As ex-referee and district attorney Mills Lane used to say “Let’s get it on !”.
The training is done, the hype is almost history and the weights are in. At the MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas last night the ‘lineal’ heavyweight champion of the world Tyson ‘Gypsy King’ Fury weighed in at a massive 273lbs (19st 7lbs). This being over one stone heavier than the previous encounter with WBC champ Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder in December 2018. The American champ on the other hand tipped the scales at 231lbs (16st 7lbs), a career high and again over a stone up on the previous encounter.
But what does all this mean ? In the heavyweight division generally very little. They don’t have to make weight and usually weigh ins are a last opportunity to sell the fight and get a psychological edge on the opponent. Not this one. The scale tipping showed us the training camp both protaganists have had, one of sacrifice, diligence and hardship. Both, although significantly over recent fighting weights looked physically imposing (despite Fury keeping on his sweatshirt) and both continuing an aura of supreme self-confidence.
Fury’s legs and biceps looked impressive and an indication of the training camp that he’d endured. Wilder meanwhile looked his excellent toned and cut ‘Adonis-like’ self. You would expect the excess poundage has been focussed on his pencil thin legs to offer greater root and purchase on his power shots. The 6 foot 9 Brit meanwhile will maximise his extra body mass in the clinches, but the test will be on his usual excellent mobility. The Gypsy King relies on speed and his ‘Nureyev-like’ fleet of foot to evade and slip power punches. How will this extra poundage affect that ?
These are all unknowns until that opening bell, and specifically, should the fight go deep into the ‘championship rounds’ (10 through 12). The additional poundage on Fury indicates he will attempt to bully the American from the onset, a proclamation he’s been promoting now for a good month. Wilder although has the lower poundage will not change type and become fleet of foot. He invests in power and will be ready to cash in from the opening bell.
The whole scenario bodes well for an excellent contest with both fighters meeting each other ring centre in the early rounds. Boy we need a fight of this magnitude and excitement to re-ignite the sport after a very quiet start to the year. If the fight we all hope for happens then history beckons for the victor; Anthony Joshua lays in wait and world domination is finally within reach.
If both boxers can back up their pre-fight boasts we’re in for a humdinger of a contest. Don’t blink and book your ringside seat. Fireworks await !
The fight will be televised live Sunday morning on BT Box Office and ring walks are expected from 5am GMT. The fight is also available live and exclusive on talkSPORT.