Label Volunteer, Rahul Mathasing, takes a look at two of the best boxers in the world ahead of their rematch fight in Las Vegas.
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury – two fighters whose personalities outside the ring probably overshadow their qualities in it.
The first encounter was furious before the glover were even on, with the two sharing more than harsh words at their press conference, something they seem to have repeated the second time around. Neither of the men are afraid to voice their opinions on each other or anyone else contesting in the Heavyweight division. The blood is apparently so bad on the surface that the there was no face off at the weigh in for the rematch.
With around 2 million pay-per-view sales at almost $80 a piece, promoters simply can’t afford possible injury before the fight even happens; this is an actual possibility with Wilder and Fury.
Whichever way you look at it, the anticipation is at fever pitch and all eyes will be on these two boxers.
The most interesting side story is one of redemption and rehabilitation for Fury. Whilst his big persona is not uncommon amongst prize-fighters, his became very real when he opened up about his struggles with addiction and depression. His speaking out marked a turn in his career as he made a stunning comeback; shedding the pounds and continuing to improve through training and conversation.
With this fight, rather fittingly entitled “Unfinished Business”, Fury has tasked himself with chasing the knockout. In a bid to move away from his usual taunting and evasive style, showing impressive agility for a man of his stature – will he be able to bring down the “Bronze Bomber”?
Wilder is famous for his slashing, brawling style, packing huge amounts of raw power into unrelenting attacks. This makes it difficult to get a counter attack in.
Fury’s reach is a big advantage here, as well as his ability to take a hit and keep coming.
In their first fight, Fury cam back from two knockdowns to draw the match in a split decision, and Wilder retained his WBC belt and title.
The fight had mixed reviews, with some praising the drama and commitment of both men. Personally I was disappointed, albeit maybe in a misplaced way. I expected an all out excitement fest, with both men going for the knockout – and instead witnessed two fighters, not normally known for technical boxing, come out and test each other glove to glove, rather than take it toe to toe. Wilder has a 95% knockout ratio and the right hand notorious for making his opponents see stars and smell canvas.
It’ll be interesting then to see how Fury v Wilder 2 unfolds. Will the shadow of a draw come back full circle with both looking for a long fought victory? Or will the heated words revert them both to type, resulting in punchers versus puncher?
If this follows tradition, then chances are whichever way to fight goes we will see Round 3 not too far away. After that, the long term goal is to fight Anthony Joshua both that era defining Unification fight. No fighter in history has held all 5 belts, and AJ is the only one who has looked composed and powerful enough to do so in recent times. Joshua still needs to see his mandatory challenger fight with Kubrat Pulev for the IBF belt; and then Oleksandr Usyk probably not too far down the line.
Opinions go back and forth on who will come out on top in the Fury/Wilder clash making it clear that it’s just too close to call. It’s probably likely that they will take a third fight, reminiscent of the Ali v Frazier, which contained two “fight of the century” titles.
One thing is for sure though, both of these men have worked hard and it’s going to be a fight to watch.