Deontay Wilder doesn’t know whether to believe Tyson Fury when the brash Brit boldly claims he’ll aggressively go after Wilder early in their rematch next week.
What Wilder does know is that if Fury pressures him, that’ll make it easier to finish Fury in their second 12-round fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title. England’s Fury is a slight favorite to win when they square off again February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but he is widely expected to take a tactical approach with Wilder.
“As you can see, I brought the fight to him nearly the whole fight the first time,” Wilder said during a conference call Tuesday. “If he’s gonna do the reverse and bring it to me and bring all the force to me, while I’m already applying that force throwing at him, then you know, it’s gonna be an interesting fight. It’s gonna be a short night, but it’s gonna be an interesting fight. And interesting fights and short nights, you can count me in, baby, because I don’t get paid for overtime. So, he playing right into my plans. And I’m looking forward to seeing if he gonna follow through with his game plan. That’s gonna be exciting to see.”
Wilder was asked if, in his gut, he feels Fury – a better boxer, but clearly a lesser puncher – would actually ignore a more sensible strategy to prove that he, too, is capable of winning their highly anticipated second bout by knockout.
“My gut just tells me that I’m ready to go,” Wilder said. “I’m in the best shape of my life. My gut tells me that I’m prepared more than anything. I’m about to put on a show. My gut tell me that I’m the heavyweight champion of the world, and I can’t be beat. And I can’t wait for February 22nd, so I can lay him to rest. That’s what my gut’s telling me.
“And as far as what he’s saying and what he’s gonna do, what he’s saying and what he’s gonna do I think is gonna be two different things. But that’s what makes this fight such an exciting fight. Not only with our words, but with our actions. And wait and see what’s gonna happen. So, you know, if he does that, then God be with him on that night of that fight because God may have mercy, but I won’t.”
The 34-year-old Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, floored Fury twice in their first fight 14 months ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) survived those two knockdowns and boxed Wilder to a controversial, 12-round split draw.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.