The Bronze Bomber faces the Gypsy King in the WBC title bout in LA
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will go head-to-head in Los Angeles intent on winning the WBC belt
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
- What: WBC world heavyweight boxing title bout
- When: Sunday 2 December (for UK fight fans)
- Where: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, USA
- Fight start time: 4am to 5am (UK time)
- TV channel: live on BT Sport Box Office
- Tickets: axs.com
When Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury step into the ring this weekend the WBC world heavyweight belt will be on the line, as well as two unbeaten records.
American star Wilder – the “Bronze Bomber” – has held the WBC belt since 2015. But he will face a stern challenge from Britain’s Fury, the former WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring and self-proclaimed “lineal” heavyweight champion.
With a combined unbeaten record of 67-0, the winner of the 2 December bout could line up a unification super-fight against Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium next April. Wilder (39 knockouts from 40 fights) will be favourite to beat Fury (19 knockouts from 27 fights).
But two fights into his boxing comeback after an 18-month lay-off, “Gypsy King” Fury will hope to shock the boxing world for a second time. He beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to win the WBO/IBF and WBA titles.
Speaking this week ahead of the bout against Wilder Fury says he will be in his best shape to face the American champion and take the WBC belt back to the UK.
Fury told Sky Sports: “I’m going to win this fight – one million per cent. There is not a doubt in my mind. No matter what he brings I will overcome him and win and take the WBC title back to the UK.
“You will see the best Tyson Fury. It needs to be the best Tyson Fury to compete at this level and beat such a champion as Deontay Wilder but I’m pretty confident that I have worked hard enough and done everything in my power.
“I’m going to go in there and do my best. I’m very relaxed I don’t get very tense before a fight – it’s just another fight for me. It’s another boxing match.
“I have already had 27 professional fights and been a professional for ten years and I’ve needed to win all of them.”
Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach will be in Fury’s corner this weekend after allowing the British fighter to use his Wild Card gym in Hollywood for free.
Roach told the Daily Mail: “In my view Tyson should be the favourite. If he can out-box Klitschko he can out-box Wilder.”
The match promises to be an “explosive end of the year” for boxing fans, says the London Evening Standard’s John Dillon.
Here we look at their records, live TV details, predictions and betting odds:
Wilder vs. Fury fight guide
Tale of the tape
- Age: 33
- Nationality: American
- Nickname: Bronze Bomber
- Style: Orthodox
- Number of fights: 40
- Number of wins: 40 (39 by knockout)
- Losses: 0
- Knockout percentage: 98%
- Height: 6’7”
- Reach: 84”
- Age: 30
- Nationality: British
- Nickname: Gypsy King
- Style: Orthodox
- Number of fights: 27
- Number of wins: 27 (19 by knockout)
- Losses: 0
- Knockout percentage: 70%
- Height: 6’9”
- Reach: 85”
What the fighters say
There’s been plenty of trash talk from the heavyweight rivals. Here are two of the best quotes, via The Daily Telegraph…
Fury: “Deontay Wilder: massive puncher. Me: skillful boxer. It’s going to be an epic night. This is a legacy fight. If I can come back from mental health problems and [contemplating] suicide, I can withstand anything. Deontay Wilder doesn’t possess anything I’m scared of. Punches just bounce off me, they don’t do anything. I’m a powerful man. There isn’t a man born from his mother that Tyson Fury is afraid of, and especially not a man who wears pigtails every day. I don’t fear anything about him.”
Wilder: “He’s great for the heavyweight division. He’s charismatic. He can talk. I’ve got a great dancing partner. He’s fearless in the ring, and he’s got a background of boxing in his blood. It’s good that he’s from another country so you get to see different cultures, different personalities from the two of us. You’ve got one from America and you’ve got one from Great Britain. So that’s going to make it even more pleasurable for me when I knock him out. It’s important to establish dominance. I’m the best, the baddest man on the planet.”
TV details and start time
How to watch Wilder vs. Fury on TV
BT Sport Box Office has exclusive rights to the Los Angeles showdown between Wilder and Fury, which will cost fight fans £19.95. BT’s coverage starts at 11.30pm on Saturday 1 December.
What time are the ring walks?
If you’re watching the match in the UK, the fighters are expected to make their way to the ring at around 4am on Sunday 2 December, according to the Independent. The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph say it will be an hour later, at around 5am. The timings will all depend on the fights on the undercard.
How current and former boxers think the fight will go
Dillian Whyte: “I hope Tyson Fury smashes Deontay Wilder’s face in because Deontay Wilder’s a coward. Tyson Fury – me and him have had our ups and downs, but he’s not a coward at least. I give credit where it’s due, he’s not a coward. He’s stepped up after fighting two pumpkins and has fought Deontay Wilder.”
Lennox Lewis: “Fury always shows up, I’m not going to shortchange him on this one so I believe he should be ready for this one, he’ll be ready for Deontay.”
