LAS VEGAS – Tyson Fury hasn’t noticed any noteworthy improvement in Deontay Wilder since their first fight.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion knocked out Dominic Breazeale in the first round and finished off Luis Ortiz in the seventh round in his two fights since his controversial draw with Fury. England’s Fury still noticed plenty of flaws in Wilder’s performances, even in his two-minute, 17-second knockout of Breazeale on May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Fury is sure Breazeale buzzed Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) before Wilder blasted Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) with a right hand that knocked his mandatory challenger flat on his back. Breazeale, hurt and backed into a corner, hit Wilder with a right hand to the side of his head and Wilder eventually held him.
“I saw the fight with Dominic Breazeale,” Fury told a group of reporters this week while promoting his rematch with Wilder at MGM Grand. “The first round he got wobbled himself. He got clipped and he was going. Then I seen [Wilder] knock him out, [Breazeale] walk into a big right hand. So, that wasn’t really any improvement. That was just like what he does. And then the second fight with Ortiz was pretty much similar to the first fight, but a bit shorter.”
Wilder was behind on all three scorecards when he hit the 40-year-old Ortiz with a right hand that ended their scheduled 12-round rematch in the seventh round November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Cuba’s Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC) was in front by scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 when their second bout ended at 2:51 of the seventh round.
“In my opinion, I don’t know what you thought, but I had him losing every round up until the knockdown,” Fury said. “And it was pretty much similar to the first fight. I think it was round 11 he knocked him out in the first one, or round 10. And it was pretty much similar to the first one, like he was winning the rounds, Ortiz, and his legs got tired because he’s so old.
“And when he stood there for too long, he got clipped and that was it. He even got back up, though, so he can’t even keep a 50-year-old man on his back. So, yeah, we’re talking about the biggest puncher in history, and he couldn’t keep a 50-year-old down. So, there’s something to be said because he knocks these men [down] and they always get back up.”
Ortiz got to his feet, but he couldn’t beat referee Kenny Bayless’ count and Bayless called a halt to their fight with nine seconds remaining in the seventh round. Wilder knocked down Ortiz three times in their first fight and stopped him in the 10th round of that March 2018 bout at Barclays Center.
Breazeale also got up before referee Harvey Dock counted to 10, but he clearly wasn’t in any condition to continue.
Based on those two outcomes, Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) doesn’t think he learned anything about Wilder from those two fights that he didn’t already know.
“Nothing,” Fury said. “You know, before I beat him the last time, he already beat Luis Ortiz then. So, he’s only had a one-round blowout and then someone he already beat before.”
The 34-year-old Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a slight favorite to defeat the 31-year-old Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), of Manchester, England, in their rematch Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Their 12-round fight will headline ESPN and FOX Sports’ four-fight pay-per-view show (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $79.99 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.