Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder meet for the WBC heavyweight championship on Saturday night in the second installment of their proposed trilogy. The boxing community has an inherent yearning to see the best fighting each other, especially whilst all participants are still in their relative prime. There is also especial romance attached when the fight is between heavyweights; and so this contest is rightly being categorised contemporarily – and will likely be viewed historically – as a true megafight.
There are also several delicious, interwoven narratives manifesting here. Both fighters are undefeated; they are currently inseparable, having fought to a draw in their thrilling 2018 encounter; and in keeping with the boxing adage styles make fights, they are as stylistically contrasting as mechanically possible. Tyson Fury is 31 years old, 29-0-1, a proficient, elusive, technical boxer with a high ring IQ. Deontay Wilder is a concussive powerhouse, who is 34 years of age and boasts a record of 42-0-1.
It had become unusual in the heavyweight division for such a 50/50 contest to be made. There have been upsets and divisional surprises, but it is uncommon for such even, ‘pick ‘em’ odds to exist leading into a contest. This fight has split pundits and bookies alike. As such, and in pioneering our inaugural team predictions special – only to become a feature for the major, super fight events – see how we as a team pick the outcome of this fight.
‘Fury will win via an even clearer points decision than the 1st fight. He will have benefitted from 14 months of consistent training so I expect him to be better than he was in the 1st fight whereas I’m not sure that Wilder will be.’
‘I am a big fan of the Gypsy King. I would love to see him prevail, but my gut instinct is that he won’t. This isn’t British pessimism, more an unbiased look at his comeback record, his recent performance against Otto Wallin and reading into his latterly altered training team (even though, on paper, I think his team is stronger now than it was previously). His story is inspirational, and whilst he is undeniably fitter than he was during the first fight, I don’t think he’ll be improved. Wilder has had him down twice previously, can take a shot, and will likely have to do so again, before, I think, he’ll catch Fury again and this time fully turn his lights out.’
Wilder: KO (late rounds)
‘If Fury avoids having the terrible cut re-opened v Otto Wallin, I have no doubt in my mind that an intense, focused performance will see him claim a late stoppage or UD win.’
Fury: UD or late stoppage (for a more detailed fight breakdown and prediction, view Greg’s video preview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZH69SNUFTc)
‘I’m so torn on this fight. We know Tyson is hard to pin down and for such a big man has such incredible movement. He may lack the pop to truly hurt Wilder though and the cut against Wallin will come into effect here I feel. Wilder has raw natural power, he’s so destructive. For me, Wilder will knock Fury out. Fury won the first fight clearly but changing trainer and his previous performances since Wilder has me thinking Deontay takes this.
I’ll go Wilder TKO7.’
Wilder: TKO (round 7)
‘I believe that since the first fight Tyson Fury has improved and had to overcome further adversity with that terrible cut against Wallin.
Wilder did not look great against Ortiz but has shown he can end a fight at any given time but the only difference is Fury got up and can do it again should he get put on the canvas.
If the eye holds up, and Fury can adopt the same game-plan from the first fight I think he cruises to a UD.’
Fury: points (UD)
‘A lot has been made of Fury saying he has to knock out Wilder, apparent recurring dreams of a second-round knockout, etc. I don't buy it; I think Fury will approach the fight in a similar manner to the first. Wilder will surely look to close the gap with more intelligence, instead of following Fury around aimlessly. Wilder's equaliser causing a stoppage between rounds 8-10.’
Wilder: KO (rounds 8-10)
‘Wilder-Fury 2 prediction: Despite the success Fury had outboxing Wilder for long stretches of the first fight, it’s hard for me to imagine him avoiding Wilder’s devastating power for a full 12 rounds this time. I expect Wilder to knockout Fury in the later rounds on Saturday.’
Wilder: KO (late rounds)
So there we have it: ESBR Boxing, as pundits and bookmakers alike, is split as evenly as possible. Four for Wilder and three for Fury. Tune in on Saturday night to see which half of the team will prevail!