WBC American champion Deontay Wilder faces British lineal champion Tyson Fury, in a world heavyweight clash on Saturday night. Boxing journalist Adam Thorn (@LaudusHimself) picks out his best bets as the previously unbeaten fighters clash in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury | Sunday 2nd December 2018, 05:00 | BT Sport Box Office
On Saturday night, Los Angeles hosts a fight that one year ago people would have called you mad for predicting would be made. Even six months ago, before Tyson Fury outpointed Francesco Pianeta over 10, uninspiring rounds, it would have been a brave soul insisting WBC champion Deontay Wilder would actually step through the ropes against ‘The Gypsy King'.
But here we are, fight week, short of a disaster this irresistible clash of two unbeaten heavyweights will commence. The Battle of the Big Men; huge personalities, man mountains. Fury has been speaking this week with honesty, respect and intellect. Wilder has taken the role of badman.
Both combatants are enormous: Wilder stands at 6′ 7” and Fury 6′ 9”, with Fury's reach being two inches greater, too, at 85”. He will need to use every physical advantage he has, Fury. He will also need every ounce of grey matter in that superlative boxing brain if he is to stand a chance.
But, and whisper this, Fury might just do it.
Wilder to wait for his opportunity
We know the big Manchester man can go into someone else's backyard, not be fazed and take a decision. We also know, as his 39 knockouts in 40 fights attest, that Deontay Wilder is a freakish puncher. Only Bermane Stiverne has gone the full 12 stanzas with the Alabama resident- when Wilder won the WBC strap back in 2015. In their rematch last November, Stiverne evaporated inside the first three minutes.
The talk is of how long Fury's whiskers will withstand the awkward, almost ungainly attack that will no doubt be unleashed at some point. When will he, too, wither? However, ‘The Bronze Bomber' is also an underrated boxer; he has excellent amateur pedigree. Owning an Olympic bronze medal (hence the moniker) he won in 2008 in China. You don't win at the top level in the unpaid code on power alone.
What Wilder you believe walks out, swinging for the fences or feeling Fury out, depends where your money goes. But the most likely, and wise, move would be for him to show Tyson some respect, initially.
If this Wilder emerges, we could see a very tentative first few rounds. Boring, even. Both men will want to keep the other working but Wilder in particular, will try to see what Fury has in the tank.
Just two fights and 13-and-a-half rounds completed after three years out of the sport, when Tyson overindulged and ballooned in weight; if he's not back to somewhere near peak stamina, he could fade.
For this reason, a bet on Wilder to halt Fury between Rounds 7-9 at 6/1 (Betway) is worth considering.
Cards to favour ‘The Bronze Bomber'
The cards have been kind to Fury historically. His first fight with John McDermott was a controversial points victory, and his dethroning of Wladimir Klitschko over the distance came in Germany; a country notorious for its parsimony. That historic win was the catalyst for the heavyweight division suddenly catching the public's imagination again.
Should Tyson survive the shellacking, or even neuter it, Deontay is the home fighter and the champ. It would not be uncommon to see what might be an unkind points tally go his way. A punt on Fury's luck with the judges running out and Wilder walking away still WBC king after 12 is 11/2 (Spreadex).
Don’t discount ‘The Gypsy King'
However. There is an old adage in the noble art, which goes that timing beats speed, and precision beats power. Wilder's hands are faster and more powerful than Fury's. Fury's have better timing and precision. Tyson also owns astonishing movement for a big man. He displayed that as recently as the Pianeta fight, albeit in patches. He will be in better shape and sharper on Saturday.
Wilder's chin was tested by Luis Ortiz in March, and though he wobbled, he persevered. Tyson Fury has said he'll jab, jab, jab if he has to. He's said that he'll win however he can, and if that means grinding out a points win, he'll do that. If it means winning ugly, as some said the Klitschko win was, he'll do that, too.
Here's a little saying for you: intellect beats disrespect. At some point Wilder will resort to type, when this happens Tyson takes control. He will nick early rounds, split the middle ones, and take over down the stretch. Whether it is pretty remains to be seen.
Tyson Fury shocked the boxing world beating Wladimir Klitschko, he proved his boxing intelligence that night. He's also proved, by coming back from the brink of suicide, that he has the mental fortitude to whether a storm. Fury will shock the boxing world a second time, taking Wilder's crown and unbeaten record, at 13/8 (Coral).
With the correct staking plan, we can therefore tactically support both fighters at very fair prices on Saturday night, but my play is back Tyson at the kind odds on offer.
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