The Big Question: Wilder vs Fury 2 - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
18/02/2020 11:30pm

Photo: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet in a massive heavyweight title rematch this weekend in Las Vegas. Eighteen members of the BM online team are here with their picks and predictions...

Coming into their first bout, Fury had gone 12 rounds with Wladimir Klitschko, the last great heavyweight, three years prior. That experience served him well against Wilder, who was yet to face an elite fighter. Wilder, however, learned on the job against Fury on 1 December 2018 and will bring that elite-level experience into the rematch. In 2019, Wilder destroyed mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale and scored a come-from-behind KO over top 10 heavyweight Luis Orizi. Fury ended up facing two unranked journeymen and delving into WWE. The momentum here favors Wilder to either squeeze out a close (controversial?) points win or come-from-behind stoppage in the later rounds. - Michael Montero

I like Wilder to get the job done the second time around. His power will prove the difference, either securing him a knockout win or making the difference on the scorecards. - Anthony Cocks

Wilder KO10. Almost the same pattern as before, except this time Fury doesn't beat the count. - Mark Butcher

Got to back big Fury, I think he’s made the right adjustments in this camp which will reflect in the fight. If you take the fight to Wilder it will be his unraveling. Fury by stoppage between rounds 10-12. - Chris Glover

I'll take Fury on a fair, split decision. His profile in the US should ensure fair scoring and I reckon despite changing his team, he has enough to outskill Deontay Wilder. He might get thumped and lose during the second half of the fight - but I fancy a sharper, more active Fury to nick it. - Craig Scott

The key to beating Wilder is quite simple, stay on your feet. If Fury is able to stay upright then he’ll more than enough rounds to decision to Wilder. The issue is that it’s easier said than done, my pick is for Wilder to hurt Fury during the middle rounds and this time finish him off. Wilder TKO 9 - Callum Rudge

I'm going for Fury with a masterclass performance behind his unorthodox boxing skills. Wins by about three rounds, after a wobbly early start. - Paul Zanon

I can see Wilder making the biggest statement of his career yet and stopping Fury late on. He was down twice already first time around so Fury is there to be hit, despite all these claims of being defensively great, and he’ll be very cautious of the power coming at him again. I can see it going similarly to the initial meeting but Wilder finishing the job off properly in style. Wilder TKO9. - Lee Gormley

The closer we get to this fight the more and more the unnerving power of Wilder's right hand eats away at my belief  Fury will get the job done. I still favour Fury to win because of his boxing intelligence and the fact he's shown he can be untouchable when in full flow. - Oliver McManus

I see it as much the same as the first fight, in so far as Fury dominates while trying not to get caught by a Wilder bomb. I think Fury wins, by decision, after a couple of shaky moments... so, a bit like the first fight but with Fury getting the nod as opposed to a draw! - Colin Harris

Fury has to be perfect for 36 minutes, Wilder needs to be perfect for 10 seconds. The change of trainer worries me. Fury is a fighter who can be prone to lapses in concentration and taking silly risks. His best performances were against Dereck Chisora In their second fight and Wladimir Klitschko. In both those fights he had Peter Fury in his corner. In the first Wilder fight Fury was impressive, but it wasn’t a masterclass - at the end of the day he found himself on the canvas twice. I wish he’d stuck with Ben Davison and built on the foundation of the first encounter, and if Fury was adamant he needed a change, I’d liked to have seen him reunite with his uncle Peter. Fury appears most motivated when he’s written off - Klitschko and Wilder I. This time he’s the (slight) favourite. He - like most others - believes he won the first fight, does he have anything to prove? Even if he is defeated, he’ll have the offer of a lucrative third fight with Wilder on the table. Wilder does have a point to prove and I think he’ll prove it. Wilder KO 7. - John Angus MacDonald

My opinion on this fight changes as often as the weather up here. I've plumped for Fury on points and Wilder by KO, the two most obvious outcomes and perhaps the only two to pick from despite the fight being a draw last time. Wilder has upped his ferocity and looked more devastating in his two fights since he fought Fury in December 2018. Fury has got fitter, looks faster, has changed trainer (always a worry) and has suffered a bad cut, but nothing in his two fights since his miracle in Los Angeles suggests he beats Wilder. So we go back to their first bout and look at what each man does best in general. Wilder's power is phenomenal, his chin stands up as does his stamina. Fury has the latter two and the superior boxing ability. So where do you look for a final prediction? Will Wilder eventually get to Fury and this time finish what he tried to first time out or does the 2020 Fury know even more now to nullify the champion for 36 minutes while avoiding boxing's equivalent of a nuclear bomb? It's 50-50 for me. To get a definitive outcome it might need a more technical breakdown rather than the simplicity of power versus speed. Making this prediction two weeks out from the rematch I think Fury has got to take the fight out of Wilder early. The American's power carries itself late into a fight as we've seen but that can surely only happen if the arms and mind are still working perfectly, if they are not and the recklessness takes over then Fury can have his way and take a wide points win. When Wilder misses Fury has to make him pay from the get go. Right now I'll say Fury points around the 117-111 mark but that might change come fight week and fight night. - Shaun Brown

John Angus MacDonald makes an astute point about Wilder's power being so crippling that he only requires 10 seconds of perfection. However, I can't shake the feeling that Wilder is something of a manufactured fighter, whereas if not under the bright lights of Las Vegas, Fury would be scrapping for bragging rights somewhere in the north of England. Fury has a rich knowledge and appreciation for heavyweight history, will know how important what happens on 22 February is to his legacy and will have prepared appropriately. If Wilder was going to stop Fury he'd have done so just over a year ago when facing that rusty version and if Wilder doesn't stop the so-called lineal champ, he doesn't beat him. I expect Fury to evade Wilder's most lethal blows to box to a clear decision and win the only 'world' title belt to have so far eluded him. - Chris Williamson