David Haye: “Wilder has pretty much had a perfect three years whereas Tyson Fury hasn’t. If I was a betting man I’d go for the consistency in Wilder.”
Carl Frampton: “I think Fury’s movement will cause problems. It’s hard to write him off, I hope he wins… I just fancy Wilder.”
Ricky Hatton: “Tyson has been hit and I think if this fella hits him with his right hand I think he will go down and won’t get back up. If you asked me where the last pound was going I’d say absolutely Tyson Fury.”
George Foreman: “I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach. The great thing about this fight is that we’re all talking about it. I think Wilder wins a close decision.”
Mike Tyson: “Although Wilder’s punch is strong, nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.”
Luis Ortiz: “It’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”
Evander Holyfield: “I think with Deontay’s power, he might be able to end it early, but if Tyson can frustrate him and it goes the distance, then it could go his way.”
Riddick Bowe: “If Wilder comes out and means business then he should beat Fury with ease. My prediction is Wilder by knockout.”
Amir Khan: “Fury is taking such a massive risk fighting Wilder. I just feel like whenever it’s time to pull it off, Tyson pulls it off. Everyone underestimated him against Klitschko and he went there and beat him. I don’t think Fury will stand there and take that one big shot from him, he will be moving from side to side. It’s a hard fight to call but I lean a little bit more towards Fury on this night.”
The winner of the Wilder vs. Fury fight could potentially set up a super-bout against IBF, WBA (Super) and WBO champion Anthony Joshua next year.
Quoted by the Metro British star Joshua said: “Wilder is a champion now and if he wins, he can do what he wants. If Fury wins, Wilder gets a rematch so it messes up the plans a bit. Nevertheless, Wilder for me. He will win.
“I need Wilder to win. It gives me more of an opportunity to fight him. As a champion, if he retains his belt, that’s the fight that people have been yearning for, so hopefully 2019 is going to be a big year for me. I think this fight will happen. It has to for the love of the sport, especially where we are at in our careers.
“The Wilder fight has to happen. We’re both champions. Fans are demanding it. It’ll be a double-sided fight [there would be a rematch]. For me, the first one will take place in London at Wembley.”
Joshua also revealed that he would not be in LA to watch the fight live.
What the media predict
Mark Phillips, Boxing Base: “I could see Fury winning if he’s able to fight a very controlled, disciplined 12-rounder, pinching rounds. If he can keep Wilder off-balance and take away his right hand (while being wary of that sneaky counter-right), this road may lead to the upset. Fury would likely have to keep Wilder honest by trading punches here and there, but I’d say getting involved in an actual shootout would end in disaster. Prediction: Wilder by 7th round KO.”
Michael Boniface, The Daily Telegraph: “Wilder KO in the second half of the fight. With Fury uninspiring in both of his comeback bouts, and question marks still persisting over his fitness, Wilder goes in as favourite. Expect fleet-footed Fury to cause Wilder problems, winning rounds behind the jab and forcing the American to miss, just as he did in Dusseldorf vs. Klitschko. Fury is likely to tire, though, and Wilder will seize any opportunity to land one of his swinging overhand rights, and when one connects, it could be all over.”
Dan Rafael, ESPN.com: “Fury is bigger than Wilder, has quick hands, quick feet and is a good boxer with an awkward style that can make anyone look bad. But Wilder can end a fight at any moment with his massive power. He could be down on the cards and win in the blink of an eye. Wilder by late knockout.”
Steve Kim, ESPN.com: “I’ll be going against the grain and go with my initial instincts on this matchup by tabbing Fury to win a unanimous decision. He looks to be in much better shape than his previous bouts, and that will be key, as he will need to be in great physical condition and have his legs to box Wilder. Which I think he will do effectively enough to win a decision.”
Thomas Nicholls, Boxing Insider: “I expect early drama, I expect Fury’s skill to rise to the surface and I predict that Fury will counter and finish a, by that point, desperate Wilder in rounds 9-12.”
Wilder vs. Fury betting odds
Prices according to Oddschecker (as of 30 November).
- Deontay Wilder to win: 4/6
- Tyson Fury to win: 13/10
- Draw: 34/1
- Deontay Wilder by KO, TKO or disqualification: 11/10
- Deontay Wilder by decision or technical decision: 6/1
- Tyson Fury by decision or technical decision: 9/4
- Tyson Fury by KO, TKO or disqualification: 6/1
- Tyson Fury on points: 9/4
- Deontay Wilder on points: 6/1
- Deontay Wilder round 8: 18/1
- Deontay Wilder round 6: 18/1
- Deontay Wilder round 7: 20/1
- Deontay Wilder round 1: 33/1
- Tyson Fury round 11: 50/1
- Tyson Fury round 10: 50/1
- Tyson Fury round 9: 50/1
- Tyson Fury round 12: 66/1
- Tyson Fury round 1: 100/1