hopes rather than the punch from Fury.

Regardless of this, Whyte's approach to the bout seemed an unusual one, as he started the first round in a southpaw stance, resuming to his usual stance of orthodox from round two onwards.

As well as this, the jab from Whyte was completely underutilised landing just eight jabs in the whole duration of the fight, five of which landing to the body.

It was the jab of Whyte that was seen as a crucial punch coming into the bout, as he needed to close the distance and get on the inside of Fury who had a major advantage in both height and reach.

"You got to use the jab when you got a guy dominating you with his jab" said Atlas. "As Mike Tyson did with taller guys that had a longer jab, he moved his head and got inside of the longer jab and he out jabbed him with his jab, but you gotta be taught that stuff.

"He needed to use his jab to nullify the other guy, if not nullify it then at least keep it under control to at least keep Fury honest. He didn't need to have a better jab, but he had to have a semblance of a jab to at least keep Fury from doing what he did, controlling the outside of the ring."

Fury the GOAT?

Although the performance on the night from Whyte was a lacklustre one, nothing can be taken away from the champion who showed accuracy and patience with his shots all night.

In a fight which had little meaningful action up until the knockout, Fury's patience and ring IQ shone through when striking Whyte with that pinpoint uppercut.

"He gets him up high, looking at the jab and getting his eyes fixated on that level, then he comes from below. It's the first uppercut he threw all night. He had the discipline all night to wait until the right moment.

"In the sixth round after all the time went by, he chooses to come from below when his eyes were unable to adjust to the punch coming from down there. He never saw it coming which made it so impactful."

It's because of this kind of skillset that Fury possesses that many fans - and himself - have made claim to the 'The Gypsy King' ranking highly among the greatest heavyweights of all time.

Yet Atlas - who has been in the boxing game for over 40 years - heavily disagrees with all these claims.

"To start immediately saying that Tyson Fury is the greatest heavyweight of all time. Did you forget about guys named Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson, and Rocky Marciano?

"Fury is the most versatile heavyweight that's been around for a hell of a long time. Technically sound, dimensional, he can do so many things brilliantly smart, and he's a great promoter too.

"To say he's the greatest British heavyweight of all time, I'm not gonna go nuts on that. But to say he's the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport that's been around longer than any other sport in the world with the names I just finished throwing at you?"

Being the greatest heavyweight of all time wasn't the only claim being made by Fury last week, however, as the 33-year-old also continuously flirted with the idea of retirement during fight week.

Ngannou next?

But after the noise of 94,000 screaming for him, it seemed like the mind of Fury was swayed as he invited the current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou up into the ring. The pair made a gentlemen's agreement for a crossover fight at some point in the foreseeable future which came as no surprise to Atlas.

Francis Ngannou

"You knew Ngannou was going to fight him. You knew it was going to be made. You'd have to be empty upstairs to not realise that this was one of the end goals.

"When he announced it was going to be his last fight, the first thing I thought was, you're gonna retire and then you're gonna fight, but it's not a boxing match so you can stick to your word 'I'm retiring from boxing'.

"You got Ngannou the UFC heavyweight champ. A Big massive strong man who can punch like hell. And you got him in with the heavyweight champion of the world - Tyson Fury. It's a monster movie and it's gonna make monster money."

If negotiations develop, the crossover bout would see the pair in a boxing match however using the 4oz gloves typically used in MMA.

Many fans, including Atlas, believe this provides a huge disadvantage to the UFC champion.

"It's not fair. It's like saying 'we're gonna fight you but you have to put your hands behind your back'. It's an age-old question who's better, the boxer of the MMA fighter. Everybody is always in search of that, but until you make the rules where both of them can use their skills in that octagon or that ring, it's not fair.

"To say that's a fair way of finding out who's the better fighter when you're gonna take one who can use all their acquired skills of over 20 years that he's been fighting within the amateurs and the professionals, that he can go in there and box and do everything he's been trained to do.

"And then you tell the UFC fighter, you can't grapple, you can't use Jiu-Jitsu, you can't go to the floor, you can't grab the guy and pick him up, you can't elbow, you can't kick, you can't do any of that, but we will find out who the best fighter is out of your sports. No, you're not, the boxer is gonna win because it's his realm."

In spite of the uphill battle, Ngannou would have to face, it certainly wouldn't deter fans away from what would be a huge event rivalling one of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor in 2017.

READ MORE: Ali, Louis and Marciano - who makes the five greatest heavyweights of all-time list?

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