Clarity has become a problem in boxing, a sport where the best versus the best isn’t as granted as it is in other sports. Sometimes quick turnarounds happen, like the case of the impending Mairis Briedis-Yunier Dorticos Cruiserweight Championship where Oleksandr Usyk abdicated just last year. Other times it can take multiple decades to form. The bantamweight class, for instance, hasn’t had a true champion since 1987, a sham of a statistic and continued smudge on boxing’s history.
The heavyweight division receives more attention than all others, however, so patience wears thin rapidly. You can’t get by with it for too long because cries ring aloud for the top dogs to settle the score year after year. It’s roughly been a 4-year wait since we knew who “the man” was, but Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder now represent #1 vs. #2 and will likely settle the claim for who is the Heavyweight Champion of the World on Saturday night.
Buckle up, because the outcome isn’t a given and the analysis from the writers and fans we polled indicate that.
Roy Bennett (CN) – Independent Writer: Wilder
Little is known about the truth of Tyson Fury’s true intentions going into the rematch with Deontay Wilder.
At no point, in the build up to this much anticipated rematch, has Fury convinced me he will score an early KO win over Wilder. Its not in his nature to be so reckless.
Prognostications of an early victory are nothing more than a ploy to get into Wilder’s head in an attempt to make the American knockout specialist overly cautious while Fury piles up points, and rounds, boxing from range.
For all his faults, Deontay Wilder has improved at the one thing he does well. That is to deliver his right hand bomb to the chin of his opponents when they have least expected it. Wilder’s efficiency at finding the target, 41 inside the distance victories in 43 professional outings, 42 wins and 1 draw, does not bode well for the travelling man who would be king.
While Fury might be more aggressive this time around that game plan comes with its own inherent risks. Mark Breland, Wilder’s head coach, voice of reason and an outstanding long armed puncher in his day, will chart the strategy for Wilder to eventually find Fury’s chin at the right time.
The extra bulk added by the Englishman will make no difference to his resilience and the nerves in his jaw will still short circuit his legs when Wilder’s gloved anvil finds its mark.
Look for the referee to bring a halt to Fury’s Las Vegas night out and his lineal championship claim by the 9th frame.
Christopher Carlson (USA) – TGT Writer/Podcaster: Fury
Both fighters can improve on their performances in the rematch. Look for an uptick in activity with Tyson Fury making Wilder miss but also making him pay consistently. Wilder will throw more jabs along with body shots or power punches in general. Historically speaking, the boxer when rematching a puncher is able to further the separation of rounds having already adjusted in the first fight. Mini-attacks and a southpaw stance from time to time will be improvements for Fury, along with maintaining a defensively sound guard. As long as Fury doesn’t get caught with a punch he can’t get up from he should win 9-3. If Wilder can use his jab and attack the open target instead of settling for lead rights he will have more success in the rematch and the likeness of a KO goes up.
Ian Murphy (USA) – TGT Writer: Wilder
Fury looks good for about 7 rounds, like the first time, and then he gets measured and taken out. Fury fought a perfect fight last time and the two times he got hit clean he went down. Since then, Wilder has refined his “delivery system,” as Atlas says. He does some nice misdirection with the jab and then throws his missile at an odd rhythm. Wilder KO in the 9th.
John Matthews (IRL) – Fan: Fury
A lot of strong opinions on both sides for who is gonna win. Personally, if Fury leaves the clowning alone and boxes to the best of his ability he wins hands down. Act the clown in the ring and he’s inviting trouble from a guy that although has poor fundamentals, can bang, no question. But that is all he has, although it’s a great weapon in his arsenal. The cut eye from his previous fight may well be a factor in how he fights, and if it isn’t, then it should be. One big right hand and the fight could be over regardless of Fury’s ability to continue. Gun to head time, Fury UD quite widely.
Jack Sumner (UK) – TGT Writer: Wilder
There’s an often heard pearl of wisdom regarding boxing rematches that ‘the smarter fighter always wins’. He who took the most out of the first bout and, heading into a rematch, has since adjusted their game-plan to suit is the man likely to have his arm raised.
Quite often this notion does indeed prove to be the case, but the smarter fighter does not ALWAYS win the return bout. And Saturday night’s rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will be one of the exceptions to the rule.
Fury, in the eyes of most, is the guy who IS the smarter fighter. Frankly, he’s the much better fighter. Across the majority of the first twelve rounds these two behemoths shared in the ring with one another he indisputably proved that, despite coming into that clash without having had a meaningful bout in more than three years. But despite Fury’s overall dominance of the duel, on two occasions that night Wilder’s vaunted power was able to put Fury on his back. Twice, yes, the Gypsy King was able to rise to his feet (once in miraculous circumstances). However you’d have to fancy that there’s only so many times any man can take a flush right hand from Wilder and not need to be brought around with the smelling salts. The next time Wilder puts Fury on his back, there’s a very good chance he’ll stay there.
