By Trevor McIntyre: Tyson Fury says Deontay Wilder’s immense punching power will be useless to him when the two of them fight each other in November in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) says he’s going to neutralize Wilder’s punching power with movement and by rolling with the shots to keep him from being able to land anything with full force against him.
Fury beat Francesco Pianeta (35-5-1, 21 KOs) by a 10 round decision last weekend at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Pianeta, 33, was the final hurdle for Fury to leap over for him to challenge Wilder in November. While it wasn’t the greatest performance from Fury, he did enough to win in a dominant fashion in winning all the rounds.
“It’s not going to be an easy fight,” Fury said about his match against Wilder. “It’s going to be the hardest fight of my life. The reason being he’s very awkward. He’s very unconventional. His punches come from all angles. He’s got dynamite in both hands. It’s going to be a good test, a good jigsaw puzzle. I’m confident I can work it out and bring back the WBC belt back to the UK,” Fury said.
Saying that Wilder will be the hardest fight of his career is a big compliment by Fury. He’s beaten Wladimir Klitschko and Dereck Chisora in the past. Those two are arguably the best opponents of Fury’s career by a long shot. The other notable fighters are these guys: Christian Hammer, Steve Cunningham, Pianeta, Martin Rogan, Nicola Firtha, John McDermott and Vinny Maddalone. Truth be told, Fury’s resume is meager. Chisora and Klitschko are heads and shoulders above the rest of the pack. The Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) fight will tell the boxing world how good or not so good Fury is.
”We believe it’s our destiny to become the WBC champion of the world in 2018,” Fury said. ”I said give me the opportunity and I’ll seize it with both hands. Given the opportunity, I’ll rise to the occasion once again, and I believe I can be victorious for many reasons. I believe it’s written in the stars. I was 18 stone 6 in there. Wilder probably weighs 15 or 15 ½ [stone]. I’m probably going to get down to 18 stone, nice and light so I can move and slip and slide and be awkward,” Fury said.
The 6’7” Wilder will probably come into the fight with Fury between 215 to 222 pounds. Wilder’s highest weight in the last two years is 228 pounds against Artur Szpilka, and he looked sluggish at that weight and not as speedy as he’d been when fighting in the lower 220s. In Wilder’s last two fights, he’s fought at 220 lbs. against Bermane Stiverne and 214 lbs. in his last bout against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. Wilder fought at a high level in both of those fights. Fury will likely drop down in the 240s for the Wilder fight. Last Saturday, Fury weighed 258 pounds against Pianeta, but he looked slow and not as light on his feet as he was against Klitschko in 2015 when he weighed 245 pounds. It’s highly possible that Fury will use his next training camp to drain down to the mid-240s for the Wilder fight. The risk in Fury dropping that low is he’s going to likely lose what little punching power that he has left at this point. Fury’s punches looked weak and without their usual snap against Pianeta. The only explanation for that is the drop in weight from 390 pounds to 258 lbs. for Fury. That’s an incredible amount of weight for any person to lose, especially a world class athlete. When one loses that amount of weight, something has got to give.
”It’s alright to have massive power, but if you can’t land it, you’re lost,” Fury said. “Wladimir Klitschko had massive power. He did land it, but not effectively and not clean, because I’m always riding the shots. It’s not easy to land clean on me. I’m a different fighter now. I don’t walk square. I don’t rush. I take my time. I’m cool, calm and collective. I’m very awkward to land on. I don’t have a glass chin. I can take punches. I’m going to be there to fight. I’m not going to be there to play games. I’m going to make him pay. I think his style is tailor made for mine. He’s big and awkward with wild swings. I believe I’m the better boxer than him,” Fury said.
Wilder has the reach and the hand speed to land his bombs on Fury. With Wilder’s power, it only takes one big shot from him to hurt Fury. The best hope for Fury is that Wilder will decrease the amount of power on his shots once he starts missing with his shots early in the bout. If Fury can get Wilder to lessen the power on his shots, then the fight will boil down to work rate and boxing skills. Fury has a big advantage in both of those departments, because he likes to throw a lot of punches and he’s got excellent skills. Wilder is more of a one punch at a time type of fighter, who looks to land huge bombs. Once Wilder takes some of the power off his shots, it’ll put him in the same boat that Wladimir was when he fought Fury. Wladimir took power off his shots to increase his accuracy in hitting Fury, but he also was hesitant to let his hands go for fear of missing and being countered. Wilder can’t fall into the same trap Wladimir did if he wants to beat Fury. The style that works best against Fury is the aggressive all out style that Big John McDermott used against Fury in his two fights against him. McDermott was all over Fury, taking the fight to him and throwing lots of shots. Fury was able to avoid some of the shots, but not all of them.
“It’s a good fight,” Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said. “There will be a rematch if it calls for it. What makes me less nervous is he’s so confident,” Warren said about Fury’s self-confidence.
A rematch between Fury and Wilder will make them both a lot of money, especially if the first fight is a competitive one. If there’s a controversial decision like we saw in the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight last September, it’s all the better for Fury-Wilder. It means there will be a tremendous amount of interest in a second fight. If Fury and Wilder can wind up facing each other three times in competitive fights, it would make them both huge money and increase their popularity to another level. At that point they would be able to face IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and receive an even split of the revenue for the fight. It would be insane for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn to continue to offer flat fees.
“My timing is there,” Fury said in maintaining that he doesn’t need additional tune-ups before facing Wilder. “My movement is there, and my speed is back. There’s no need to take another two warm-up fights. It would be a waste of time.”
Last Saturday, Fury didn’t look like he was at the same level as he did against Klitschko. The speed isn’t the same for Fury, and his movement and power wasn’t there. However, it’s unclear whether this is something that can be changed with additional fights. Fury is approaching 30-years-old, and he’s had almost three years off from boxing in living the soft life with loads of good food and drink. Going from that kind of a lifestyle back to a Spartan lifestyle is incredibly hard for any person. But when you add in all the weight that Fury has had to take off to get back to his old fighting weight, it might not be possible for him to ever return to the place he was at before in terms of performance. Last Saturday, Fury appeared to be fighting at 60 percent capacity. It’s admirable that Fury was able to get back to 60% level of what he once was, but he’s still lost too much from his game for him to have a reasonable chance of beating a fighter like Wilder.
”I’m not going into this fight for a paycheck,” Fury said. ”Losing aint in my vocabulary. All I do is win, win, win. I don’t need to be sparked in Las Vegas for money. If I didn’t believe I could win this fight against Deontay Wilder, I’d pack up. I’d retire today, because I don’t box to be second best. If I ain’t good enough to be at the top, then so be it. I’m taking the fight because I know I can win and all I do is win. I’ve got a skeleton key for every door, and I’ve never been proven wrong. I’d rather have no money and win the title then having $200 billion and lose. We can win. My walls have never been breached in 10 years, and I don’t intend on letting them get breached in this next fight, I promise you that. We’re going to America to win, and that’s how it is,” Fury said.