By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Tyson Fury considers Deontay Wilder a better boxer than most of the knockout artist’s critics think.
The lineal heavyweight champion still can’t envision a scenario in which Wilder will be able to out-box him or knock him out when they meet December 1. Fury figures he’ll frustrate Wilder so much when they square off at Staples Center in Los Angeles that Wilder will want Fury to put him out of his misery as a one-sided, frustrating fight unfolds.
“He is what his name says,” Fury said recently during their three-city press tour. “It says it on the tin, what he does. He’s very wild. But I think he’s got underestimated boxing [ability]. I think his boxing skill is better than people give him credit for. But you need more than a big punch to beat somebody like me.”
The 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) is a slight underdog against Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), but the provocative contender predicted he’ll upset one of the sport’s most devastating punchers – just like he did when he out-boxed Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury defeated Ukraine’s Klitschko by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight nearly three years ago in Dusseldorf, Germany. The 6-feet-9 challenger claims, though, that he can knock out the 6-feet-7 Wilder when they fight for Wilder’s WBC title.
“Like I said about Wladimir, and I don’t need to keep banging on about it, but I did say that he needs more than a 1-2 to beat me,” Fury said. “And Deontay Wilder needs more than a big punch to beat me. Because there’s been massive punchers before, and we’ve seen them be out-boxed before by the likes of Larry Holmes. Earnie Shavers was one of the biggest heavyweight punchers in the [history] of boxing. But he didn’t beat Holmes. Holmes just jabbed and moved and beat him up quite comfortable [in two fights].
“And that’s what I’m gonna do to Wilder. I’m gonna stick and move, stick and move, stick and move, and then, ‘Bam!’ And he ain’t even gonna see it. But he’s gonna be begging for it. He’ll be begging to get knocked out after a while, because he’ll jack in his mind, he’ll quit and he’ll think, ‘You know what? I’m looking a fool here. I’m not knocking anybody out. I can’t land any punches. Just knock me out, please.’ And I’ll oblige. I’ll detonate a big right hand off his jaw and we’re gonna see him on the floor. And I’m gonna stand over him and say, ‘I told you so. I told you.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.