Trilogy fights usually take place where doubt lingers over the outcome of the rematch, but on Saturday Tyson Fury is in the unusual situation of facing Deontay Wilder, an opponent he handily trounced in his last bout 20 months ago.
Wilder enforced a previously contracted third fight after taking his claims to arbitration where a judge ruled in his favour, meaning Fury had to go over old ground or suffer the financial consequences.
That ruling stopped a long mooted undisputed heavyweight title bout between Fury and rival WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua in its tracks before AJ lost his belts to WBO No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk and the all-British unification clash was left in tatters. Fury-Wilder III had further problems to negotiate when the Gypsy King tested positive for Covid-19 and a July 24 fight date was bumped back to October 9.
After offering a series of excuses for his emphatic defeat in February 2020, the heavy-handed Wilder has a chance for retribution in a make or break fight this weekend. Can Wilder flip the script or is another victory on the cards for the unbeaten Fury? Boxing Social’s intrepid band of writers and fortune tellers attempt to predict the outcome.
I find this a tricky one to call when looking at comparisons to both men in the previous two build-ups. Fury has been constantly telling people he’ll knock Wilder out and retire him. But strangely, I’ve barely seen a clip of the Gypsy King in the gym. He definitely looks a bit fleshier than last February. But he’s also in better shape than the pair’s original contest. So, what does that really tell us? A lot of the talk has been about whether Fury is ‘focused’ or has his mind fully on the job. Ultimately, I don’t think it matters too much when fighting a fairly one-dimensional banger such as Wilder. He’ll have enough to outfox the American even operating at 30%.
Wilder, however, has looked a little better for my money. He’s obviously not the gracious, flowing athlete the American public would like him to be. But from clips of his work with Malik Scott, his fighting chances have looked a little better, and his variety of punches seems to be greater. The American has been relatively quiet in the weeks preceding this fight, focusing on his camp and doing work behind closed doors. Maybe he’s ready to put on a show? It’s a tough, tough ask. Probably tougher mentally than physically, after he was emasculated and beaten in the States. Bloodied and rescued. Dethroned.
I think this could actually go longer than their second fight, and I fancy Tyson Fury to win between 9-12 by TKO. A points win for the Gypsy King wouldn’t surprise me either. Roll on Saturday! – Craig Scott.
I find it impossible for anyone to go with Wilder unless you share the conspiracy theories of their rematch and are a Wilder fan. His devastating power has already been absorbed by Fury and nullified. From the outside there can be no logical reason to pick Wilder. His threat will remain but the fact is Fury is a much better fighter and will once again prove that. By no means am I writing Wilder off completely I just can’t think of a valid argument for Wilder to win. I just hope it’s more competitive than last time. Fury stoppage by round six. – Shaun Brown.
I understand Shaun’s point; Wilder was outboxed in the first fight and beaten up in the second. It appears Tyson Fury ‘could’ win this fight any way he wants. However, I have concerns. Fury is always at his best when he feels he has to be. In fights where the ‘Gypsy King’ feels he can do whatever he wants and be victorious, he tends to make mistakes. I know it was eight years ago, and the Fury is a different fighter now, but his victory over Steve Cunningham will always stick in my mind. His uncle – and then trainer – Peter Fury was unable to travel to the US for the bout. Without Peter in his corner, Fury got dropped heavily in an undisciplined performance. He thought he would be able to do as he wished against the significantly shorter, former cruiserweight champion and soon discovered that was not the case. I suspect Fury never really wanted this fight, that’s not to say he fears Wilder, I believe it is the opposite; he feels he have closed that chapter. With the extremely lucrative fight against Anthony Joshua, for all the heavyweight belts, off the table, how motivated will Fury be for this bout? It might be hard to see how Wilder wins this fight, but it easier to see how Fury loses it. The American is still the most dangerous puncher in the division, and must be treated as such. Despite these concerns, I think Fury ‘should’ stop Wilder in the first half of the fight, if his mind is in the right place. – John A. MacDonald.
It’s easy to make a case for a Wilder win. Fury’s preparation has been beset with distractions. The Gypsy King has watched a lucrative, career-defining clash with Anthony Joshua go up in smoke, contracted Covid-19 and seen his baby daughter Athena survive a brush with death in intensive care. You couldn’t blame Fury’s motivation levels for wavering against an opponent he demolished in his previous fight. Wilder was abysmal in their return fight and survived seven rounds on fighting heart alone. I think he’ll fare better in the trilogy bout as he can hardly do any worse, guided by former foe turned trainer Malik Scott. That venomous right hand always gives Wilder a chance, but technically and mentally he is well short of Fury. Wilder looked bullied and bemused in the pre-fight press conference and one would expect a similar outcome in the third meeting. Fury in 10 rounds. – Mark Butcher.