Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet again on February 22, and this rematch has all the makings of something epic in the heavyweight division.
Their last outing December 2018 ended in a draw, with both fighters making dramatic recoveries to finish the bout. Both fighters are capable of ending this redo in spectacular fashion and expert analysis contributor Iceman John Scully outlines why this is an important bout in the heavyweight division historically, and breaks down the fight.
Wilder/Fury 2 in Scully’s opinion ranks highly among anticipated heavyweight rematches. “Outside of super major rematches like Louis-Schmeling and Ali-Frazier, this one is right up there with any others in history.” Scully said.
Fans eager to see a definitive ending are paying significant attention to this fight. “It has huge impact on the division and has brought new life to it,” Scully explained. “It’s been a while since there has been a heavyweight championship fight that people truly wanted to be seen done again. People will vividly remember who wins this fight for many years to come.”
The intrigue to this rematch lies in the fighters styles. Tyson Fury has a lot of looks and the real desire to win. Scully noted several factors of Fury’s style. “Fury carries a very difficult style to deal with when he is motivated and, on his game,,” he said and continued. “He’s very loose and is able to punch effortlessly at times, even when he doesn’t appear to be in a position to do so. He can be so awkward and can let fly with punches in combination that are as annoying as they are hurtful.”
What also impresses Scully is Fury’s aspiration. “He also has a huge heart and will to win that is obvious and impressive.” And when you combine that with how Fury bothers his opponents, matches are difficult to say the least, Scully observed. “Fury frustrates opponents because he has a way of fighting that makes you angry enough want to kill him and frustrated enough when you can’t to open yourself up to punches you might normally not get hit with.”
Deontay Wilder’s style lends itself to power, yet in recent fights he’s established a few other skills that make him hard to beat. “Wilder for the majority of his career was simply a hugely powerful but wild swinging guy who apparently often had no idea where his punches were even going until they get there,” Scully said, and noted his recent game changes. “But over his last few fights he has shown me marked improvements.
Wilder will always be a mainly free-swinging heavyweight,” he continued, “with power punches, especially when he gets his man hurt, but he has begun to use his jab more effectively and has shown more patience and a better punch selection in his most recent fights.”
Each fighter possesses unique strengths, and Scully examined both. “Fury’s main strength in my eyes is his ability to stay loose and avoid punches while delivering his own that are unorthodox enough as to where it is hard for opponents to defend against them,” he said.
Fury’s shots have the element of unpredictability Scully also noticed, which can create havoc with his opponents. “He can drop shots in when he doesn’t look ready to and he finds openings that didn’t appear to even be there until he shows them to you.”
The obvious element of Wilder’s strength is punching power. Wilder’s biggest strength obviously is his currently incomparable punching power,” Scully said, and reminded that his brutal competitive nature creates a winner.
“When you also factor in his deep killer instinct, desire to win and entertain, it is a pretty impressive package.” These factors should tell a fighter to not take Wilder lightly, by any means. “When it comes down to it,” Scully reminded, “Wilder’s punching power as well as his deep desire to hurt you badly, make him someone that you have to be on your mental and physical toes against for three minutes of each and every round.”
Will this rematch pick up where it left off, with Wilder immediately seeking an early ending or will Fury be the aggressor? Scully sees it playing out with Wilder making a few adjustments. “I would have to think that Deontay will try and utilize his left jab more frequently so that he can set his big punches up better,” he said, and suggested the following scenario. “Fury is a guy who more often than not will make you miss most of your first punches so if you aren’t throwing them in combination then you are going to have to rely on catching him with the one or two huge shots that can put him away. Otherwise you’ll be way behind, round after round.” It’s also Scully’s opinion Fury could stick to his previous game-plan. “Despite his claims, I would have to doubt that Fury will come out looking to win by early knockout.,” he said. “I’ll take that as just hyperbole. More likely, he will try and implement a similar style as last time because the fact is, if the knockdown in the 12th didn’t happen, there wouldn’t be any dispute as to who deserved the decision the first time.”
Early ending by spectacular knockout or distance decision? Wilder or Fury? Scully’s prediction wasn’t so easy to come by. “Predicting the winner is difficult for a couple reasons,” he said. “One is that you never know which Fury will show up in the ring on fight night until he actually gets there, and the other is that my feeling is Wilder has learned from the first fight and has matured as a professional since then.”
The possibilities of two same but different fighters showing up to fight are what Scully anticipates happening. “In boxing terms,” he continued, “these two might be very different people once they hit the ring for the second fight. With that said, I feel in many ways this fight will play out in similar fashion.” Scully thinks Fury’s success will be in repetition. “ I will have to believe that Tyson knows his best chance is to duplicate the elusiveness and combination punching he displayed in the first fight,” he explained, “while Wilder will have to make certain adjustments in order to land more punches as opposed to just connecting with fight ending shots.”
Wilder is coming off a knockout win over Luis Ortiz, so his confidence against Fury will be high, and Scully has taken this into account. “Deontay Wilder is on a tremendous roll right now and will be extremely motivated to win this fight in dramatic fashion but in cases like this I generally side with the boxer-type guy,” he said. “The one who generally gets hits less and can throw better combinations. If pushed, I will say Tyson Fury puts together an excellent game plan and avoids the biggest shots of Deontay Wilder on his way to a 12 round decision victory.”
Source: Amy Green