Pick It: World Champion Tyson Fury vs. TBRB #3 Deontay Wilder (Saturday, ESPN/Fox PPV, 9:00 PM EST)

After almost two years out of the ring for both men, a trip through the legal system, and a COVID postponement, we arrive at chapter three. The 33-year old Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) will attempt to make his seventh defense of the lineal heavyweight title (or first defense of his second reign and first defense period depending on how one views these things).

The 35-year old Wilder will attempt to win history’s crown for the first time regardless and regain the WBC belt he held through ten defenses. This isn’t the usual grudge match where both men are talking them into the building. Bad blood, wild accusations, and ample trash talk has built to this one. Fury looked to many like he did enough to earn the decision the first time but a pair of late Wilder knockdowns kept the scores even. Fury went through Wilder in violent fashion in the sequel. The story remains the same: can the more skilled and complete package Fury presents keep him away from the right hand of Wilder? Is this the end of the rivalry or does Wilder leave them at stalemate needing a fourth encounter to settle it once and for all? 

It’s part of a fun all-heavyweight pay-per-view card so fans of the unlimited class will get their money’s worth. 37-year Robert Helenius (30-3, 19 KO) will attempt to repeat his upset of 32-year old Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KO) in the chief support along with two clashes of undefeated prospects: Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KO) versus Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13 KO) and Jared Anderson (9-0, 9 KO) versus Vladimir Tereshkin (22-0-1, 12 KO). Additional undercard action will air on ESPN2 and FS1 at 7:00 PM EST with former Jr. middleweight titlist Julian Williams, super middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez, featherweight, all in action.

It’s a lot of good boxing to kick off October with a bang.        

Additional Show to Watch For

Saturday - Smith vs. Fowler (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST)

Before the heavyweights do their thing, the UK will have some afternoon action streaming stateside. 33-year former Jr. middleweight titlist Liam Smith (29-3-1, 16 KO) won three straight after a loss to Jaime Munguia only to lose his last start over the distance against undefeated Magomed Kurbamov. Smith will try to return to the winner’s circle against 30-year old Anthony Fowler (15-1, 12 KO). The real highlight may come on the undercard with action bruiser Ted Cheesman (17-2-1, 10 KO), 26, looking for his third straight win against undefeated 30-year old Troy Williamson (16-0-1, 12 KO)   

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com