Tyson Fury takes on Deontay Wilder in one of the most eagerly anticipated heavyweight clashes in years. The two are both putting unbeaten records on the line with the American’s WBC strap the prize at stake. The build-up hasn’t been without its controversy with both clashing in the final press conference on Wednesday and Fury’s new trainer,…
Tyson Fury takes on Deontay Wilder in one of the most eagerly anticipated heavyweight clashes in years.
The two are both putting unbeaten records on the line with the American’s WBC strap the prize at stake. The build-up hasn’t been without its controversy with both clashing in the final press conference on Wednesday and Fury’s new trainer, Freddie Roach, claiming to have spies in Wilder’s camp.
It promises to be an explosive encounter. But what will happen?
Here our team of experts (and non-experts) predict what they think will play out.
This is a fight that is still dividing opinion three months after its shock announcement. It could end when Wilder connects cleanly and it could end at the final bell with Wilder exhausted and trailing on points. A Wilder win is the easy choice, but Fury has a look about him and if I can still see that look after a few rounds there might just be something very special in Los Angeles this weekend. I believe they call it a Hollywood ending.
Verdict: Fury – Points
Fury’s toppling of Wladimir Klitschko in Düsseldorf will forever contend with the likes of Ken Buchanan, Lloyd Honeyghan and John H Stracey for the greatest British boxing victory on foreign soil. But that was over three years ago. It’s so difficult to believe he is as razor-sharp as he was and Wilder is far more aggressive than Klitschko. I think Wilder will lose the opening few rounds, come forward, and catch him.
Verdict: Wilder – KO (Round 7)
I’m anticipating a tense, messy fight regardless of the result. Wilder is arguably the biggest puncher on the planet but it’s a moot point if he can’t land. He also doesn’t tend to set a particularly high pace which will work in Fury’s favour. I see the challenger establishing an early lead before parking the bus and attempting to stay out of trouble at all costs. He might just do that and nick a decision in the process.
Verdict: Fury – Points
If the naturally defensive Fury’s fitness and flexibility are still intact, his decision to have two attack-minded, ‘war merchants’ in Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton running his corner sends a message – “I’m not just going to make him miss, I’m going to make him pay.” That makes a Fury knockout a very attractive bet. Fury’s power wears you down, rather than knocks you out, so a late stoppage could be on the cards.
Verdict: Fury – KO (9th)
Fury simply hasn’t had a proper fight in years so it’s difficult to diagnose this one. His recent opponents compared to Wilder figure to be like playing pre-season friendlies against Forest Green Rovers and Dulwich Hamlet only to come up against Manchester City on opening day. Wilder looks a finely-tuned machine and it’s hard not to think that he takes care of Fury. Considering the sheer amount of KO victories amassed by the Bronze Bomber in his time, it’s hard not to imagine him leaving Fury laid out on the canvas wondering what hit him.
Verdict: Wilder – KO (8th)
Jack de Menezes
It will be a test of Fury’s chin on Saturday night. There’s no doubt that Fury is one of, if not the most elusive heavyweight on the planet, but even he cannot avoid the free-swinging Wilder over the course of 12 rounds. If he can survive what Wilder can throw at him, Fury will need to find a way to impress the judges, because I don’t think Fury will knock Wilder out unless the reigning champion completely loses control of his game plan. Home advantage and a willingness to trade is likely to see Wilder win over the judges, so Fury will need another special night to upset the odds. Sadly, this fight might be too early in Fury’s comeback to do that.
Verdict: Wilder – Points
This really comes down to which Fury you think turns up. Fury 1.0, of three years ago, beats any heavyweight on the planet, Anthony Joshua included. This newer reboot, I’m not so sure. Wilder also isn’t the flat-track bully Matchroom would have you believe either and seven title defences, regardless of the opponent, are not to be sniffed at. He says he only has to be perfect for a second to win this one and he’s right. It’ll be close with Fury perhaps shading it in the early going but I expect Wilder to finish it late.
Verdict: Wilder – KO (8th)
Heart says Fury, head says Wilder. I’m going to have to be boring and go with my head on this one. The WBC champion just has too much momentum behind him at the moment and finally got a win against a worthy opponent in Luis Ortiz. I think it will be Wilder by TKO in the 10th. I could even see Fury’s corner throwing in the towel because there’s no chance he’ll quit. Hopefully setting up a monster April 13th fight against Joshua.
Verdict: Wilder – KO (10th)
The heavyweight division needs Wilder to win this fight, not least because the contest with Joshua that lies in wait would be boxing’s biggest global event not involving Floyd Mayweather since Lennox Lewis retired. Fury is the more polished boxer with the more proven elite pedigree, but I don’t think he has the power to take out Wilder and if it goes to the judges after 12 fairly close rounds, expect the home-town favourite to get the nod.
Verdict: Wilder – Points (SD)