Tyson Fury switched trainers by amicably splitting with Ben Davison and assigning coaching duties to SugarHill Steward in December.
Deontay Wilder thinks the abrupt move is a sign that he’s already won the mental warfare with his British opponent.
“He’s concerned and worried.I see that he’s nervous when I look into his eyes,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “Let’s face it, when you don’t know how you got dropped to the ground, or how you got up because you were so badly concussed, it’s a problem. It’s always in the back of your mind, like, this could happen again … and that’s why he switched trainers.”
Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) meets Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday in a highly anticipated heavyweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as part of a Fox Sports and ESPN pay-per-view promotion.
Fury has been notorious for switching the voices in his corner. In the first fight against Wilder in 2008, in addition to Davison, he also had the likes of Ricky Hatton and Freddie Roach in his corner on fight night.
Steward is the nephew and disciple of the late great Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward. Fury and Steward will look to additionally tap into the Kronk Gym mystique by also joining forces with former world champion Andy Lee, who was trained by Emmanuel his entire career.
“Fury’s using the fact that he won some rounds in the first fight to build confidence in himself to be able to prepare for this fight,” said Wilder. “It’s not going to happen.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].