Tyson Fury: I’m just going to obliterate Deontay Wilder nice and early
Tyson Fury has taken Deontay Wilder places.
When they met up in Los Angeles in December 2019, Fury took the then-unbeaten WBC titleholder to school. The official verdict at the Staples Center was a 12-round split decision draw, but Wilder, despite scoring two knockdowns, was outclassed and the subsequent controversy set the stage for a money-spinning rematch.
In February 2020, Fury took Wilder to a punishment pit in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-9 Englishman added almost 20 pounds in weight (from 256.5 to 273) and fought much more aggressively, flooring the American power-puncher twice at the MGM Grand Garden Arena en route to a bloody seventh-round TKO. It was a heavyweight superfight turned heavyweight slaughter and Wilder left the ring battered and beaten.
On Saturday, approximately a mile away from that punishment pit, Fury and Wilder will renew ties at the T-Mobile Arena. The oft-postponed Ring Magazine and WBC heavyweight title bout will be available via Fox and ESPN pay-per-view arms in the U.S. and will be broadcast on BT Sport pay-per-view in the U.K.
The question must be asked: Why would Wilder insist on a third fight after being beaten so conclusively last time?
“He’s getting paid a lot of money and he’s a boxing man,” Fury told The Ring. “He has to take this fight to make money, pay his bills and look after his family. At the end of the day we’re prizefighters. He’s still got that big punch, and even if he doesn’t win, he’s still getting a load of money. Win or lose, he can go again, so it’s win-win for him.
“Can he bring anything new to the table? I’m not sure he needs to. I’ve had two fights with him before and I’ve been okay. But there’s an old saying that if you keep playing with fire you’ll get burned, right? In heavyweight boxing it only takes one punch. I’ve managed to avoid it the last two times, but there’s always that chance.”
Fury is right of course. Wilder is arguably the hardest single-shot hitter in boxing history. When “The Bronze Bomber” put Fury over with a devastating two-piece in the 12th round of their first fight, the damage could have been measured on the Richter scale. The difference is, unlike all of Wilder’s previous foes, Fury got to his feet and hit him back.
Shortly after the rematch, Wilder would dismiss trainer Mark Breland, and the Alabama native is now working with friend and former opponent Malik Scott. A variety of video clips released on social media show the pair going through some technical mitt work routines. It looked good, but does Fury really expect Wilder to engage in a boxing match?
“I’m not sure what he’s going to do and I’m not bothered,” said Fury with a sigh. “I haven’t seen anything on social media because I’ve not really been on it for the whole camp. But whatever he does, it makes no difference. It makes no difference to me if he comes out bombing or if he comes out boxing off the backfoot.
“I’m going to batter him. There’s no secret about the tactics we’re going to use. I’m going to get this dosser… I’m going to obliterate him. It’s nothing personal, I’m just going to obliterate Deontay Wilder nice and early. It’s a fact [that the fight will end quicker than last time]. I’m not Houdini, I don’t know exactly how long it will go, but I will be giving it 100-percent and I’m going to knock him spark out. You can’t say fairer than that, can you?”
The journey to Fury-Wilder 3 has been arduous. The pandemic kicked in almost immediately after fight two and the entire boxing world came to a standstill. With Wilder convalescing, and with so much time having elapsed, Team Fury would enter negotiations with Anthony Joshua and Matchroom Boxing, but that all fell apart when an arbitrator ruled that Wilder was legally entitled to the trilogy fight. The bout was quickly scheduled for July 24, but Fury tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks out from fight time.
It’s been boxing’s longest soap opera, but has the delay benefitted Fury in any way?
“It’s been 19 months since the last fight, so how much time do you really need?” said the champion. “I was ready to go a week after I destroyed him. I don’t need tons of time to prepare for a boxing match that’s going to last 18 minutes maximum. I could have been ready for him in three weeks.
“If it wasn’t going well, I’d tell you. I’ve got no cuts, no injuries, I’ve had the best of sparring. Hand on heart, I haven’t really stopped training for years now. I am 100-perent looking forward to this fight – I cannot wait. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had 10 years to prepare. I’ve done everything that I need to do to win.”
Fury is roughly a 3-1 favorite and those odds would be a lot wider if it wasn’t for the American’s thunderous hitting power. It was therefore natural to ask the Manchester man what his plans are for the future. A WBC mandatory assignment against the winner of Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin is sure to be scheduled after those two clash in London on October 30. If Fury beats Wilder, will he honor that?
“I don’t like to look past opponents,” he stated before I’d finished the question. “I couldn’t say if I’d be willing to fight the winner of Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin because I’ve got Deontay Wilder to fight. We’ll see how it goes, but we’re going to take one fight at a time. Deontay is a very serious character, as we know, so I have to focus on him one-million percent.
“Any other fight in the world: [Anthony] Joshua, [Andy] Ruiz, [Joseph] Parker, [Kubrat] Pulev, [Oleksandr] Usyk, Whyte, Wallin; none of those fights mean anything to me. I’m not interested. Win, lose or draw, I don’t care what they’re doing. I don’t care what they say. I’m only interested in my own career.”
The heavyweight champion ended the conversation in philosophical mode. The trash talking was over and a more serious side rose to the surface.
“Deontay Wilder is going to do his best and I’m going to do my best,” said Fury in earnest. “Seriously, all sportsmanship aside, if your boxing isn’t good enough, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve just got to crack on. You’ve got to put your best foot forward and have a go.
“Lately I’ve heard a lot of lot of criticism about fighters when they’ve lose: ‘Oh, they’re shit,’ this, that and the other. But, at the end of the day, that man’s going in there, giving it 100 percent, fighting for his life, and doing the best he can to provide entertainment for people that are watching. If it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. As long as you give it your best, nobody can ask you do any more than that.”
Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing