Get ready for one of the biggest boxing events of 2018 tonight, as Deontay Wilder (40-0; 39 KOs) faces Tyson Fury (27-0; 19 KOs). The fight is for Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight title, but it’s perhaps more importantly for the theoretical lineal title Fury holds. Ring Magazine has Wilder ranked at #2 in the division, and Fury at #7. The fight takes place this Saturday, December 1 with a fight time of 9:00 p.m. ET and will be available on Showtime PPV.
How do these two stack up?
Wilder: 33 years old | 6’7” | 83” reach | orthodox stance
Fury: 30 years old | 6’9” | 85” reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Wilder: W - Luis Ortiz (TKO) | W - Bermane Stiverne (KO) | W - Gerald Washington (TKO)
Fury: W - Francesco Pianeta (PTS) | W - Sefer Seferi (RTD) | W - Wladimir Klitschko (UD)
How did these two get here?
Deontay Wilder is an absolute beast of a puncher - the kind of freakily heavy-handed bomber everyone wants to see at Heavyweight. He’s undefeated, with only one man ever taking him to the cards. That man was Bermane Stiverne, and when they rematched a year ago, Wilder made a clear statement, blasting Stiverne and ending the night in round 1. The story on Wilder for some time was that he was facing too many easy, hand-picked opponents, but in his last fight he defeated the #3 ranked Luis Ortiz - no easy match-up there. This is a big moment for the charismatic American hope for the division.
Tyson Fury is a controversial, complicated figure. The loud-talking Fury was perhaps once known more for making big spectacle type fights than being a true contender. That radically changed in November 2015 when he upset Wladimir Klitschko, ending Wlad’s 11 year undefeated streak and blowing the doors on the Heavyweight division wide open. After that, he ran into some problems. He tested positive for cocaine, dropped his titles, openly struggled with mental health issues, and ran afoul of the UK Anti-Doping agency. But earlier this year, he put all that behind him and came back to the ring. He’s 2-0 since his return, neither against opponents of too much note. This fight is his chance to cement his comeback.
What can fans expect?
One of the things that makes this such a great fight is that it’s hard to know how it will play out. The power edge clearly belongs to Wilder. He’s the kind of fighter who can end a fight suddenly against absolutely any opponent in the world. But he’s also prone to getting wild when going for that power, throwing crazy windmill punches at times and abandoning all defense. And the technique edge clearly goes to Fury. He’s a crafty, tricky fighter who walked into the Klitschko fight with a perfect gameplan, which he executed beautifully. He’s not going to get suckered into a shoot-out with Wilder, and will almost surely instead look to use his movement to avoid the power and land his own counters. The question becomes, can he keep that up for 12 rounds? He did against Klitschko, but that was 3 years ago, and Klitschko was slower than Wilder. Still, I think he can make it happen, especially against a fighter who, despite having 40 pro fights, is still somewhat lacking in experience against a variety of opponents. Look for a slow first few rounds where Fury dodges and frustrates Wilder, followed by Wilder starting to get a bit desperate and Fury making him pay with counters in the late rounds.
Prediction: Tyson Fury, UD
Should you watch?
100% yes. This is a fantastic Heavyweight battle between two undefeated champions. It’s a perfect piece of match-making, and should be a great event.