Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2 Preview
By Sina Latif
Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) and Tyson Fury (29-0-1) will be renewing acquaintances in one of the biggest fights in recent years on February 22 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning UK time.
This fight will be for Wilder’s WBC belt, Fury’s ‘lineal’ status and the vacant Ring Magazine heavyweight title.
The first fight in Los Angeles went down as an instant classic and both men displayed their greatest assets, but could not be separated. Wilder showed his devastating power and Fury displayed his slick movement and tremendous heart.
Fury’s movement was a nightmare for Wilder all night, but Wilder’s power is so destructive that when he did land on two occasions, particularly in the twelfth and final round, Fury had to show amazing heart and will to lift himself back up off the canvas and see the final bell.
The fight ended as a draw and question marks are still lingering.
Wilder and Fury are both in their unbeaten primes, they are the best of an era and this rematch is the biggest and most significant heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield in 1999 for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
Fury is a man who stands at 6ft 9ins and is a freak of nature in the way he goes against how a man of his size and stature is expected to box, with such movement, skills, angles and speed.
Wilder of course as we know hits devastatingly hard, one of the hardest hitters in the history of the sport, possibly the hardest.
Wilder, working with the same trainer from the day he started boxing in Jay Deas, has made small technical tweaks, otherwise not much has changed over the years. He has perfected the delivery of his right hand, blinding his opponent with a soft, distracting jab which is not intended to land before instantly throwing the brutal straight right.
For a fighter who only needs to land that right hand once to win the fight, the perfection of this move has made Wilder a formidable foe.
As a fighter who is equally unpredictable both in and out of the ring, unsurprisingly, most of the questions ahead of the rematch surround Fury.
Since the first fight, Wilder has scored two of the cleanest knockouts you will see in a heavyweight showdown against Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz.
Fury impressively beat Tom Schwarz, but then a supposed easy night’s work against Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin turned into a hard-fought affair and an unexpected examination of Fury’s grit after the Brit suffered a deep cut above his right eye in the third round, ultimately winning on points after a difficult fight.
Now the question is regarding the state of Fury’s eye. Wilder has already stated that he intends to target the eye and re-open the cut.
The two other main questions are in regards to Fury’s mental state having essentially almost been knocked out by Wilder in the previous fight, and Fury’s relationship with new trainer and nephew of the late, great Emmanuel Steward, Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward after parting ways with Ben Davison.
During a recent media conference call, Wilder said: “Deep down I feel he’s nervous, very nervous from what happened the first time.”
This may be the case, or it may not. Fury showed in that final round that he possesses the will and heart that can only be found when one is speaking about greatness. The sort of heart and determination found in Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes. The same way that Holmes can be knocked down heavily by one of the biggest hitters in history and get up to stop Earnie Shavers, Fury got knocked down heavily in the final round by another all-time huge hitter, only to get up off the canvas and back up his opponent to see out the fight. That is legendary material. The same determination he showed to resurrect his life from the depth of anguish out of the ring, he showed in the ring that night.
As Wilder has repeatedly reiterated, “They have to be perfect for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for 2 seconds.” That proved to be the case in the first fight and in the subsequent fights prior to the rematch. Wilder is dangerous every second whilst in the ring, and once he finds his opening, he will exploit it. This makes Wilder special in his own right.
However, a question also lingers surrounding Wilder. He was largely out-boxed against Fury and out-boxed by Ortiz in every round before landing his big shot. He showed patience against Ortiz with the utmost self-confidence that once he does land on Ortiz, he would get the Cuban out of there, which he did. Can he take the same risk of losing rounds against Fury with the belief that his eraser will eventually land, with Fury’s jab and fluid lateral movement? Fury is a superior boxer to Ortiz.
To avoid finding himself in trouble on the scorecards if Fury does manage to avoid his right hand all night, Wilder has to be more active in the rounds in which he is not landing his big punches. That under-rated and under-used jab will have to be brought into action with much greater frequency and effect.
In the press conference, Fury said: “I’ll meet you Deontay in the middle of the ring. 22nd February, I won’t be running, you won’t have to look anywhere for me. Just watch out for the right hands, because you’re going to sleep in 2 rounds.”
Is this just mere kidology? If true, such a plan must favour the American, surely?
Which version of Fury will turn up makes this blockbuster rematch all the more intriguing.
Fury had shed ten stones in weight in the previous year before they fought last time, having ballooned to 28st while battling depression and mental health issues. This makes his performance on that night, making Wilders’ right hand and left hook miss time and time again, all the more amazing.
Along with his phenomenal boxing skills, what Fury possesses on the inside can only be associated with greatness. Wilder has the kind of one-punch knockout power that creates legends and headlines.
After this potential all-time classic, one step will be taken closer to having the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.