Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are set to face off on February 22nd in one of the most highly anticipated rematches the sport has ever seen.
The first fight between the two heavyweights in December 2018 was a classic which saw Fury, who had been winning for most of the fight, miraculously survive a 12th-round knockdown after getting caught by Wilder’s powerful right hand that led to a controversial split decision draw.
Before the rematch oddsmakers have the fight as basically a toss-up. Fury is a slight -105 favorite a week before the fight.
We took a look at all the major storylines going into the big fight and here’s what you need to know before the February 22nd rematch.
What has happened since their first fight?
After his fight with Fury, Wilder has knocked out both his opponents, including an impressive one-punch destruction of Dominic Breazeale.
In his November fight against Luis Ortiz, Wilder was able to land a perfectly timed right hand in the seventh round to KO Ortiz despite losing for most of the fight.
Fury, on the other hand, had a bit more trouble in his most recent match against Otto Wallin in September. Wallin opened up a deep cut over Fury’s eye in the third round which forced the Brit to pull out all the stops to avoid an embarrassing stoppage loss.
Fury has since changed trainers and is currently bulking up to 270 pounds in preparation for his fight against Wilder.
How the fighters feel going into the rematch.
Going into the second fight Wilder feels like he’s gotten into Fury’s head and believes his opponent is nervous about getting knocked out this time around after getting hit with a devastating right hand in their first fight.
“Deep down in his heart, I really feel that he’s nervous,” “I really feel that he’s very, very nervous from the first time, what happened. When you knock a person out and give him a concussion, you never forget that. You never forget who did it to you and how they did it. And when you go back in the ring with him a second time, to relive that moment all over again, it has to be stressful. It has to be. You definitely can’t sleep at night and I understand why he’s not bringing cameras and he’s changing up a lot of things through his team.”
Fury believes he’s spent enough time in the ring with Wilder to understand his tendencies. He goes on to call Wilder a “one-dimensional fighter” and believes he can avoid the heavyweight champion’s big right hand for 12 rounds.
“I learned that he can be hit, and he can be hurt quite regular,” “That’s the biggest thing that I learned about Deontay Wilder, not that I didn’t already know. Before I fought him, obviously I didn’t know what he was like in a boxing ring. And after I fought him, I know what he’s like now and that’s it. There’s nothing to worry about. He’s got a big right hand and that’s it. He’s a one-dimensional fighter and I’m gonna prove that on the 22nd of February.”
Prediction: Tyson Fury wins 12 round decision -105
In the end, Fury outboxed Wilder for most of their first fight before the infamous 12th round knockdown that helped the champion retain his title with a draw. In nine of the 12 rounds, the “Gypsy King” outstruck the “Bronze Bomber” as Wilder was only able to land just 17 percent of his punches throughout the fight while Fury landed 26 percent.
Fury is expected to be in much better shape for the rematch and having spent 12 rounds in the ring against Wilder it should give him, the superior boxer, a big edge this time around.