Conventional wisdom does not suggest that Deontay Wilder will overcome WBC king Tyson Fury in their contracted trilogy fight, tentatively scheduled for the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on December 19.

After being trounced in seven rounds in their rematch in February, Alabama puncher Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is currently a 12/5 underdog at BetFred with Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) strongly favoured at 1/3. The duo originally drew in December 2018 and another stalemate can be backed at 22/1. 

Yet according to Wilder’s 6ft 8ins heavyweight protégé Raphael Akpejiori (7-0, 7 KOs), who shares the same conditioning coach, the former WBC champion is in optimum shape, having recently stepped up his training regimen in Miami.

“Based on what I know, the only person that can beat Deontay right now, is Deontay,” Akpejiori told Sky Sports. “He will beat Fury if he sticks to the gameplan from his coaching staff and I know that he has all the physical tools.

“Right now, he is in amazing physical shape, that I can tell you for sure. You will see a completely different Deontay, mentally and physically in the ring, when that bell rings again for that third fight.

“He’s extremely confident. He’s very excited about that third fight. He’s very hungry and he’s trying to get back into the ring as soon as possible. He’s in great spirits, excited to get back to fight Tyson Fury.”

Main image: Wilder drops Fury in their first encounter. Photo: Esther Lin/Showtime.