It’s been 18 months since Tyson Fury stopped Deontay Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch. Wilder has waited through legal machination and a COVID delay to get a shot at regaining his WBC heavyweight title. Now, he’ll finally meet Fury in the ring again on Saturday night when the two square off in a trilogy fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury and Wilder famously fought to a draw in December 2018, before Fury won the rematch in Feb. 2020, on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fury enters ring as substantial favorite
After that win, Fury (30-0-1, 31 KOs) sought out a heavyweight title unification bout with Anthony Joshua. But Wilder insisted on enforcing the rematch clause in the contract of their second fight, even winning an arbitration ruling to force Fury to face him again.
Fury then contracted COVID-19, pushing the fight back from July to Saturday night. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) says the delay didn’t bother him. In fact, he says it only gave him more time to improve himself.
“The delay was actually a blessing for me,” Wilder told Yahoo Sports. “It was obviously frustrating, because I was ready to go, and this is the longest I’ve been out of the ring. There’s something about the ring that calls you and draws you back. But I’ve used the time and benefited tremendously.”
Given how convincingly Fury won the last fight, sportsbooks and the public at large are backing him to win again. PointsBet lists Fury as a -313 favorite over Wilder (+230), with other bookmakers offering similar odds.
Oddsmakers expect a knockout
But Fury says it’s a mistake to think that he’ll win as easily as last time.
“Make no mistake about this, Deontay Wilder is the most dangerous heavyweight out there,” Fury said at a pre-fight press conference. “I’m playing with an atomic bomb, messing around, clipping wires. Every time you go into the ring with Deontay Wilder you’re playing with that danger.”
Fury specified Wilder’s power as a serious threat.
“With most boxers, they need to hit you with five punches,” said Fury. “With Wilder, he can hit you with a quarter punch and knock you spark out.”
|Fury vs. Wilder Odds (via PointsBet)|
|Tyson Fury: -313||Deontay Wilder: +230|
|Method of Victory|
|Fury by KO/TKO: -110||Wilder by KO/TKO: +260|
|Fury by Decision: +300||Wilder by Decision: +2000|
Wilder has promised changes in this third fight. He brought in former opponent Malik Scott as his new trainer, and appears to have moved past his excuses – such as blaming his pre-fight costume, or accusing Fury of loading his gloves – for his loss.
“Tyson Fury is one of the best mobile heavyweights of any era,” Scott told ESPN, repeating what he told Wilder. “Tyson Fury beat us up. We have to make changes. If we don’t, it will be worse next time.”
With both men knowing they could land on the canvas, expectations are for a short fight on Saturday. PointsBet is offering +240 on the fight to go the distance, with the over/under on the number of rounds set at 7.5.