A night of heavyweight boxing awaits us as we get the much anticipated second instalment between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in what promises to be an intriguing match up. This really is a 50/50 fight in my opinion and it is the classic match up between the boxer and the puncher.
Deontay Wilder is the puncher, he has the rare ability to carry his power from the opening bell to the last – but rarely does he hear the final bell because he has usually knocked you out well before. Fury is the better boxer but as we saw in the first fight between the pair, you can be out boxing Wilder for 12 rounds but he still only needs one shot to put you down on the canvas.
I picked Fury in the first fight and I will stick to my guns and pick him again for the second fight. Initially I could see Fury fighting a different fight this time around – Fury is taller than Wilder, he is bigger than Wilder and he has the longer reach. He should also be confident that he took Wilder’s best punches and got up both times. This means Fury could look to make this an ugly fight and get in on the inside, lean against Wilder, pull on him, clinch, use his bigger frame and extra weight to gradually wear down the leaner and lighter Wilder and by taking the fight to the inside, prevent Wilder from having the space he needs to throw those long and devastating 1, 2’s. No one has really ever forced Wilder to fight on the inside, mostly because they are too worried about Wilder’s power but with Fury being bigger and taken Wilder’s shots, he may feel confident in crossing the danger zone to get to the inside – Fury has also changed coaches signalling a change of intent and change of tactics perhaps?
I am not so sure that will remain Fury’s game plan though now we have seen the weigh in – Wilder coming in at 231lbs was a huge surprise for me since he was around 210lbs in the first fight, Fury is 7lbs heavier too. Is Fury heavier because he wants more power to sting Wilder and finish the fight early as he has been saying and is the same true for Wilder, does he believe he needs the extra weight to combat Fury’s size if the fight does go inside or is he chasing even more power because he couldn’t keep Fury down in the first fight? Teddy Atlas has put another spin on the fight by suggesting Fury coming in heavier is an indication that like Andy Ruiz Jr in the repeat match against Anthony Joshua, is struggling with his fitness and is mentally not in the right place to fight…
I don’t think Wilder’s game plan changes at all, Wilder knows only one way to fight and that is to set everything up for his right hand, he will be looking to create an opening for his right hand all night and why should he change his style, it has been successful every time he has fought as a professional, like he says, opponents need to be perfect for 12 rounds against him, he only needs to be perfect for 2 seconds…
So what are my final thoughts? I am taking Fury’s claims of an early knockout with a pinch of salt, if he out boxed Wilder for 12 rounds last time is he really going to risk anything but the same again? I think we will get a fairly similar fight to the first one, Fury boxing on the outside and looking to avoid the right hand of Wilder and Wilder trying to pick the right time to land his right hand only this time I believe Fury gets the unanimous points decision he deserved in the first fight…but Wilder’s punch is the great equalizer, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he won the fight in the same manner his previous rematches have gone – by knockout.
Photo credit for article image BT Sport