Image Credit- CBS Sports
Fury and Wilder return to the ring this Saturday, for what promises to be a tantalising fight.
On 1st December 2018, at the Staples Centre L.A, the boxing world enjoyed one of the most electric heavyweight clashes of the century. Tyson Fury’s unrivalled resilience came up against arguably the hardest hitter to ever grace the ring, Deontay Wilder.
On Saturday night, they prepare to do it all over again.
Fury’s elite boxing brain was pitted against Wilder’s raw unbridled power. For 11 rounds it seemed as if technique had won, but this was before the 12th round commenced. Wilder’s thunderous right-left put Fury on the canvas, his body seemingly unconscious.
But Fury’s recovery was almost legendary, rising on the referee’s sixth count. Wilder shocked, Fury revitalised, the round continued, and the match ended controversially as a draw.
The result undeniably sparked life into the heavyweight division, making the illustrious title of unified heavyweight champion of the world a three-horse race between the Fury, Wilder, and multi-belt holder Anthony Joshua.
The division was at dangerous risk of becoming stagnant, just as it had been previously during Wladimir Klitschko’s long reign as heavyweight champion for nearly 12 years.
Fortunately, both fighters produced a result which opened up the playing field and reminded fans of what a truly great heavyweight bout looks like.
Both fighters have been regularly fighting in the ring since that December evening. Wilder has produced two KO victories, against Dominic Breazeale and in his rematch against the renowned Cuban brawler Luis Ortiz.
Fury, who in February 2019 signed an £80 million deal with ESPN, has beaten Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, both of whom are young rated heavyweights progressing in their respective careers.
Fury’s open struggle with depression and mental health, alongside his 10 stone weight transformation makes him not only a great boxer but also a likeable character. This gifts boxing with an individual who is open about his emotions and feelings, a sight rarely seen in the sport.
Fury is however the challenger. With Wilder holding the WBC title, a man driven to succeed, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ always puts on vicious displays. He is undoubtedly angling for the much-anticipated clash against top of the pile Anthony Joshua.
The ‘Gypsy King’ is the fan favourite, and a talented showman. A promoter’s dream, Fury is extremely able at selling himself and his fights to punters, which makes him commercially one of the biggest names in the sport. Wilder, whilst certainly less popular, is evidently a unique fighter. His power can be decisive, despite him not being the most technically gifted boxer. Given one opportunity, he can wreak carnage.
With the MGM Grand at Las Vegas as host, the widely held prediction is that if it goes the distance, Fury’s technique and boxing brain will be proclaimed winner. But if Wilder lands just one well aimed hook, it will seriously disrupt any game-plan previously held by Fury, leading to a potential KO.
With both fighter’s unbeaten record on the line, the match-up of brawn vs brain, alongside the ever-unpredictable nature of boxing, the stage seems to be set for another classic.