Deontay Wilder defends his WBC heavyweight championship against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in their highly anticipated rematch.
The Bronze Bomber and Gypsy King went to war in December 2018 in a very exciting bout that ended in a draw. The two heavyweights were supposed to meet again in an immediate rematch but politics and money got in the way and we had to wait for over a year to see them run the fight back. Fury took two fights since that fight and Wilder has taken the same number of fights. With both fighters emerging victorious in their assignments after their first fight, the rematch was finally booked for February 22, 2020, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Analyzing the Odds
Fury opened as the slightest of favorites at -137 while Wilder came back at +110 when the first betting lines were revealed at William Hill. The Gypsy King appeared to have outboxed the Bronze Bomber for most of their first bout, utilizing awkward movement to confuse his predator. Fury was also able to get up from two knockdowns to finish the fight on his feet. This included that devastating 12th round knockdown which no one, except him, believed he could get back up.
The betting lines have since moved in favor of Wilder. With the betting money from the rematch coming in, Wilder is now the slight favorite to beat Fury. The Bronze Bomber is at -117 at the online sportsbook BetOnline as of February 20, 2020, while the Gypsy King came back at -103 as of the same date. It seems that bettors are convinced that Wilder’s otherworldly punching power is going to bail him out of this fight the way it did for him in his rematch with Luis Ortiz. Wilder isn’t a skilled boxer and can be outboxed from start to finish but with his devastating punching power, he only needs to land one punch to end the night prematurely.
The Bronze Bomber
Deontay Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champion. He is the first U.S. born heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs in 2006 and is a former Olympic bronze medalist. The Bronze Bomber won the belt by defeating Bermane Stiverne in 2015 and since then, he has successfully defended the title 10 times. He is known for his incredible knockout power. Wilder has knocked down every opponent he has faced and he has knocked out 41 out of his 42 opponents or a knockout rate of 98%. Wilder owns 20 first-round knockouts but he is as dangerous in the 12th round as he is in the opening round. We saw that in his first bout against Tyson Fury.
Wilder stands 6-7 tall with a reach of 83 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. The Bronze Bomber has a record of 42-0 with 41 knockouts. The only blot in his record was his draw against Fury and he is looking to erase that in this bout. Wilder has knocked out nine out of the 10 challengers that he’s faced since becoming WBC champion. He has one of the worst boxing skills of any heavyweight champion in history. He has been outboxed in many of his bouts only to win after landing his devastating right hand. Wilder scored two knockdowns against Tyson Fury in their first bout.
The Gypsy King
Tyson Fury was the fighter who ended the Wladimir Klitschko dominance in boxing. The Gypsy King scored a methodical 12-round unanimous decision win over Klitschko in 2015 to win the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles. After a drug issue, he lost most of the belts after going on a two-year hiatus. He came back, without his belts, but with his lineal title as his pride. Fury’s comeback trail earned him a shot at Wilder. Many people, including Fury himself, believe that he won the first meeting but got robbed by the judges scoring the fight. That performance earned him Comeback of the Year honors.
The Gypsy Kings stands 6-9 tall with a reach of 85 inches and is also an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 29-0 with 20 knockouts and one draw. Fury owns wins over notable fighters like Dereck Chisora, Steve Cunningham, Joey Abell, and Wladimir Klitschko. Fury is one of the biggest fighters in the division but he is very mobile for his size. He is also an excellent boxer who utilizes great head movement to avoid getting hit. While Fury has 20 knockouts, he doesn’t have the same power as Wilder. But when it comes to boxing, Wilder is too inferior compared to him.
I think that we will see a better version of both fighters in this rematch. Fury has had two so-so fights after his first bout with Wilder but we know those were just tune-up fights, Fury shows up in big fights. We saw him step up against Klitschko and we saw him do that in their first bout. I think the changes that happened in the Fury camp are for the better and the Gypsy King will be ready to defend his lineal title.
Wilder too should have learned a lot from his 12-round experience with Fury. He has seen the awkward movements of the Gypsy King and should know what to do better this time around. The Bronze Bomber has always done better in rematches. After Bermane Stiverne went 12 rounds with him, he knocked out Stiverne quickly in their second bout. He did the same to Luis Ortiz, knocking out the Cuban faster than he did during their first fight.
Tyson Fury out-landed Deontay Wilder in nine out of the 12 rounds of their first fight. The Gypsy King also landed 26% of his punches while his awkward movement allowed Wilder to connect on just 17% of his bombs.
I expect Fury to fight the same way he did in the first bout but I think he will try to apply just a little more aggressive here for the judges. Fury is the much better boxers, he has a better defense and has better head movement. However, he doesn’t have the same punching power as Wilder.
The Bronze Bomber knows only one way to win fights and that is knock out his opponents. Wilder has technically poor boxing skills and he doesn’t possess much of a defense. But we’ve seen him weather storms like in the middle rounds of the first Ortiz fight. But despite all his short-comings, that big right hand which hits like a bazooka is always the equalizer and almost always the game-changer. Deontay Wilder can change the course of a fight with just one punch.
I think we’ll see the same fight as we did but this time around, I think Wilder will get frustrated. Fury is the smarter boxer here and he will find ways to avoid the compromising situations he was in during their first meeting. I think Fury boxes a lot better and Wilder misses more shots here. We’ve seen the Gypsy King get up from Wilder’s best punch. I think he is durable and skilled enough to avoid getting knocked out. Give me Tyson Fury here to win on points.