Fury vs Wilder 3: Big Fight Preview & Prediction
Deontay Wilder went to court to enforce the trilogy fight with Tyson Fury. Is that a sign of confidence, desperation or sheer delusion? Wilder made his excuses, and plenty of them after losing his unbeaten record and his WBC heavyweight title in February last year. The excuses came thick and fast, they became more laughable as time went on. A fighter seemingly unable to accept reality. The blame often lies closer to home.
I am convinced Wilder believes all the many excuses and nonsense he has come up with, including the ridiculous and unfounded cheating claims. Wilder seems to need a narrative for his own mind to find an excuse for his defeat. He doesn’t seem able or willing to accept he was beaten by the better man.
Wilder was given an early Christmas present in their first fight, make no mistake, the judges saved him. Wilder beyond any reasonable doubt, lost that fight.
The rematch was more emphatic, this time, Fury removed all doubt. With tactics that looked like a mission to oblivion pre-fight, post-fight it was proved to be a stroke of genius. Fury walked him down, Wilder was beaten physically and maybe more importantly with the final chapter looming, mentally. The manner of that defeat will be hard to overcome. It was humbling. It might be terminal to his career.
Mark Breland has gone, his act of mercy and common sense cost him his job. A decent man thrown to the wolves. Malik Scott has got the promotion, but can he make the significant improvements that he surely needs to end the saga on top. Is Wilder beyond the stage to change?
Will trying to change too much leave Wilder in the land of nothing, reducing his best chance, maybe his only chance, of winning. The former champion can certainly punch, but being caught being the natural and the new, could take away any chance Wilder has.
The only way Fury appears to lose is by complacency or by a lack of motivation after seeing the Anthony Joshua fight ripped away courtesy of a judge in an American courtroom. Is going over old ground enough to lift Fury to the levels he needs to repeat what he has done before? Could that be the great equaliser to give Wilder hope?
But Fury looks highly unlikely to oblige. This isn’t the fighter or man of old. The champion knows what’s at stake, this version of Fury won’t let go easily. Wilder will have to earn his win, he won’t be given anything this Saturday in Las Vegas.
Fury looks better practically everywhere. Fury has more ways to win. Wilder has one.
Almost certainly Wilder took the first fight with Fury in 2018 because he viewed him as an easy touch. Fury was in the embryonic stages of his remarkable comeback, Wilder undoubtedly thought he was catching Fury at the right time. It looked too soon, the body still soft, the man strength hadn’t yet returned, but Fury put on a masterclass only to be denied by scorecards that looked completely out of touch with what most observers saw.
Fury survived two knockdowns in that first meeting, and maybe tellingly, in the rematch with the body more battle-hardened, Fury seemed to absorb the heavy artillery of Wilder far better. The big punch seemed an irrelevance. When it landed in the opening two rounds, nothing happened. There was no sense of imminent danger in the rematch that there was in the first fight.
A fighter can’t correct his mistakes unless he admits to them. That heading into the final dance is a major worry. Wilder can’t seem to admit to himself what happened. But admission of the truth or not, Wilder doesn’t seem capable of the big adjustments he needs. The resume quite rightly indicates the devastating power he has, but take that away, what else is left. Fury took it away in the rematch and Wilder showed us very little else.
Fury bullied Wilder, bludgeoned him in a one-sided fight. The former champion seems to have bulked up since that fateful night, clearly hoping to reduce the physical advantages Fury has over him.
Wilder has limitations and plenty of them and has got away with the lack of the basic fundamentals because of his size, and some would say the quality of opposition. Against Fury that hasn’t and won’t be enough. But that great equaliser should never be underestimated. If Fury gets careless, as Wilder says himself, this time he might not get up.
But regardless of what the judges said, even when Fury wasn’t truly ready, Wilder still lost to Fury in 2018 and was beaten convincingly in the rematch. Can he really make the changes required to beat Fury? We are not talking minor adjustments, he probably needs a total reinvention of his skills. At 35, that looks remote at best.
Picking a winner in any fight of this magnitude can be problematic because you never quite know what will happen. But with Fury and Wilder, we have seen what will happen and twice. In the gambling city of Las Vegas, Fury looks the safe bet.
Unless Fury turns up unprepared, which is unlikely, I can’t see him losing his unbeaten record. There is an extra dimension due to the extended absence for both fighters, could that close the apparent gap between the two fighters? Wilder needs all the help he can get.
It probably is a fight with more intrigue now than it would have been without the extended delay courtesy of the pandemic and the courtroom drama. Wilder had the look of a broken man not so long ago, will time have healed the mental demons which must have lingered long after the second fight? Wilder will no doubt be reminded of that horrible night once the eyes are locked before that first bell rings. Sometimes the truth can’t be buried.
The Fury tactics will be similar to the second fight, and Wilder will be unable to cope with the pressure Fury will bring. Wilder does this time know what’s coming, the Fury tactics must have come as a big surprise last time. Yes, Fury said what he was going to do, but nobody, least of all Wilder, believed him.
It might be a little more competitive this time, with Wilder offering a little more resistance, at least in the opening few rounds, but at some point, Wilder will succumb before we reach the championship rounds. This time there will be no excuses, and hopefully and finally, Wilder accepts reality.