Tuesday, January 31, 2023  |



Deontay Wilder admits he’s ‘never dealt with anyone who possesses what’ Tyson Fury has

WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — When Deontay Wilder steps over the ring ropes on December 1 in Los Angeles, he’ll be wading into uncharted territory. This much, the heavyweight titleholder admits.

Through 40 pro fights, Wilder has yet to face someone who can match his athleticism. Tyson Fury can do that and more. Fury is fleet of foot and owns a two-inch height advantage on Wilder.

The 30-year-old Brit is also the superior boxer; Wilder, of course, is the puncher. Only one of the 33-year-old’s opponents lasted the distance, and even Bermane Stiverne was vanquished in the first round of their rematch last November.

Now, Wilder (40-0, 39 knockouts) prepares to solve the unique puzzle Fury presents.

“I don’t know what Fury’s weaknesses are. I’ve never dealt with anyone who possesses what he has,” Wilder told a small group of reporters following a workout at Churchill Boxing Club on Monday, less than a month out from his heavyweight champion fight with Fury on Showtime PPV.

“I’m going to do things he doesn’t expect me to do,” The Ring’s No. 2 heavyweight added. “Fury thinks I’m going to just be following around him with a right hand — that’s stupid. There are a lot of things that are going to be a surprise to him once he steps into the ring. Everybody witnesses it when they fight me.”

Wilder also must contend with Fury’s awkward style (former heavyweight title challener Malik Scott has mimicked his herky-jerky movements during sparring.) Fury employed plenty of unorthodox feints to confound Wladimir Klitschko en route to a shocking decision victory in November 2015.

Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) held three heavyweight belts following the win, but he never defended them. Instead, he endured a two-and-a-half-year hiatus amid a mental health battle along with addiction. He even ballooned to almost 350 pounds (Fury is now around 260, the weight he expects to hold on fight night.)

What Fury still holds is the lineal championship — the man who beat the man — and with two tune-up bouts under his belt this summer, Team Wilder is expecting the best version of “The Gypsy King.” To that end, Wilder’s trainer and co-manager Jay Deas has posters lining the walls at his Skyy Gym in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that depict Fury draped in titles.

This is the Tyson Fury we’re preparing for,” Deas told The Ring. “I don’t want to hear about lifestyle, I don’t want to hear about weight. Actually, he’s fought twice since we last fought. So he’s actually the more active guy in 2018. We know to expect the best Tyson Fury.

“Whoever wins this is the man, not just in boxing, but maybe in all of sports. We expect Deontay Wilder to be that guy.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger