It was one of the worst kept secrets in boxing, and in truth, most were simply waiting for Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” on their long-awaited rematch.
Finally, confirmation has come, and the duo will lock horns once more at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on February 22, 2020.
It will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated bouts of the year based on the original contest, which saw Fury survive two knockdowns – including one Lazarus-like rise from the canvas in the twelfth round – to earn a split decision draw with the WBC world heavyweight champion.
The social media hype has already begun, with Wilder tweeting that he will ‘finish what I started’ and the Gypsy King retorting that he would ‘knock out’ the current strap-holder.
After February 22nd there will be no more unanswered questions. I will finish what I started, and this time @Tyson_Fury will not be getting up off that canvas so quickly. I’ve proven myself time and time again and I will do it again in February. #WilderFury2 pic.twitter.com/GkYSzNCBAU
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) December 27, 2019
It’s certainly a clash of styles, with Wilder the aggressive knockout artist with 41 wins inside the distance in contrast to Fury’s more technical approach, which can get him ahead on the judges’ scorecards as long as he can avoid getting clipped by the champion’s piston-like right hand.
Adding intrigue to the build-up will be the sense that these are two very evenly-matched fighters. The sportsbooks can barely split them in their Fury vs Wilder boxing betting odds, with the English pugilist a slight favourite at around the -137 mark.
On February 22, we will finally find out who the better boxer is… assuming the contest doesn’t end in another draw, that is!
Fury Turns to Sugarhill for Sweet Science Training
There was a huge shock recently when it was revealed that Fury had split with his long-term trainer Ben Davidson.
He had been by the Gypsy King’s side throughout his ascent back to the big time, aiding him in his recovery from depression and personal problems and helping him get back into shape after ballooning in weight – Fury lost an incredible 10st to get back down to his fighting weight.
Good times followed the bad, and so it came as something of a surprise that the pair have cut ties as the fighter’s redemption story closes in on its fitting finale.
The Brit has instead turned to Sugarhill Stewart, nephew of the legendary trainer Emmanuel, to guide him to victory over Wilder.
Back in 2010, Fury made his first pilgrimage to the famous Kronk gym in Detroit where other champion heavyweights including Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko learned their craft.
Prior to his death, Stewart Snr had worked closely with the now 31-year-old, and so this new hook-up with Sugarhill has the feeling of a career going full circle.
“We will work on his technique”, Stewart has said, confirming that Fury was looking for a trainer who could sharpen up his old-fashioned skillset yet further.
The pair have already spoken of a plan to knock out Wilder, which seems unlikely given the evidence we have seen so far, and it would perhaps be wiser honing the exceptional defensive game Fury already possesses to keep him away from the champion’s powerful finishing punches.
If he can do that, this rags-to-riches story could finish with the ultimate in happy endings.