On June 10, 2020, the respective teams of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury came to an agreement that the two fighters will enter the ring twice in 2021. Their unification bouts are reportedly said to have been scheduled for the summer of 2021 and then, December.
Before doing this, however, they have to partake in their mandatory bouts. Joshua against Pulev and Fury against Deontay Wilder. Today, I will be analyzing the latter.
This will be the third fight between the two. The first one being a draw and the second an annihilation by Fury, who returned the victor. After a devastating loss(TKO) at the hands of Fury in the second fight, a title-stripped Wilder activated the rematch clause and initiated preparations for a third bout between the two giants.
Before we predict the outcome of the third fight, I think it is only fair to analyze the two previous matchings between the two. They first faced off against each other in December 2018. A new and improved Tyson Fury had returned from his drug-addled sabbatical from boxing after 5 years. Wilder, on the other hand, was arguably at his peak. Boasting an impressive 40-0 record with 39 knockouts, he was not a force to be reckoned with.
Naturally, boxing experts and enthusiasts predicted Fury on the canvas against “one-punch” Wilder. The odds were stacked against Fury. But Judgement Day shut down all the critics.
A confident Fury entered the ring all guns blazing. His swift footwork and gazelle-like movements bewildered Wilder. The 6’9 giant steered the game in his direction for 10 of the 12 rounds. In the 12th round, Wilder landed a PUNISHING right hook flat on Fury’s jaw. To millions across the world(including me), it was a woeful scene. For 9 seconds, he lay there and then rose like the Undertaker(chills).
The match was a split draw. A VERY controversial decision indeed. Multitudes of people were enraged and puzzled by this shock decision. But, it is what it is.
The second fight was probably one of the most iconic fights in the history of boxing aligning with the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. In seven rounds, a fiery Fury(see what I did there?) handed Wilder the first defeat of his professional career. Fury DEMOLISHED HIM. It was a sight to see.
A more aggressive Fury really tore down Wilder’s nimble defenses with his rattling combos. He literally made him run from rope to rope by constantly crossing Wilder’s footfall. He used his height and weight advantage to the best of his ability by maintaining a constant cross to Wilder’s deadly right hand while leaning on him to tire him. All of Fury’s strategies aligned perfectly that day. Oh, and let’s not even talk about Wilder’s excuse.
There are three main takeaways from these fights that will help us formulate a prediction for the third fight:
1) Against Fury, Wilder is not a one-punch fighter. If he wishes to come even close to defeating Fury in the third bout, he should stop relying on that “magical” right hand.
2) A huge blunder seen from Wilder’s previous two performances is his lack of foot coordination and footwork. Since he was so used to delivering massive punches in a static stance, he never really paid the required attention to his foot-play. This was exposed to the whole world in the second fight when Fury kept sent him stumbling from pillar to post by his constant change of angle. Which basically led to Wilder busting out the smoothest moves on Planet Earth. I literally witnessed a bleeding man hit the hardest Stanky leg of my life(joke).
3) Tyson’s change of camp was another huge factor in the outcome of the second fight. In anticipation of a more focussed and aggressive strategy going into the second fight, Fury switched coaches from Ben Davison to American boxing icon Sugar Hill Robinson.
Robinson cultivated that killing instinct in Fury without any shortcomings.
On the other hand, Wilder continued with the same coaching train, which in my opinion was a big mistake considering the happenings in their first bout.
To really stand a chance at leveling it out(hardly) against Fury, Wilder needs to make some major alterations in camp and training. First of all, a more foot-work oriented approach should be incorporated. Honestly, it was embarrassing to see a boxer with such a stellar record scrambling around that ring in such a haphazard manner.
Wilder NEEDS to change camp. He needs a more versatile approach to their next fight. Fury is not one to play it safe next time round. Much like their second confrontation, he will want to come up close and batter the torso. Wilder needs to crank up the stability of his defensive sector.
Everything said and done, it’s now time for a prediction. Considering everything that has been said above, I believe that Fury will win by a unanimous decision or a late TKO. This does not go to say that Wilder does not stand a chance. If Wilder was to completely emulsify that one-hit-wonder strategy, then we are all in for a spine-chilling fight.