Deontay Wilder isn’t the only one preparing to come in heavier for his rematch versus Tyson Fury.
The brash British heavyweight revealed during a radio interview Wednesday on ESPN New York (98.7 FM) that he weighs 270 pounds and plans to enter the ring at about that same weight for his second fight with Wilder. Fury weighed in at 256½ pounds for his 12-round split draw with Wilder in December 2018 and hasn’t weighed in above 263½ pounds for any of his past four fights.
England’s Fury infamously ballooned to nearly 400 pounds during the tumultuous time he spent away from boxing following his upset of Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. The 6-feet-9 Fury weighed in at 276 pounds when he ended a 2½-year layoff against Sefer Seferi in June 2018, but he dropped 20 more pounds by the time he challenged Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title 14 months ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Now, however, Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) is convinced that heavier is better for his rematch with Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) on February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He explained to ESPN New York co-hosts Alan Hahn and Bart Scott during their interview that his new nutritionist, diet guru George Lockhart, is feeding him between five and six times per day, accounting for a combined 5,000 to 6,000 calories.
“I haven’t really put weight on on purpose,” Fury said. “I’ve just been eating plenty of food. It’s natural weight. You know, I’m at me natural weight now, where before I’d be dieting to get down, down, down, get down to like 255, 252. And I’d be eating less and eating hardly nothing for a man of my size. George has come in and put me on like 5 or 6,000 calories per day. I’m now my natural weight. I’ve been training, I’ll be over 10 weeks [in camp] by the time the fight comes around, so I’m very fully prepared and very hydrated and whatever I weigh in now is what I’m naturally at. And for a heavyweight, it’s all about performance.
“It’s not about aesthetics and the way you look, because some of these heavyweights are built very awkwardly and fat and chubby and short and thin, or tall and skinny. It doesn’t really matter what a heavyweight looks like. It’s about performing on the night, so if 270 is my weight that I come in at, then that’s what I’ll be weighing and I’ll comfortable because I’ve been doing all me work, me sparring, me bag work, me pad work, me running. It’s all been at that high weight. So, I’ll be well used to the weight by the time it comes around. And it’s a little more imposing as well when I get on the scale [at] 270. He knows he’s gotta push now and shove. It’s hard to keep a man 270 off.”
The 31-year-old Fury weighed in at 254½ pounds for his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision win over Otto Wallin on September 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Wilder, meanwhile, wants to weigh at least in the low-220s when he faces Fury for the second time.
The 6-feet-7 Wilder weighed in at only 212½ pounds, his lowest weight in 10 years, the day before he floored Fury twice. The 34-year-old Wilder has said he was down to approximately 209 pounds by the time he walked into the ring that night.
Even if Alabama’s Wilder weighs in the mid-220s for their rematch, a 270-pound Fury would out-weigh Wilder by about the same amount this time as he did for their first fight (44 pounds).
“I’m eating five, six meals per day at the minute,” Fury said. “So yeah, it’s been really good. I’ve got George Lockhart on board and he has really opened my eyes to the nutritional world and how much it takes to eat and drink and that sort of stuff. Before, I was like an old-school fighter. I’d eat and drink when I felt hungry or thirsty, and that’s how I did it for years. But now there’s a little more science to it, got quite a few more guys who know a bit more than me about it. And yeah, it’s easy working in training camp, feeling well. I’m nice and heavy, 270 pounds. I’m 270, solid as a rock.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.