The bookmakers may have pegged Deontay Wilder as a significant underdog for his third meeting with nemesis Tyson Fury, but the ‘Bronze Bomber’ is a rejuvenated force and poised to surprise the boxing world, according to manager Shelly Finkel.
Wilder won an arbitration case earlier this month to enforce a previously contracted third bout with Fury, scuppering the ‘Gypsy King’s’ planned August 14 collision with fellow heavyweight king Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
Now Wilder and Fury will engage once again on July 24 in Las Vegas, with the American desperate to regain the WBC crown he lost in such emphatic fashion in February 2020, tasting the canvas twice in a seven-round demolition.
Betfred currently have Wilder listed as a 5/2 outsider, but the American’s camp are quietly confident of revenge, according to manager Finkel. Wilder found a list of (often ridiculous) excuses for his stoppage defeat to Fury last year, but is now purely focused on the job in hand.
“If [Wilder] can’t beat Fury the way he’s planned to do it now, then he just can’t beat the guy, but I believe he will,” Finkel told Sky Sports. “I’ve seen things before and I’ve seen the way it is now.
“There was only one time he was the underdog and that was the first [Bermane] Stiverne fight, and he got disciplined and he did what he had to do [winning via decision]. I think he just believed that there was no way that Fury could beat him and it disrupted his equilibrium. I guess is the best way to say it.
“He had a lot of things he thought about. I think he should have not said them [about the second fight]. He did, he meant them but now he’s more, ‘Okay, now I’ve got to just prove it. I can’t talk,’ and that’s what he’s going to do.
“He’s training harder for this fight. He’s been training since August, July , physically. Now he’s been training tactically. It’s eight weeks from [today], the fight. There is no reason to talk, because no matter what anyone says, most people aren’t going to believe it unless he proves it in the ring.
“He also has a lot of skills that he hasn’t shown recently. Like he says, ‘They need 12 rounds, I need two seconds,’ and I think you’ll see someone prepared for 12 rounds.
“Again, no excuses, [but] he wasn’t the Deontay we know in that second fight and we’ll be looking to surprise the world. We’re not really that surprised if it happens, but everyone else will and I honestly believe Deontay is going to stop him this time.”