“OH AND DOWN HE GOES!!” “RIGHT HAND!” “LEFT HAND!” “I DON’T THINK HE’S GOING TO GET UP, I THINK IT’S ALL OVER!”
A clubbing right hook instantly followed up by a brutal left hand and Tyson Fury was seemingly KO’d on the canvas of the Staples Center. The referee had counted to six and Fury hadn’t even moved, he was motionless on the mat, by the time he got to nine the Gypsy King had somehow got to his feet and was telling the ref he was ready to carry on. The man from Manchester survived the final round before his fate was left in the judges’ hands - the first was scored 115-111 Wilder, the second 114-112 Fury and the third 113-113 – a split decision draw!
It was one of the most enthralling heavyweight showdowns of all-time, Fury won Comeback of the Year from Ring magazine and the final round between them won Round of the Year, it really was one of the most sensational contests you are likely to see. Before the fight, every single one of Wilder’s previous 41 opponents had been knocked out by the Bronze Bomber, nobody had got up from his iconic, sweeping right hand. Fury got up *twice* in the fight, and in the eyes of most of the boxing community, did enough to win it. If he had been awarded the decision it would have been the greatest comeback not just seen in the history of boxing but arguably sport in general.
16 months prior to stepping into the ring with the menacing WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson weighed 27 stone, was plagued by his well-documented mental health and drug issues and was a shadow of the man who had won so convincingly in Dusseldorf on that November night in 2015. He’d had two ‘warm-up’ fights against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta – it’s no surprise he wasn’t given a chance of victory that night in LA.
Following the epic clash, a rematch was instantly demanded, with May/June of 2019 rumoured to be all but confirmed, what happened however wasn’t exactly in the script. Fury signed with Bob Arum’s TopRank and a decision was made to build the rematch for a year to build the levels on anticipation.
Deontay Wilder went off and beat Dominic Breazeale with one of the knockouts of 2019 then followed that up a few months later by knocking out Luis Ortiz in far more spectacular fashion (if that is even possible!) His reputation as the most fearsome puncher in the division was enhanced even further, albeit even if he had been outboxed by Luis Ortiz before the spectacular KO. It’s a typical footnote of most of Wilder’s fights, do very little for the majority of the contest before landing the biggest of punches to say goodnight to his opponent.
Fury has taken a slightly different route, defending his Lineal title twice against Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin with a WWE cameo slotted in for good measure, both of his fights, however, couldn’t have been more different. A stunning two-round beat-down of the undefeated Schwarz where Fury ducked, dodged and moved like he was in the Matrix was lauded around the boxing world. Against Wallin though he was cut badly in the third and ambled to a unanimous points decision which some said highlighted weaknesses in the Fury camp. Question marks still linger over whether Wilder will open that cut again – if he does, it could be difficult for Fury to battle past a far better opponent this time.
Behind the scenes in the Fury camp, there has been more upheaval - coach Ben Davison has been replaced and the Gypsy King has opted to train at the legendary Kronk Gym under SugarHill Steward, a place he frequented when he was beginning his professional boxing career, training under the iconic Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward. Fury made the decision stating he needs to “knockout Wilder” to be sure of a victory in the US and not have to rely on the judges’ decision again. The Gypsy King has been brash about his chances unsurprisingly and has stated he will knockout Wilder in two rounds, if you’re as confident as Tyson you can get 66/1 (67.00) on him ending the fight in round two. Wilder’s biggest price for a knockout comes in round 12 where he is 33/1 (34.00) to complete what he so nearly did last time. But we all know, putting Tyson down and keeping him there is easier said than done.
So, what can we expect on February 22nd?
The rematch is set to be bigger, better and even more dramatic than the first bout. Fury is fight-ready and in A1 shape unlike the first bout with Wilder now having the experience of facing the Gypsy King in the ring and surely being more prepared for the task at hand. Fury’s elusive fleet of foot makes him so awkward for any fighter to hit, Wilder’s power makes him arguably the most explosive heavyweight of all-time, put them both together and one of the greatest fights is set to take place.
This is reflected in the odds supplied by bet365, they simply cannot be split, both men are 10/11 (1.90) for victory. bet365 also have a range markets available including Round Betting, Fight Outcome and Exact Method of Victory for those that prefer a bit more value in their betting odds. Wilder, unsurprisingly, is shortest for a KO - 4/1 (5.00) or a TKO - 11/4 (3.75) win, with Fury seemingly more likely to win via unanimous decision - 2/1 (3.00).
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