The hugely anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury takes place this weekend in Las Vegas. It is a blockbuster fight which is guaranteed to have a massive impact on the world heavyweight division, with Anthony Joshua holding the other belts.
The first dramatic bout resulted in a controversial draw 14 months ago and the waiting is over as the two unbeaten fighters collide again, with the WBC title on the line, at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.
Wilder’s ferocious power presents huge threat
Wilder is arguably the most explosive puncher in boxing and the American knows he needs to finish off the job after failing to put away Fury in Los Angeles during the first fight at the end of 2018.
For much of the contest, Wilder looked bewildered by Fury’s skill and simply could not get close to him. Most onlookers had Fury comfortably ahead but Wilder floored his opponent twice in the final four rounds.
Wilder knocked down Fury in the ninth round but the British boxer recovered quickly. In an extraordinary 12th round, Wilder dropped Fury with a brutal punch which looked to be the decisive blow.
Remarkably, Fury got to his feet just before the ten count and managed to see out the final bell. The draw provoked much debate but Wilder surely realises he needs to stop Fury to avoid being outboxed again.
Wilder has a phenomenal record with a 95.35 per cent knockout ratio during his professional career. The Bronze Bomber has won 42 of his 43 fights, with 41 of his victories coming inside the distance.
His destructive power has always been his biggest weapon and opponents have time and again been unable to handle his brute force.
The 34-year-old has only gone to the scorecards twice, with the other time coming in 2015 after beating Bermane Stiverne on points to win the WBC world heavyweight title.
Stiverne challenged him in a Brooklyn rematch two years later and Wilder demolished him in a first-round knockout.
Wilder was given a tough examination against then-unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz in 2018, with the American in trouble before rallying to win in the tenth round.
After the enthralling draw with Fury, Wilder crushed Dominic Breazeale in a first-round stoppage last May.
Wilder’s last fight in November, which was the tenth defence of his WBC title, resulted in another win against Ortiz. Despite being flummoxed for much of the contest, Wilder again demonstrated his destructive power with a devastating right-hand shot in the seventh round.
Fury changes team for Wilder rematch
Despite producing a tremendous performance in the first fight against Wilder, Fury has decided to revamp his training camp.
Fury split with trainer Ben Davison in December and is now working with Javan ‘Sugarhill’ Steward, the nephew of legendary coach Emanuel Steward.
It is believed Fury, who has 29 wins from his 30 professional fights, will weigh in heavier for the rematch and he has claimed he is looking for a knockout in Vegas. His KO record is significantly lower than Wilder with 20 stoppages at a 66.67 per cent ratio.
It has been a wild ride during a career of extreme highs and lows for the Gypsy King. Fury topped the mountain in 2015 after a brilliant performance in Germany to win the world heavyweight titles. The challenger produced a tactical masterclass to win by unanimous decision against unified WBA, WBO and IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko.
But his greatest win as a boxer was followed by a 32-month absence from the sport after suffering from depression, losing his boxing licence and being ineligible to fight due to a drug investigation.
Fury made his emotional return to the ring in 2018, claiming easy comeback wins against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta before throwing himself into the lion’s den by gambling on a fight with Wilder.
Following their heavyweight draw, charismatic Fury made his Vegas debut last June with a second-round stoppage win over Tom Schwarz.
Fury, who recently launched his career as a WWE wrestler, was expected to brush aside Swede Otto Wallin but endured a huge scare in September’s Vegas fight. A deep wound above 31-year-old Fury’s right eye left him in big trouble with heavy cuts but he held on to win by unanimous decision.
Wilder v Fury II: The verdict
Betvictor are offering a special promotion of 100/1 on Fury winning inside the distance although two other well-backed outcomes are seen as equally likely.
It is 11/8 for Fury to win by decision and the same odds on a Wilder stoppage. This backs up the widely-held view this fight will go one of two ways.
Fury’s ability and adaptability as a boxer should win the support of the watching judges. The British fighter is a better boxer and if it goes the distance it is difficult to see Wilder taking the decision.
Conversely, Wilder is a monstrous puncher and has stopped all of his opponents, aside from Fury. The Bronze Bomber will go down in history as one of the heaviest hitters and there is every chance he finds the finish to stop Fury.
This is an exceptionally difficult fight to call with both boxers holding extremely strong claims to win in Vegas.
Slight preference is for Fury, who should be in better shape than their last meeting, to adopt another exceptional gameplan and box his way to a points victory in Vegas.
But it is definitely also worth backing Fury to be knocked down during the fight at 5/6. He was floored twice in the first contest and avoiding Wilder’s ferocious power over 12 rounds will be exceptionally difficult.