Deontay Wilder has twice tried and failed to beat Tyson Fury. He won his first 40 fights since turning pro, before running into the redemption arc of Britain’s self-proclaimed Gypsy King.
Wilder has exercised his contractual right to a rematch for the WBC heavyweight title and hopes to make it third time lucky. The question is, how can he dethrone the lineal champion, Fury?
In their first encounter on December 1, 2018, Wilder floored the British boxer not once but twice. Fury somehow willed his way back up from the flat of his back on the canvas and continued to claim what, at that point in the fight, looked the most unlikely of draws.
The rematch, again on Wilder’s side of the pond on February 22, panned out quite differently. Gone was the typical tactically astute boxing from the Brit.
Fury instead lived up to his name, going on the offensive, raining blows in, and wailing on Wilder in a way never really seen before. It turned out that The Bronze Bomber didn’t like a taste of his own medicine and the stoppage came in round seven.
An aggressive approach from Fury totally threw Wilder off his game, with less than a quarter of his punches finding their mark – and then came the excuses. His heavy entrance gear wearied him.
Nobody made Wilder wear something purely decorative on his way to the ring that weighed 40lbs, remember. For what it’s worth, Fury boxing on the front foot only has the capacity to surprise once.
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Wilder vs. Fury II
Wilder should have learned more lessons in that defeat than in his many victories. It is Fury and Fury alone that has prevented his professional career from being a complete and total success – which may be a powerful motivator in of itself.
The forthcoming third bout in the Fury v Wilder trilogy is a battle of knowledge against faith. Fury knows he can beat the American and has the evidence of the WBC belt being around his waist to prove it.
Wilder, meanwhile, only has the belief that he can regain the gold. In both previous clashes, he was a slight betting favorite, but the latest boxing odds for Fury v Wilder III have The Bronze Bomber as the underdog for next time around.
Earlier in his career, Fury defeated legendary Ukrainian fighter Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision, for the sport’s other world championships – though this is currently held by fellow British boxer Anthony Joshua. However, the Gypsy King is rightly regarded as fancied to beat Wilder again. The way he took apart his transatlantic rival in the second fight is reason enough to have faith for oddsmakers.
Although, let nothing be taken away from Wilder. He is the best American heavyweight of his generation, but his career has coincided with a time when European boxers have ascended to even greater heights.
Such has been the dramatic nature of Wilder’s rivalry and feud with Fury, however, that one more twist in the tale wouldn’t be surprising. You can’t rule out him emulating predecessors Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson by regaining the world heavyweight championship.