OPINION: Breaking down Wilder vs Fury II

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Las Vegas hosts the long-awaited rematch of Wilder vs Fury 2 this Saturday night.

Following a controversial split-decision draw the first time out, Deontay Wilder will be putting his WBC world heavyweight title on the line for a second time against Tyson Fury. The Gypsy King is the current lineal heavyweight champion following his historic victory over Wladimir Klitschko back in 2016.

Both fighters remain undefeated heading into the rematch, with the Bronze Bomber holding an illustrious record of 42-0-1, 41 of his victories being in the form of knockout. It looked almost certain that he had added a further knockout to his record back in Los Angeles during their first fight before Fury remarkably rose from a knockdown and beat referee Jack Reiss’s count to continue the round. The knockout specialist hit Fury with an overhand right and a left hook to follow, confirming the 31-year olds fall to the canvas. Fury recently revealed he was indeed out for a few seconds before his dramatic rise and continuation in the fight.

Deontay Wilder had been outboxed for large durations of the fight and struggled to regain his energy following his heavy blow to Fury. Wilder was targeting a knockout on Fury--once he failed to achieve this, Fury knew he could win the fight if he got to the judge’s scorecards. Yet the boxing world was left astonished at the result of a split decision draw. Boxing fans were left furious, with many believing Fury had undoubtedly won the fight. One judge even scored the fight 115-111 in favor of the Bronze Bomber.

In preparation for the rematch, Deontay Wilder took on Luis Ortiz for a second time in his career, obtaining a devastating knockout of the Cuban. Wilder previously breezed past Dominic Breazeale in the way of a first-round knockout against the mandatory challenger for the WBC heavyweight world title.

Tyson Fury is hoping to rise to the occasion of fighting at MGM Grand on Saturday, just like he did last time out in Vegas, where he obliterated Tom Schwarz--a rising heavyweight star--within two rounds. The Manchester-born fighter followed this up with a contest against Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin. Fury obtained a large cut above his right eye in the third round, which caused a question of whether he would be able to continue, let alone win, the fight. Despite the early scare, the Brit dominated the fight, earning a unanimous victory.

How could it go?

Deontay Wilder is known as the hardest hitter in the sport. With 98% of his victories being knockouts, it is clear that there is only one plan for the Bronze Bomber: make sure Tyson Fury will be unable to hear the final bell. Much like the first fight, Wilder will most likely wait patiently for the perfect opportunity to knockout his opponent. As seen in the Wilder vs Ortiz 2 fight, Wilder waits for fatigue to kick in before unleashing any lethal hits on the opponent. It’s at that point when he will most likely catch the opponent off guard. He happily allowed both Fury and Ortiz to win the individual rounds, with only one method of victory on his mind: the knockout. Should Wilder not get the knockout win, he may be in big trouble as the judges may not be as favorable towards the American this time out.

For Tyson Fury, he has stated in the build-up to the contest that he is going for a knockout. Considering how unfortunate Fury got with the scorecards in the first fight, despite outboxing the Alabaman for much of the fight, he has no trust in the judges to favor him should the outcome go a similar route. Therefore, he may only have intensions of knocking out Wilder. This may benefit Wilder if Fury approaches the fight this way--he may leave himself more open to the knockout power of Wilder.

Despite what Fury has predicted, this could all be mind games. He has the capability to knockout Wilder, yet going for such a route of victory could be a risk. It can be argued that going for 12 rounds once again with the Bronze Bomber is just as much of a risk, yet after going 12 rounds with the American the first time, Fury may be more wary of the American. Should Wilder keep his composure throughout the fight, he will be prepared to strike another devastating punch that could end the fight in a flash. Therefore, there are two main conclusions in my eyes to how this fight ends. One being Fury gets the outcome he deserved the first time out, winning via decision, or Wilder adds another brutal knockout to his collection.

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