By Vito Basile
Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) is statistically the greatest knockout artist ever in boxing’s heavyweight division with an 98% KO rate. The other 2% of the time, his opponent survived being in the squared circle with the Bronze Bomber. The two men that were lucky enough to get out while remaining conscious (although, I’m not sure if Fury knew where he was in that 12th round after the knockdown) were Bermane Stiverne and of course, the Gypsy King himself, Tyson Fury (29-0-1).
Until the first fight between Fury and Wilder, his only other real test was in Ortiz v Wilder 1, where Ortiz was leading the entire fight until Wilder put him away in the 10th with a right hand. Wilder is very unorthodox for a boxer; he doesn’t follow the “traditional” style of boxing, and he fights every fight like you just stepped on his Jordans in the bar or you said something disrespectful to his girlfriend. Stylistically, no one can match him as a sparring partner. Not only does the man have a brick for a right hand, but he’s proven that he’s got a chin. We saw this in the first bout with Fury when he was hit with some nice combinations that probably would’ve hurt most other fighters, but Wilder is just a wild man (pun intended). I’m already looking forward to Wilder v Fury III because I know this fight is going to be epic.
It may sound like I’m drinking the Wilder Kool-Aid, and I might be just a little, but it’s hard not to like a guy who’s so lethal with one punch that the fight can end at any time. I think Fury will come out very similar to his last fight, but I expect him to push the pace a little more and be aggressive earlier in the fight and not leave any doubt in the judges’ minds. I also believe Fury, being more aggressive, will make himself more vulnerable, and when you leave spots for a guy like Wilder, you’re going to bed a little early. Look for Wilder to throw that right a lot more this fight; he tasted blood in the first matchup and it’s going to be kind of hard not to go for that kill shot early on, which may gas him quickly, allowing Fury to take rounds with the use of his technical skill.
My Pick: Wilder finishes Fury by KO, sometime after the 5th round