Now that he has spent 12 rounds in the ring against Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury feels even more confident entering their rematch than he did before their first fight.
Fury demeaned Wilder as “one-dimensional” and “a one-trick pony” during a conference call Thursday to promote their heavyweight championship rematch February 22 in Las Vegas. According to the gigantic Englishman, he doesn’t need to concern himself with much more than Wilder’s dangerous right hand when they square off again at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I learned that he can be hit, and he can be hurt quite regular,” Fury said. “That’s the biggest thing that I learned about Deontay Wilder, not that I didn’t already know. Before I fought him, obviously I didn’t know what he was like in a boxing ring. And after I fought him, I know what he’s like now and that’s it. There’s nothing to worry about. He’s got a big right hand and that’s it. He’s a one-dimensional fighter and I’m gonna prove that on the 22nd of February.”
Wilder twice floored Fury – first with a right hand in the ninth round, then with a right-left combination in the 12th round – when they fought for Wilder’s WBC title in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. A feisty Fury got up both times and fought his way out of trouble, but the lineal heavyweight champion settled for a controversial split draw.
Knowing he can withstand Wilder’s vaunted power has helped Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) during his first camp with new trainer Javan Steward. Even though he replaced former trainer Ben Davison and got dropped twice in their first fight, Fury is a slight favorite to beat Alabama’s Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) in their second pay-per-view main event.
“There’s no stress for me going into the fight,” Fury said. “You know, I’ve been 12 rounds with him, out-boxed him quite comfortable, took his best shots, got up, fired back into it. The one who should be concerned is Deontay Wilder because with him being a one-trick pony, he’s a knockout artist, but he had me down twice in two rounds, nine and 12, and he had over two minutes in each round to finish me and he couldn’t finish me. It was like that ‘Mortal Kombat’ [guy] that said, ‘Finish him!’
“He couldn’t finish me, so yeah, he’s the one who should be concerned. He’s landed the two best punches that any heavyweight in the world could ever land on somebody else, and ‘The Gypsy King’ rose like a phoenix from the ashes, back to me feet and hurt him in the end of the round. So yeah, it’s gonna be pretty difficult for Wilder, not me. This is heavyweight boxing – I’ve been hit, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been put down in me career. But it’s not when we get put down, it’s what happens when we get back up, keep moving forward.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.