And so, the stage is set. The rematch for the WBC and ‘lineal’ Heavyweight Championship of the World is on ! February 22nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The official first press conference to promote the fight took place in Los Angeles on Monday (13th) and no quarter was spared by either fighter.
Tyson ‘Gypsy King’ Fury stating “Expect me to come out bombing looking for a knockout…..February 22….I’m gonna get what I won last time, that green belt, the Ring magazine (belt) and I’m also gonna keep my lineal championship”.
Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder responding “This time around is unfinished business…..he’s definitely going down….I’m going to do exactly what I said I would do. I’m going to knock him out…..I’m going to rip his head off his body”.
But, what really can we expect ? Both fighters are in their early thirties, about to enter their peak years, and both undefeated. The draw of December 1, 2018 being the only stain on their combined records of 71-0.
The consensus is Wilder to win by KO or Fury on points. However, the Brit believes he cannot win in the US on a points decision. As unacceptable as it seems that would appear to be the case, as in the view of The Undisputed and many ringside observers the American was lucky to escape with a draw first time round. That, despite securing two knockdowns of the Gypsy King.
Everyone who witnessed the first fight will remember how Fury early in the 12th round was poleaxed by a heavy right hand, hit the canvas and appeared comatose. To then, rise like Lazurus on the count of 9 and a half, and go on to dominate the remainder of the round. A truly remarkable feat in the history of heavyweight boxing.
What Fury can’t do is leave himself open to that eventuality again. One thing Wilder has shown since that night, is that his power is unquestionable (41 KO’s), and given the chance when his opponents are nailed, they stay down ! Dominic Breazeale and Luiz Ortiz (for a second time) are testimony to that.
The Brit meanwhile has had two makeshift fights since his ordeal with Wilder – one against Tom Schwarz and followed by 12 gruelling rounds against Otto Wallin, in which he sustained a horrific cut over his right eye. Apart from his forays in WWE he hasn’t competed at the elite level since the first fight.
Coupled with this the Brit has changed his head trainer Ben Davison and gone stateside to work out of the world famous Kronk Gym in Detroit under the tutelage of Javan ‘Sugar’ Hill Steward (nephew of much missed Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel). This is thought to add a more aggressive outlook to Fury’s work with him claiming he will abandon the ‘herky-jerky’ point stealing nature of much of his latter career.
The current view of The Undisputed is the most unlikely outcome may indeed be the final result, that of a KO for Fury. Current odds for this by Ladbrokes are 5-1, so get in while you can.
Fury’s power though not as concussive as the American’s is not to be underestimated. When he has shown to set his feet he has shown respectable power (20 KO’s). Five more weeks in the Kronk Gym up to fight night may be the exact battle hardening required to seal the deal.
TV coverage in the UK is still to be confirmed but is likely to be BT Sport Box Office and excerpts from the press conference can be found on their website.
Watch this space for further updates on the match up over the coming weeks.