LAS VEGAS – Deontay Wilder can’t say with absolute certainty that Tyson Fury won’t at least attempt to be more aggressive early in their rematch than he was in the first fight.
Fury repeatedly has stated that he’ll pressure Wilder and make the hard-hitting WBC champion fight off his back foot Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The lineal heavyweight champion replaced former trainer Ben Davison with Javan Steward at least in part because Steward could prepare him to attack Wilder more than he did during their controversial split draw in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Wilder is convinced, however, that once he hits Fury flush, the brash British challenger won’t want to come forward anymore. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native broke down how he expects Fury to approach him during a group interview with reporters prior to a press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand.
“I’m not really worried about too much of what he says,” Wilder said. “I just wanna see what he does. You know, I’m a man of action – less talk, more action. I’m planning on whatever, but most definitely, he’s gonna resort to what he know. That’s not his style, to come forward. I don’t know no fight where he just, you know, no significant fight that he had where he felt he was in danger and he pushed forward [in] the fight or whatever. And with a fighter with my caliber and as dangerous as I am, I don’t see that happening. And if he does do it, it won’t be for a very long time, especially after he get popped.”
The 34-year-old Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) doesn’t think Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) will pressure him because Fury can’t get the two knockdowns he suffered in the ninth and 12th rounds of their initial meeting out of his mind.
His overhand right to the top of the head floored Fury with 2:04 to go in the ninth round, but Fury got to his feet before referee Jack Reiss’ count reached eight. Wilder’s devastating right-left combination sent Fury to the canvas again, this time flat on his back, with 2:21 remaining in their fight.
Though he appeared to be out for the count, Fury unforgettably began getting up once Reiss’ count reached six. The Manchester, England, native reached his feet before Reiss could count to 10 and remarkably came back to finish their fight strong.
Their second showdown will headline an ESPN/FOX Sports pay-per-view show set to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The four-fight show will cost $79.99 to watch in HD.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.