While the world of combat sports has come a long way since the heyday of boxing, there still is nothing quite like a heavyweight boxing title fight. This Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, we should be treated to one for the ages as current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (-108) will take on former WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Tyson Fury (-108). These two last faced off in December of 2018, a controversial split draw that remains the only blemish on otherwise perfect resumes for both fighters.
The first showdown between these two was frankly one of the best fights of the last decade and thus far a keystone fight in both fighter’s careers. The fight itself was a back and forth affair in which Fury was knocked down to the mat on two separate occasions, one for the entire count from the referee which was later questioned as too slow. With respect for each other shown immediately following the flight, almost instantly calls came for a rematch after the much-debated decision from the judges. Though a rematch was delayed due to contractual obligations and scheduling conflicts, we finally get to see these two hard-hitting heavyweights throw down again Saturday night. Let’s take a closer look at this rematch to see where we can find an edge.
Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) vs. Tyson Fury (29-0-1)
These odds were taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on February 20, 2020.
The definition of a knockout specialist, 41 of Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder’s 43 professional fights have ended in a knockout, and his aforementioned first fight against Fury almost did as well. The last time we saw Wilder inside the ring was also a rematch, that time in November against southpaw Luis Ortiz whose only two losses in his career have come against Wilder, both when challenging for the WBC heavyweight title. Unfortunately for Ortiz, the second fight lasted even shorter than the first, this time a seventh-round knockout in the same arena Saturday night’s fight will go down in. Prior to that fight, Wilder needed just over two minutes of the very first round to finish a fellow knockout specialist in Dominic Breazeale who has knocked out 18 of his 20 wins to date.
After taking nearly three years away from the sport to deal with personal issues that ranged from depression to alcoholism, Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury took the fight against Wilder and very few thought he had a chance to even make it out of the ring on his own two feet. The fact that Fury not only went toe to toe with a killer in Wilder who has not only successfully defended his belt 11 times but had done each one prior by KO well before the final bell, shows the kind of heart we are dealing with Saturday night. Fury has also fought twice since his first go-around with Wilder, most recently a 12-round unanimous decision win over Otto Wallin in September, the first loss of Wallin’s career. Prior to Wallin, Fury ended another fighter’s unbeaten streak when he took out Tom Schwarz with a second-round TKO, also at the MGM Grand Arena.
While neither of these fighters is particularly young, they both are seemingly in the primes of their career and as far as boxing goes two of the biggest names the sport has to offer. From a physical standpoint, these fighters are just as close as their first result would indicate, but I see the intangibles favoring Wilder this time around. As he showed the first time, Wilder has arguably the hardest right hand the sport has ever seen, and this time around should only take one to put Fury down for good. On the other side, Fury has already had one the best performances of his career his last time out against Wilder, on three years of virtually rest at that. Deep down, I could see him realizing that even that isn’t good enough, giving Wilder the slight edge that he needs to end this one, I expect well before the final bell as he defends his title for a record 11th time.