THE time has finally come – on Saturday night the Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas will play host to one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches in recent heavyweight boxing history.
Following on from their grueling first encounter in December 2018 which resulted in a split decision draw, hotly disputed by the Fury camp, Deontay Wilder will once again defend his WBC crown against Tyson Fury.
Fury dominated the vast majority of the first fight, but knockdowns in the 9th and 12th rounds (the latter seeing a miraculous comeback by Fury) saw Wilder claw back the scorecards and secure the draw to retain his title.
Much has happened in the intervening period: Wilder has delivered highly impressive knockouts against Dominic Breazeale and more notably Luis Ortiz.
Fury on the other hand has fought much lesser opponents in Tom Schwartz and Otto Wallin, labouring badly and sustaining a serious gash to his eye against the latter. Fury has also has a stint in WWE and parted with trainer Ben Davidson, who masterminded his return from the depths he plumbed after his victory over Klitschko in 2015.
When is it?
The fight will take place on February 22 2020.
Where is it?
MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
What TV channel will it be on?
BT Sport Box Office. It will cost £24.95.
What time is the fight likely to start?
As with all Las Vegas fights, we expect it to start between 4am and 5am GMT (note this will be 23 February in the UK).
What are their records?
- Total fights 43
- Wins 42
- Wins by KO 41
- Losses 0
- Draws 1
- Total fights 30
- Wins 29
- Wins by KO 20
- Losses 0
- Draws 1
Fury is undoubtedly the more accomplished boxer. The first fight, and Wilder’s two fights against Luis Ortiz, show that there is success to be had against Wilder in terms of winning rounds in the fight by boxing clever.
Fury will undoubtedly be able to do that on Saturday night. However the three fights mentioned here, along with 95% of his total fights tell you one thing: Wilder has scary knock out power.
If Fury is still standing at the end of the fight, a points victory looks a given. However, given Fury’s activity since the first fight does not appear to have been ideal, I can’t see him being able to better his performance in 2018 this time round and avoid Wilder’s power punches completely.
That leaves one conclusion: Wilder to win by knock out.
- Wilder to win in rounds 7 – 9 – 6/1 – William Hill
If you're having a bet on the fight tonight don't miss the special offers available from the bookies, which I've listed here.
A look at the Wilder v Fury Undercard
Nothing major to whet the appetite on the undercard, but a few small stakes or accumulator picks to be had.
The hugely impressive Emanuel Navarrete continues to be a busy champion, defending his WBO Super Bantamweight crown for the 5th time since winning it in December 2018.
This is another “keep busy” fight and Jeo Santisima shouldn’t provide him with any difficulty.
Navarrete to win in rounds 4-6 is 2/1 with SkyBet and Unibet, or 15/8 for either to win in rounds 4-6 gives the insurance of the unlikely outcome of Santisima finding the KO as well, for a fractionally reduced price. Navarrete in round 5 pays 8/1 with Bet Victor.
Charles Martin faces up against Gerald Washington in an IBF eliminator for Anthony Joshua’s crown. Both are limited fighters in the heavyweight division and neither would cause Joshua any difficulty.
This should be a tight contest: Martin just shades it in the power stakes, whilst Washington likewise shades it in terms of boxing skills and defensive ability. The bookies favour Martin quite heavily however, so for me the value lies in Washington.
A nibble on Washington at 13/4 with Bet365 and Washington by KO/TKO/DQ at 8/1 with SkyBet both worthwhile.
Good luck fight fans – hope you all manage to stay awake for it!