Tyson Fury refuses to accept any other response to his first fight with Deontay Wilder than the one where he deserved to win. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Nearly 15 months after the pair of unbeaten heavyweight behemoths fought to a 12-round draw in Los Angeles, comes their anticipated title fight rematch. The two will once again collide on February 22 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, headlining a Pay-Per-View event big enough to bring together ESPN and Fox Sports in a joint venture.
What won’t change—at least the way Fury sees it—is who will prove to be the better man in the ring.
“What am I going to do in the fight? I'm going to win, that's what I'm going to do,” England’s Fury (29-0-1, 20KOs) declared during a press conference Monday afternoon in Los Angeles. “Deontay Wilder can make up all the excuses he wants to make in his own brain. His team, everybody can tell him ‘You won that fight, baby. You won that fight!’ But listen, as a fighting man you know when you win and lose fights.
“Simple… he lost the fight fair and square. He will lose the fight again fair and square. They had to rob the man who was out the ring for three years, ballooned up 147 pounds and he still couldn’t beat him! They had to give him a draw in order to give him a victory for the so-called top bloke, the so-called top champion. I’m gonna go out there and give him a boxing lesson and I’m gonna knock him out. That’s exactly what I’m gonna do.”
Wilder (42-0-1, 41KOs) insisted during the press conference that he went into the first fight with an injured right hand, doing his best to avoid further damage during a three-month training camp. The unbeaten, long-reigning titlist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama similarly offered an alibi of battling the flu ahead of his first fight with Luis Ortiz, scoring a dramatic 10th round stoppage in their March 2018 clash of unbeaten heavyweights before rallying to deliver a highlight reel 7th round knockout in their rematch last November.
“He’s the one making excuses,” insists Fury, whose last fight saw him push through a horrific cut for more than nine rounds in an eventual 12-round decision win over previously unbeaten Otto Wallin last September.. “He broke his right hand. He only had 12 weeks and four days to prepare. 12 weeks? I can be ready for a fight in two weeks. I’m ready for a fight today, never mind 12 weeks and four days. F--k me!
“There’s no need for excuses, there’s no need for problems. I heard he’s had the flu, I heard he broke his hand. I heard he was having problems. Ah, whatever. It doesn’t really matter, because when I get him in there again, I’m gonna make him feel the fury. He will get it. I’ve never been sure of something in my entire life. As sure as I was this morning put on this suit and me shoes, washing up and brushing me teeth - that’s how sure I’m gonna kick this motherf--ker’s ass all over that ring.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox