Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder rematch confirmed for February 22

Tyson Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) says his rematch with WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) has been signed for February 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fury, 31, isn’t certain which venue will be staging the rematch, but that’s less important than the fact that the fight has been signed – finally.

Speaking with ESPN’s “Now or Never,” lineal heavyweight champion Fury broke the news that the rematch with Wilder is signed. Fury probably didn’t make his promoters at Top Rank happy that he announced rematch before they did, but it’s all good. The earlier it’s out there the better.

Fury and Wilder must win their next fights

For the Wilder-Fury rematch to be officially a done deal, both guys need to win their upcoming fights. Fury is making a title defense next month of his lineal heavyweight title against Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wallin, 6’6″, was the best tall heavyweight they could find, according to trainer Ben Davison. They wanted Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, but that fight couldn’t be made. They also looked at Kubrat Pulev, Adam Kownacki, Trevor Bryan, Luis Ortiz, and Alexander Povetkin.

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None of them were available. In the end, they had to make a business decision and go with the guy that was willing and able to take the fight with Fury, and that Wallin. He’s obviously not ideal for Fury, because he’s a southpaw, and fights nothing like Wilder. Wallin’s not powerful or particularly talented. He’s just big, and he’s available.

Fury and Wilder fought to a controversial 12 round draw last December in Los Angeles, California. The boxing public is split evenly in who they felt should have won the fight. It depends on what the fans like in a fight. Wilder landed the harder shots, and knocked Fury down twice in the fight. Under those circumstances, Wilder, the WBC champion, should have had his hand raised. But the fans that preferred Fury’s fancy footwork and defensive skills over Wilder’s much harder shots, they saw him as the winner.

Unfortunately, both fighters landed the same amount of shots. given that Wilder knocked Fury down twice, he probably should have been given the win. There’s a lot of second guessing in the way the referee Jack Reiss gave Fury a count after he was knocked down in the 12th by wilder. Most referees would stop a fight when a fighter was as hurt as Fury was, but Reiss stood gave a count while Fury lay motionless on the canvas.

Wilder convinced he beat Fury last December

“I think with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said. “We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops, I think I won the fight.”

It’s pretty clear that Fury would have been knocked out if not for the referee choosing to give a count to him while he was unconscious. Fury is quite lucky that he was given a draw out of the fight, given how badly he was hurt. There’s still a lot of questions whether Fury’s punch resistance is still the same after that knockdown. We didn’t get those questions answered in Fury’s last fight against Tom Schwarz, because he was too poor of an opponent to tell us anything.

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Wallin is in same class as Schwarz, and he probably won’t be able to test Fury’c chin properly. If Fury can no longer take a hard shot without dropping for the 10 count, then he’s going to have problems against Wallin. The Swedish heavyweight has a little more power and talent than Schwarz, who was embarrassingly bad.

Wilder has a harder fight on his hands with a rematch against Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) in November. Ortiz is world’s better than Wallin, and capable of beating Wilder if he can land one of his big lefts on the button. Wilder was wobbled by Ortiz in the seventh round last year in March 2018, and he also didn’t make it out of the round.