If the second one is even half as good as the first, we are in for another classic. KO specialist vs comeback “Gypsy King” boxing artist. The only real match up in the heavyweight division worth watching right now.
Let’s take a look at how they stack up and predict an outcome.
Undefeated with a knockout to win ratio of 98%. That’s a very high percentage and speaks to the power of his vaunted right hand. Some are calling him a modern-day Mike Tyson … I think that is premature. Yes, he has a great right hook but if you watch the tapes carefully, he doesn’t have much variation and his punching – as devastating as it may be – is often telegraphed. Tyson Fury, for the most part, had little trouble avoiding them in the first fight. There isn’t a great upper cut in his repertoire nor a consistent jab to score points with – its all or nothing in landing the big right hook.
That said, he only needs to land one of them to win the fight. Fury fans will argue that he did in the 12th round of the first fight but Fury managed to get up … somehow.
Clearly the better overall boxer but does he have the power to knock out Wilder? If he doesn’t, he will have to last the entire 12 rounds avoiding that big Wilder right. Can he pull that off again? Likes to showboat a lot … he got away with it in the first fight but Wilder’s camp will look for opportunities to punish any lack of focus from Fury.
Fury has made some risky changes from the first fight. Gone is his long time trainer Ben Davison who oversaw strategy in the first bout. Also out is veteran trainer Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton. In comes Javan Sugar Hill Steward along with his protege, Fury’s cousin Andy Lee, and also legendary cut man Stitch Duran.
After the first fight, Davison was heavily criticised by Roach – “I’m more of an offensive coach,” Roach explained, “I’m very aggressive and I was a little bit disappointed in the corner work. Ben was telling him to feint and step back. Why are you telling him to step back? Let this guy fight, he can get rid of this guy.”
The new plan is to get closer, not giving Wilder enough space to swing for the fences. It is also to be more aggressive and look for the knockout. Hmmmm. By getting too close, Fury risks catching that wild hook. In the first fight, he used his outstanding jab and hand speed to outbox Wilder and avoid his big hits. It worked. Fury has to somehow figure out a way to keep his jab busy as it is a major weapon. Unless he is bluffing … and he may well be … Fury is looking for an early knockout.
I think it is part bluff, part truth. Fury will still keep his distance but at times be more aggressive than he was in the first fight.
For Wilder, there is no real strategy … look for the kill and kill. End of story. Wilder can take a punch and has the stamina to last 12 rounds. He showed in his last fight against Luis Ortiz that he can stay patient and pick his spots. He was well behind on all the judges scorecards before landing the TKO in the 10th.
Wilder has arguably more to lose than Fury. A defeat here would really hurt his reputation. His aim is to become one of the all-time greats of heavyweight boxing. Fury, has had his head turned by talk of an MMA fight and may not need this one as much as Wilder. He has proven himself by making the comeback from near-suicide to respected fighter. Look … he wants it, he wouldn’t have come this far even he didn’t … I just feel that Wilder wants it more and that can be a big factor in combat.
Firstly, I don’t see this one going the distance again. Lessons will have been learned on both sides from the first fight. If Fury tries to box toe-to-toe he will be gone early. If he attempts a hybrid of the two he may have some success IF he can find away to finish Wilder.
Secondly, Fury faces the risk of having his cut re-opened which would be damaging to his ability to last 12 rounds.
Finally, I see Fury’s proposed strategy – again if true – to be too risky against the power of Wilder and for that reason I am predicting a WILDER BY KO/TKO IN SIX.