‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ That’s the lifelong adage and many people are using it when describing former WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder and his chances of gaining revenge over Tyson Fury when they (are scheduled to) collide in October. But foe turned trainer Malik Scott is adamant Wilder has vastly improved under his tutelage, that he is so much more focused a fighter, one who is training harder than ever before.
There is no doubt Wilder has ‘the eye of the tiger’ back after taking that shellacking from Fury back in February of 2020; as Chris Arreola recently stated, there is nothing like being humbled to make to get back to working hard, to getting the animal back. And Scott says the “new” Wilder would have KO’d the “old” Wilder in a couple of rounds, so better is he now. But what about Fury in October? Scott told Sky Sports Fury will fall in five.
“Fury fights with his hands down, at times with his chin up, at times he comes forward, at times he is close with his hands down,” Scott said. “He has been knocked down by guys who hit less hard than Deontay. He is very vulnerable. This Deontay would knock the old Deontay out in two rounds. He is ten times more focused, training 100 times harder. It’s a violent camp. His mentality is very violent. This will be the best version of Deontay Wilder that you have ever seen.”
At age 35 (36 in October) the odds say no to a “new” Wilder emerging. Heavyweights do mature later than lower-weight fighters, and Wilder did start boxing quite late therefore in some ways he is quite fresh at age 35. Still, Wilder’s thing was always to punch hard, get the job done, even if he had been outboxed up until then. Against Fury, the big punch was not enough; not that Fury allowed Wilder to land too much in the rematch. Will it be any different in the three-match?
Wilder, 42-1-1(41) may be able to shorten his punches, box with more patience and, most importantly, not allow Fury to push him back. But it’s a big ask. But Scott insists Fury, 30-0-1(21) underestimates Wilder’s boxing IQ.
“He’s not some big, dumb guy who just throws a right hand,” Scott told Sky Sports. “There is method to his madness. Deontay’s IQ is very high. I watch him create, watch him put himself in position, set guys up into surgical traps. Deontay will knock Fury out inside of five rounds.”
It would be quite the comeback if Wilder managed it. Scott for one is extremely confident we will see a two-time heavyweight champion crowned on October 9.