Few things generate excitement like a heavyweight boxing clash – Tonight’s bout couldn’t set the tone any better, as the world will be treated to an international firefight of epic proportions. On one side, we have the American born and bred, “Bronze Bomber”, Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41KO’s); the other side boasts the UK’s “Gypsy King”, Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20KO’s). With so many subplots and perspectives to consider, we now take a closer look at each fighters Keys to Victory, Four to Explore (critical game-changers), and an Official Prediction:
KEYS TO VICTORY – DEONTAY WILDER
For Deontay Wilder, keys to victory could be far more simple than many believe it to be. Despite the wide grown perception that Fury was “robbed”, a closer look at the numbers proves that Fury may not have done as well as many believe. Wilder threw 103 more punches, yet Fury out-landed him by 7. Possible deception? Let us take a closer look: of the 9 rounds in which Fury landed more punches, the differential in seven of those rounds was only by a short margin of two punches. This tells us Wilder needs to focus more on accuracy than volume. Doing this can also help him preserve himself for the later rounds. If Wilder can land more accurately, dig to the body early, and avoid getting careless, he can win by stoppage or on points, providing Fury doesn’t give us a new unexpected wrinkle. Speaking of which….
KEYS TO VICTORY – TYSON FURY
For Tyson Fury, the keys to victory aren’t very different from the first encounter. Sharp counterpunching, good head movement and a busy pace from the beginning could easily be the end-of-script for Wilder. Wilder didn’t seem to have too many answers for Fury’s length the last time around and of course, those arms of Tyson’s haven’t gotten any shorter! Fury will need to take a few more chances and perhaps consider a body attack of his own. Few have tried it out of fear of return-fire, but success in that department along with a busy work rate is almost a sure-fire path to victory. But can he be disciplined enough to stick to it? Time will tell.
FOUR TO EXPLORE – (CRITICAL GAME CHANGERS TO WATCH)
PARALLELED UNIVERSE?: Just a few months ago we saw a sequel to another heavyweight matchup that ended in a way it probably shouldn’t have (Joshua/Ruiz). Coming into that fight, we saw both fighters change their weight considerably from the first matchup, with one so unfavorable that he was forced to tip the scale without removing his shirt at the weigh-in. In the case of Wilder/Fury II, both men went up in weight, yet all the questions surround Fury who is entering the ring on the heels of a very bizarre stretch. That stretch not only left questions about his mental psyche, but also the efficiency of a fight camp which included his 3rd trainer in his past 5 fights. As of now, we don’t know exactly how all of these strange occurrences will impact him. But one thing for sure: the deck appears stacked against him. Stay tuned.
A PRE-JUDGED HUNG JURY?: The selection of ringside judges chosen for this scrap is a very compelling bunch. Glen Feldman was the lone judge to score the bout for Thurman after the shellackin’ he took at the hands of Pacquiao. That controversial card tells us he can go the other way on any given day! Next, we have Dave Moretti, notorious for being the lone judge to give Canelo the nod over Golovkin in the 1st encounter, and also for crediting Conor McGregor with 3 rounds over Floyd Mayweather. Last but not least we have Steve Weisfeld. A judge with an above average passion for fighters that come straight ahead. Ironically, this is also the same trio that gave Canelo the nod over Golovkin in their 2nd contest. Considering the overall penchant of this trio for straight-ahead combat, who REALLY has the edge tonight?
THE GREATEST OR THE LATEST?: Coming into this bout, Deontay Wilder has 10 successful defenses of his WBC heavyweight crown. This run ties him for the longest in the history of the division for this particular strap along with Muhammad Ali. A victory will place him in a pantheon of greatness never experienced in the sport. After their first bout, Wilder spoke about how the massive crowds and star-studded roster presented more pressure than he knew how to handle. He may be used to the crowd now, but eclipsing a record held by Ali is a whole different stratosphere. These types of moments can press certain fighters to try too hard, while others simply won’t be denied. How will Wilder respond once the bell rings? Can he eclipse the “Greatest”? Or will he simply go down as the latest (to fail to try)?
THE MARCIANO MAZE: Wilder is often criticized for an “amateurish” style, his “poor accuracy”, and “awkward footwork”. As Muhammad Ali’s record of 10 straight defenses (of the WBC strap) looms, Wilder finds himself in the company of yet another giant of yester-year who heard the exact same criticisms on his way up the ladder towards the record books. That fighter was also one of the most feared punchers in the history of the sport. His name was Rocky Marciano! Despite his eventual success, few knew Marciano didn’t get into the ring until he was 23 years old, and didn’t win his first title until he was 30. He would go on to finish with a 49-0, 43KO’s record. Wilder has to eclipse Ali’s record to have a shot at Marciano’s (49 victories with no defeats). A loss tonight would kill any potential silver-lining for the Bronze Bomber? #UnderPressure
OFFICIAL PREDICTION & UPSET BAROMETER (SCALE 1 THRU 5)
After more than a year of talk, questions, and speculations, the time has come to find the answers! Both men seem very eager to right the wrongs of their last showdown, but in the end, only one can win! When the bell rings, fans can expect a very face-paced affair. Tyson Fury spoke in recent days of the fact that he had been “beaten up in this camp more than any of the past”, and how combined with the extra weight, that somehow translates to a bigger fighter, able to both take, and dish more punishment.
Sounds like a winning plan, but as “Iron” Mike Tyson once reminded us, “everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth”! Fury is coming to seize the moment and will bring pressure to Wilder from the first bell. Can he remain disciplined enough to walk through the fire down to the wire? Conventional logic says if the cautious version of him failed to avoid the ax, this stalk-til-he-can’t-walk version probably won’t fare much better. Look for Deontay Wilder to surprise us all with some well-placed body shots and some precise power shots to change the game early on.
DEONTAY WILDER via TKO10 – (UPSET BAROMETER PEAKS AT 5 of 5 – FURY IS VERY CAPABLE OF PROVING US WRONG AND MAY DO SO)
Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at 954.770.9807 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be seen daily on Facebook fight threads and Twitter (@vitostake))