Heavyweight WBC Champion Deontay Wilder is just days away from his rematch against ‘Lineal’ Champion Tyson Fury.
The most anticipated matchup so far of 2020 will go down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night. Both men will be desperate to cement their status as the consensus best Heavyweight in boxing by winning the fight and claiming the coveted Ring Magazine Title.
Wilder and Fury will square off for a second time this weekend. The first fight took place in December 2018 and ended in controversial fashion. Englishman Fury was able to dominate much of the bout with his sharp boxing skills. However, he was twice knocked down in the latter rounds making for an enthralling watch for fights fans in the arena and around the world.
In the end the judges scored the fight a split decision draw causing shock among the majority of fans, pundits and fellow fighters who had believed Fury did enough to beat the champion.
Despite the original controversy surrounding the result, you couldn’t say it hasn’t worked out well commercially. Both fighters will now get the chance to be in the biggest fight of the year, make a boatload of cash in the process and now with an added title on the line.
Since the first fight both men have had two intermediary bouts.
The 34-year-old Alabama native Wilder has kept his level of opposition relatively high. First up he faced a former opponent of Anthony Joshua and fellow American Dominic Breazeale. In the opening round of the fight, both men went to war with Wilder emerging victorious.
The WBC king landed a hellish punch leaving Breazeale unconscious on the floor. Another highlight-reel knockout was added to his CV, as was some serious credit to his boxing record. Wilder had managed to deal with ‘Trouble’ much quicker than bitter rival Joshua previously did.
Next up Wilder fought a rematch against the avoided Cuban Heavyweight Luis Ortiz. The first fight was close throughout and Ortiz was probably getting the better of it, he even hurt Wilder at one point. However, as always, the heavy-hitting Wilder managed to pull it out the bag down the stretch.
The rematch was much of the same. Throughout the opening half of the fight Wilder was behind on points, before uncorking a brilliant shot to finish the bout in the seventh round and bring an end to his interesting rivalry with Ortiz.
In contrast to Wilder, Fury’s level opposition was a considerable step-down. With good reason, after a number of years out the ring, the Manchester native was in desperate need of rounds against good but not great fighters.
Fury first faced the unbeaten and unknown German Tom Schwarz in June of last year. Often known as a distance fighter the ‘Gypsy King’ went for the kill early and got it. In just the second round he managed to stop Schwarz with a barrage of punches. He looked great and this fight exhibited his talents as intended.
In his following fight Fury again fought an unbeaten fighter in European Champion Otto Wallin. Despite being written off in the build-up the Swedish Heavyweight performed admirably on the night. He caused the Englishman all sorts of trouble including 2 terrible cuts, one far worse than the other.-
Luckily for Fury the ringside doctors allowed him to fight out and claim a hard-earned decision win.
Whatever happens this weekend the option of a third fight between the pair will be on the table. After two previous rounds of negotiations between the pairs respective teams, the trilogy fight should be relatively easy to make. Depending on how good this fight is, it may also be one of the more lucrative options available for either man. A third fight is a strong possibility in this one and we can’t be sure too many fans would object if that’s what we did see.
In an ideal world though the winner would face off against Anthony Joshua next. The Olympic Gold Medalist currently holds three of the four major heavyweight belts. A fight between ‘AJ’ and Wilder or Fury is the biggest fight in boxing. Aside from the tens of millions the fighters would undoubtedly make its also a legacy-defining fight. Only by fighting Joshua will either man be able to unify the division, something hardcore fans hope they’ll want to do as soon as possible.
Dillian Whyte could well get in the way of any plans to fight Joshua or each other in the future. ‘The Bodysnatcher’ has been mandatory for the WBC Title for over three years. Currently, he holds the interim title, but you better believe whatever happens in Wilder, Fury II, he’ll be screaming for his long-overdue Heavyweight title shot.
He might just get it; you can’t say he hasn’t waited long enough.
Although these are the three most obvious options don’t be surprised to see whoever wins take an alternative route. Wilder has an easily made and highly lucrative fight with former unified champion Andy Ruiz just waiting for him. Fury has similar options with Kurbat Pulev and Jarrell Miller both decent names who are under the same promotional banner. After such a massive fight whoever wins may want to take a step back before jumping into another mega-fight.
Whatever happens fans are in for a few fun years of brilliant fights. We are in the midst of a true golden age for Heavyweight Boxing. It’s time to sit back, relax and watch these warriors’ fight it out.