Wilder’s two performances since the first fight with Fury have delivered arguably the two most devastating knockouts of his career and he has 41 of them from 43 professional bouts. Every man he has faced thus far has hit the deck at some point, including Fury. Right now he appears to be at the apex of his powers and his confidence in, and his ability to, be able to render another man unconscious.
As Wilder himself has said, Fury needs to be perfect for twelve rounds, while he needs to be perfect for just one second. I can’t see that he won’t be at least once on Saturday night
Wilder by KO.
Danny Howard (USA) – BetAmerica: Fury
Fury was nowhere near his best when he boxed Wilder’s ears off and time to fully acclimate himself in the ring will result in an energetic, more complete performance this time. Wilder has a chance, but like the Ortiz fight, he’ll show no evolution and rely on solely landing one punch however way. Fury by decision.
Phil Rogers (UK) – Southpaw Boxing News/TGT/Boxing Social: Wilder
The intrigue at the heart of this rematch lies in each fighter’s ability to address their imperfections from the first fight.
Fury’s showboating may have exemplified his boxing superiority but it wasn’t enough to win rounds. This time he’ll need to be busier in every department, and look to bamboozle Wilder by mixing up distance. Boxing on the outside for 12 rounds may appear his best route to victory but is fraught with danger. Instead he can deny Wilder the chance to set himself by mixing it up, taking the fight to him in spots, tying him up, and returning to a range where his feints & footwork are so effective.
Wilder, on the other hand, cannot afford to continue his trend of starting so slowly. Most pundits focus on his ludicrously powerful right hand, but the champion’s most successful shots in the first fight were a vastly underrated jab and his left hook. Both need to be on display from the start.
With back-to-back training camps under his belt momentum appears to be with the American. An aggressive start (as he showed in the Stiverne rematch) and the nerve not to buy into Fury’s incessant twitches and feints and Wilder can have his man out of there early.
Prediction: Wilder KO (Rounds 1-4)
Zakwaan Shaukat Ali (UK) – TGTN Writer: Fury
The highly anticipated fight of the year. It’s the most significant heavyweight fight since Lewis vs. Tyson as it has the boxing world and its casual audience captivated globally.
A fascinating matchup of two huge 6ft 7 men, both with particularly contrasting styles; Fury’s perpetual motion, fluidity coupled with boxing acumen versus Wilder’s wrecking-ball, destructive power. Two undefeated heavyweights in primes have put the spotlight on the sport, rightly so, with promotional muscle of Top Rank/ESPN and PBC/FOX behind it as they come together.
So, what’s changed since the first fight. For Fury, a new trainer, had two soft touches, one surprisingly being a gruelling, tough battle against the Swede, which lead to that grotesque eye-cut. For Wilder, patience and making adjustments which he reaped rewards from as he had two devastating knockouts of the year vs. Ortiz and Breazeale, apart from that nothing much. The uncertainty points in the direction of Fury. Will the change of trainer impact on Fury’s game plan or style? Is the 12th round knockdown from the first fight still on his mind, does he have the mental fortitude to overcome this? Or will that gruesome eye cut open again and Wilder capitalise on it?
With all that being said, I still feel Fury will get the points win and will outbox Wilder and evade the right hand, he’s familiar with Sugar Hill Steward from his early days in the Kronk Gym with Emmanuel Steward, he is much fitter and better conditioned this time round. Also, I don’t take notice of Fury’s intention of knocking him out, that’s all posturing and a masquerade for the cameras and mental gymnastics, that would be dangerous if he did intend to do that.
Fury Decision (providing there are no controversial scorecards of course, in the hopes of making a trilogy)
Carlos Ortenblad (BRA) – Fan: Wilder
Tyson Fury fought to his absolute limit in his first fight against Deontay Wilder. It was not enough. I feel that Wilder has the ultimate finisher in that right hand of his, as he needs to land just one perfect shot. I doubt that Fury, as defensively skilled as he is, will be able to evade Wilder´s power for 12 rounds in the rematch. I look for a Wilder win by KO within ten rounds.
George Jolly (USA) – Fan: Wilder
When two men with the physical dimensions of giants entering a boxing ring with the intent to punch each other, no one can say with certainty what might happen. I’ve mulled this one for months, until 5 minutes ago my take was, Fury the better boxer, simply avoids the steel-shod right hand, and spoils his way to a decision. Then I had an epiphany, since their last fight Wilder has gotten better, not so with Fury. The cat quick Wilder has learned to shorten and disguise the right hand. Wilder yet again defies the boxing gods and lands the apocalyptic right hand. Wilder KO.