Rematches usually confirm the first result – which should probably have been a decision win for Fury. Scoring knockdowns in numerous rounds never hurts, though, when looking to sway boxing judges, who are a mixed bunch (worldwide) at best. Wilder has been flattered by the two results he’s scored since. Breazeale was a sitting duck, while the first five rounds or the Ortiz rematch, where Wilder looked average, have largely been forgotten thanks to that highlight reel finish. It’s safe to say Wilder is what he is – a flawed boxer with a get-out-of-jail punch. Fury meanwhile has probably seen his reputation take a dip with a couple of sloppy wins over average opponents. But that’s Fury for you – he tends to fight up, or down, to the level of his opponent.

In terms of who can improve, you’d have to think Fury. I’m not convinced Ben Davison’s strengths are strategy and technique. Fury appeared to be in control of camp, and was boxing on the fly as a result. Whether Sugar Hill has had enough time with Fury to make an impact is another imponderable – it usually takes a run of fights to correct flaws and change a style. If Fury fights the same way he usually does, he’ll be quicker, smoother and fitter, but he needs to have corrected the instinctive way he was dipping low to avoid the right hand, as Wilder had figured that defensive move out (hence the final round knockdown). He’d almost certainly be better of fighting inside, where he could nullify Wilder’s right hand, but Tyson has almost come unstuck numerous times in the past when he’s attempted to be more aggressive.

In making a call, I’ll side with the better fighter of the two – understanding Wilder can make a mockery of that with one punch. With a little more discipline, Fury should be able to outbox Wilder for long periods, hang tough when he’s tagged, and cruise to a clear decision win. - Andrew Harrison

Like all good rematches, Wilder-Fury II has more than its share of question marks. True to form, most of them revolve around Fury. Will his switch of trainer pay dividends? Will the gruesome cut inflicted by Otto Wallin be opened up once more? Will his approach actually be to go all-out for a stoppage to take the judges out of the equation, as has been hammered home in the build-up? Will he be able to drag himself up again, if required?

Wilder, too, has been attempting to emphasise his own unpredictability of late, but it says much about the mercurial nature of his opponent that the American – such an unorthodox, spasmodic fighter himself – feels more like the known quantity here. In a match-up of boxer vs. puncher, the inclination is to side with the more technical operator. The caveat here is that Wilder is no ordinary puncher, and it’s no stretch to state that in terms of one-punch, concussive power, he’s up there with history’s finest. From this viewpoint, I don’t think Fury’s link-up with SugarHill is a logical one – but it may only be a detrimental one if it prevents Fury from reverting to defensive type midway through battle. There’s a possibility that the partnership is still young enough for Fury’s natural instincts to dictate otherwise.

If the Brit were to stay true to his words and meet Wilder centre ring to force the knockout he’s promised, I’d be picking a stoppage win for the ‘Bronze Bomber’. One assumes, though, that the Gypsy King is bluffing. It won’t be without its flashpoints, but Fury might just have learned enough to successfully complete the tightrope act this time around. - Tom Craze

If Fury boxes like he did in the tenth round of the first fight - fast, combination punches with a work-rate to match - then he'll cruise to a very comfortable win (as John Fury would lead us to believe). It's a tough ask to maintain that level for 12 rounds though. And while you can understand the 'Furyites' reasoning (if Wilder couldn't put him away last time...), I think the Bronze Bomber will be even more lethal this time. His power is frightening. Wilder inside 6. - Luca Rosi

I've agonised over this one for the past few weeks... Fury is a superb and wonderfully idiosyncratic boxer, but in the end I think that his slight weak spot defensively is against the right hand - Neven Pajkic in 2011, Steve Cunningham in 2013 and Wilder in 2018 have all floored him in this manner. I think Wilder - who really might be the hardest one shot heavyweight in history - will find the target a little earlier this time and manage to stop the Gypsy King. - Luke G. Williams

I really can't call this one. Since the rematch was announced I have switched from Wilder to Fury and back again. Discounting Fury's tongue-in-cheek prediction of a two-round steamrollering of the American, we can at least settle on two predictable yet opposite outcomes: Fury on points or Wilder inside the distance. But unfortunately, neither version of the future has yet been able to gain full supremacy over the other in my thinking.

If I am honest I think it is partisanship that has been drawing me to Fury. His incredible Undertaker-like resurgence in the final round of their first fight was one of the great sporting moments of 2019 or any other year. It was so remarkable and unlikely that it almost feels foolish to ever doubt Fury again at anything. It could be argued that he has already and can in the future take anything that Wilder can throw at him. A 12-round Fury masterclass of a victory wouldn't surprise me and would in all likelihood be followed by wildly erratic scorecards and an unnecessary split decision.

If I had to put my wallet on the table though, I would probably favour a rerun of the second Ortiz fight. Fury performing strongly and making a mockery of Wilder's Andy Pandy footwork in the first-half of proceedings, only to be leveled by a howitzer later. The Gypsy King will rise, fall and rise again until either the referee steps in or he returns to the canvas for a full ten count and Wilder wins. One thing it won't be is easy. A bit like picking the winner! - Garry White

Final tally: Fury 9 Wilder 9