Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II is the biggest heavyweight matchup of this time in boxing.
This is no hyperbole. Styles make fights. Fury is the more experienced fighter in terms of 186 total professional rounds – most of which I would consider quality opposition – while Wilder has 143 total rounds, but many of a lesser quality. Fury has the higher skill level and strategy going into the ring.
As well all know, Wilder is gifted with a equalizer of a right hand. Wilder’s knockout rate stands at a sterling 96 percent. But consider the opposition Wilder has faced up to this point. Fury is the most experienced opponent Wilder has faced.
Fury’s 66.67 percent knockout rate does not look as impressive next to Wilder’s. But Fury who was the 2018 Fighter of the Year, was also the heavyweight champion for five (5) years, which should not be overlooked.
The “Gypsy King” has overcome issues that would overcome lesser fighters. Stripped of his heavyweight title, banned from the boxing commission, weight, addiction, and depression issues. Fury got off the deck and cleaned himself up and won most of the rounds in the first fight.
But Wilder will be better prepared this time around. He looks to be putting on more muscle this time.
Tale of the Tape
Deontay “The Bronze bomber” Wilder
Total Bouts: 43
Fight Record: 42 Wins, 0 Losses, 41 KOs, 1 Draw.
Professional Rounds: 143
Age: 34 (October 22, 1985)
Height: 6 ft 7 inches.
Reach: 83 Inches
Nationality: USA (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States)
Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury
Total Bouts: 30
Fight Record: 29 Wins, 0 Losses, 20 KOs, 1 Draw.
Professional Rounds: 186
Age: 31 (August 12, 1988)
Height: 6 ft 9 inches.
Reach: 85 Inches.
Amateur Record: 31 – 2, 26 KOs.
Nationality: England (Manchester, England)
In the first fight, I predicted a Fury decision. After the late knockdown of Fury in the later part of the 12th round, (Fury was dropped twice in the first bout and did get up each time) the fight was called a draw. Which brings us to Feb. 22. Despite the knockdowns, I thought Fury won the fight and I was not the only one. But many also thought Wilder’s knockdowns should have got him the decision as well, which helped generate this rematch so quickly.
Since the first bout, Fury changed his coaching team. He replaced Ben Davison and joined forces with SugarHill Steward, who is the nephew of the late great Michigan State boxing trainer, Emanuel “Manny” Steward.
Fury bulked up, with an aggressive six-meals-a-day plan. He decided to recruit Conor McGregor’s nutritionist, George Lockhart, who has added an emphasis of berries in Fury’s breakfast intake that will provide him with antioxidants to assist him with recovery.
Meanwhile, Wilder’s trainer, Jay Deas, did reveal after the first bout that Wilder was struggling with an arm injury during training camp. Deas is confident in recent interviews that Wilder will “put an end” to the rivalry.
There will be no excuses for anyone in this rematch.
I expect Wilder to come out measuring his jab to set up a swinging right hand or an overhand right to look for a quick knockout of Fury and try to start off where he left off in the 12th round of the first fight. In particular, look for more straight crosses, which led to wins over Luis Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale. But if he can’t land the right hand, he will have to pressure Fury to prevent him from piling up the points from range. He will also have to avoid or absorb shots from Fury. That will expend energy that he will need the mid rounds to recover from to ramp up in the championship rounds.
Fury will be the more strategic fighter, but he cannot throw the early rounds away. The more rounds he has in the bank, the more pressure it puts on Wilder to open up and make a mistake. He will continue to talk in the clinches and the lockups trying to get into Wilder’s head. But, Wilder will be prepared for it.
This fight will likely go the distance again. The mid-rounds, is where I see both fighters step off the gas a bit and evaluate if their plan is working.
The championship rounds is where I think Wilder will make a spirited charge to land the right hand. Fury will try to capitalize with precision counters and use his stamina and talking to try and demoralize Wilder.
The more I look at Fury and Wilder, I see two heavyweights making improvements with their biggest weapons – their right crosses. Fury is looking sharp on the pad work with his “lean left spin-outs” (Lean Spin-out is an advanced move where a boxer throws a right right and the orthodox boxer, bends his waist with a tiny two-inch left step as he bends his waist left and spins on the ball of his foot, and away from the opposing cross to set his own cross on a great and quick new angle) and at 6-9, a boxing technique a bantamweight or lightweight boxer would execute, not a big man like Fury.
I see Wilder throwing a straighter cross, landing quicker for more impact. And that is the key. He has to be more efficient and the straighter cross could help him get there.
My prediction is a Tyson Fury win by unanimous decision.
UPDATE: Deontay Wilder weighed in at 231 pounds, while Tyson Fury weighed in at 273 pounds.
Clubb: I’m a little shocked at Fury. I knew he was coming in heavier, but this is more than I expected If Fury worked his right hand in training at that weight, it could be Fury dropping Wilder. Also, Fury can sill use his footwork at this weight. His movement is fast at heavyweight. Especially his lean spin to the left away from Wilder’s big right hand.