By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder’s training camp for his fight against Tyson Fury has presented plenty of challenges for Wilder’s trainers.
The 6-feet-9 Fury is different from any opponent the 6-feet-7 Wilder has fought during his 10-year pro career. Fury’s agility and overall conventional style, particularly for such a huge man, makes him difficult to catch clean.
Jay Deas, who trains Wilder along with Mark Breland, discussed their December 1 heavyweight championship match Monday during an open workout in Los Angeles.
“Tyson Fury is kind of like a Rubik’s Cube,” Deas said. “But a Rubik’s Cube can be solved. Fury is a very versatile fighter who can move, he can box and fight from lots of distances. He’s the total package as a fighter and on top of that he’s strong-willed mentally.
“We have our hands full, but I know that Deontay Wilder is the guy to handle Tyson Fury. Deontay is the right guy to take over boxing and this is the first step in that.”
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is listed as slightly less than a 2-1 favorite over the 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), of Manchester, England. He’ll make an optional defense versus an opponent who’s considered the lineal heavyweight champion thanks to his upset of Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.
Klitschko never received the immediate rematch he was owed because Fury vacated the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO championships to seek treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and depression. He ended a 2½-year layoff June 9, when he stopped Switzerland’s Sefer Seferi (23-2, 21 KOs) after four farcical rounds in Manchester, England.
In his following fight, Fury comfortably out-boxed Italy’s Francesco Pianeta (35-5-1, 21 KOs) to win a 10-round unanimous decision August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“The tough thing with preparing for Tyson Fury is that even he doesn’t know exactly what he’s going to do in there,” Deas said. “He can fight lefty, righty, dirty or clean. We’re working on being prepared for all of these things and more.
“Both guys are very athletic and very awkward style-wise. But once this fight combusts, it’s going to be phenomenal. You don’t want to blink or go to the bathroom. The pretzel can wait, because you’re going to want to catch every second of it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.