Paul Cupitt (AUS) – TGT Writer: Wilder
Wilder is still very inexperienced for a 43-fight-veteran, having boxed less than 150 rounds in his career. I believe he has benefited enormously by going 12 rounds with a skilled boxer like Fury. Unlike the majority, I scored the first fight even (although Wilder did not deserve to win), and you could see him varying the set-ups to his right hand as the fight wore on, which lead to the late knockdowns. Wilder’s level of opposition has been better than Fury’s since the first fight, and I believe this will benefit him heading into this weekend’s rematch. Fury will be slick early, but Wilder will catch him and finish him in the second half of the fight. Deontay Wilder KO9.
Michael Atkins (USA) – TGT Writer: Wilder
Last time around, I was absolutely certain that Deontay Wilder would put Tyson Fury to sleep inside five rounds, courtesy of one of those Everlast clad ICBMs that masquerade as his right hand. I had my reasons. No one could abuse themselves like Fury had, be inactive that long, get that fat, and expect to still have a prime left. Also, I’ve never been impressed with Fury’s chin. Having seen light-hitting cruiserweight Steve Cunningham knock him dead with a right hand, and have him ready to go a few other times, I was convinced that if Wilder’s right hand landed, it would place him in a state of instant suspended animation. Maybe Fury would look better than expected, put on a show for a few rounds before the inevitable detonation, but that would be the best case scenario for him.
Needless to say, I was off on that prediction. Fury, in what I thought was one of the most memorable nights of the decade, defied logic and fought one of his best fights ever. In the eyes of most, myself included, he beat Wilder clearly. Fury proved that he is a far better fighter than Wilder. But I wasn’t off on everything. Also evident was that if Wilder locks on with the right hand, and connects, Fury is going down. Fury does not have a mandible of marble. He doesn’t get hit square often, but when he does, he hits the deck.
This time around, I’d love to pick Fury. I can’t stand Wilder. He’s a one-trick pony. Take away that right hand and he isn’t even a top-10 heavyweight. Add to that, he’s crass, boorish, intentionally abrasive and a minimally exceptional conversationalist—difficult to like. But I think he now knows Fury isn’t much of a puncher, he will let his hands go a bit more. I can’t pick a guy who can lose, literally, via one punch, at any time, in any round. The “Big Traveller” is better, but the more rounds they fight, the greater the chance that Fury runs into one he can’t get up from. I can’t pick a round, Wilder will look poor, Fury will look more skilled—until it’s over. I hope I have this one wrong. Fury is not just a breath, he is a gust of fresh air. Good for boxing. Wilder by KO, any time between round one and round 12.
Erich Edmonds (USA) – TGT Writer: Fury
This Saturday we’ll get to witness Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury begin round 13 as they step into the ring to settle their unfinished business from 2018. On the surface this fight seems to be as straight forward as the first, coming down to the Bronze Bomber’s thunderous right hand possibly ending the night early and the Gypsy King’s mobility and ring IQ taking the fight to the final bell. As far as Wilder is concerned, what we’ve seen is what we always get. I don’t expect anything new from him. His best chance at winning this fight is his right hand and this time he’ll be looking to make sure Fury stays down for the full 10. Fury, on the other hand, has been talking about sitting down on his punches more and looking for an early KO. It’s nothing new to hear a fighter claim they’re going to knock their opponent out but it sounds like Fury’s plan is to throw, what worked so well for him in the first fight, right out the window and slug it out with the most dangerous puncher in the sport. We won’t know whether he’s serious or not until Saturday night.
I was never a big fan of Fury leading up to the first fight and while I picked Fury to win I still fully expected the overweight and ring rusted Fury to be another victim to Wilder’s power, proving my gut feeling right that it was too much too soon. Instead, I was proven wrong and had a newfound respect for Fury’s skill and heart. What intrigues me the most about the rematch is this time Fury should be sharper and in much better shape than he was in the first fight and if he does decide to utilize all the skills in his arsenal and make the proper adjustments, I see him getting the decision I think he deserved to get in the first fight.
Fury by Split or Unanimous Decision.
John Einreinhofer (USA) – TGT Writer/Podcaster: Wilder
Mike Goodpaster (USA) – TGT Owner: Fury
John Raspanti (USA) – Max Boxing/TGT Podcaster: Fury
Jeremiah Preisser (USA) – TGT Editor/Writer/Co-Host: Fury
Wilder is a trending favorite. Maybe his insinuation that Fury needs to be perfect for all 12 while he needs only to be perfect for 1 second resonates loudly. His punches generally do, but not enough to have me convinced that he can get by with a single right hand to save his night again. It’s an ever-present threat, sure, but Wilder can only go to the well so many times before it’s empty.
He nearly lucked out in the first fight and this version of Tyson should only be swifter, sharper, and more in tune with what’s coming at him. I think it’s as simple as doing the same as Fury did in the first bout, with a touch more activity and defense . I haven’t seen a plan-B from Deontay, so I’m not banking a start here.
Wilder – 9/Fury – 8