It’s been almost a year since Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder clashed in a dramatic fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. On a night of thrills, Fury dominated much of the exchange but was knocked down twice by Wilder. This included a dramatic moment in the 12th round when Fury hit the canvas after a two-punch combo from his opponent, before miraculously rising to his feet again to finish the fight.
Most had written Fury off before that fight, saying that it was too soon after his comeback to challenge the hard-hitting Wilder. But the Gypsy King proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with. A rematch was always on the cards, and the big fight looks set to take place as early as February next year.
This time, the Englishman is the favourite in odds on Fury v Wilder, which is proof of the Gypsy King’s stellar form since his return to boxing. Let’s take a look at how Fury has performed in his fights since the Wilder clash.
Early bath for Schwarz
It was June before Fury was back in the ring after drawing with Wilder the previous December. The undefeated German Tom Schwarz was his opponent, who held the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title.
Fury gave a commanding display in Las Vegas, winning by TKO in round two. It was an all-business performance, as Schwarz struggled to adapt to his surroundings. The German had never fought outside of Europe and seemed to cower under Fury’s greater strength and experience.
Fury commented afterwards: “I came here to have fun and enjoy myself. I don’t take it too seriously. I thought I put on a good show and the fans got what they paid for.” While those words may downplay the performance, it was a strong display and proved that Fury was back to his best.
12 rounds with Wallin
The Gypsy King’s most recent boxing match was against Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin, which proved to be a big test. Although unbeaten ahead of the bout, Wallin was considered by many to be beneath the calibre of Fury, but he proved those critics wrong with a solid showing.
A cut above his right eye caused problems for Fury, as his corner struggled to stem the flow of blood. The fight went the full 12 rounds before Fury was declared the victor with a unanimous points decision.
“It was a good 12 rounds,” said Fury, “he was tough. It’s all heart and determination – if I can keep going I will do. He was 20-0 and didn’t know how to lose, but I was the better man.”
While the win over Schwarz was more convincing, the hard-fought nature of the Wallin bout will stand Fury in good stead for the Wilder rematch. As we know, the first fight between Fury and Wilder went the full distance, and so beating Wallin over 12 rounds could prove to be important practice should the Wilder fight go the distance once again.
Since that Wallin fight, Fury has dabbled in the world of professional wrestling. After causing a stir at the WWE Smackdown Live 20th Anniversary event, Fury fought Braun Strowman in an unprecedented occasion in Saudi Arabia. Fury won the fight before declaring that he now had to focus on Wilder: “I’ve got a big fella called Deontay Wilder to see to, and then we see where we go from there.”
The showmanship of WWE means it’s hard to know how helpful the wrestling match will have been in preparing Fury for the Wilder fight. But it maintained his undefeated run in combat sports and will have given the Gypsy King more confidence – if that were possible!