It has been a topsy-turvy few weeks for elite level boxing, as the politics that underpins the sport continues to have an undue influence on the fights that we see.
So, instead of commencing the build-up to an historic unification bout between gladiatorial heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 14th, the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ will now compete in a trilogy fight against his nemesis and former WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Still, this is a fascinating fight in its own right, although at first glance it seems as though Fury is the overwhelming favourite to overcome his American opponent.
You can learn more about the sport and wagering on the outcome by reviewing this Boxing Betting Guide by Bet in Ireland, but in this post, we’ll ask who we think will come out on top.
The Backdrop to Fury v Wilder 3
Interestingly, the Joshua – Fury fight was only recently taken off the table, just days after the Gypsy King himself seemed to confirm the contest on Instagram.
However, this position was swiftly reversed, after Wilder successfully pursued and arbitration that ordered Fury to fight him for the WBC belt under the terms of their previous contract.
A bout was swiftly organised and announced for July 24th, with this set to be held at the impressive T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The announcement was met with huge disappointment from Joshua’s team, especially with contracts having been prepared, sponsorship organised and a special area built to host the all-British unification bout.
Promoter Barry Hearn also questioned whether Fury’s team were aware of the likely outcome of the arbitration prior to it being announced, casting doubt on whether the fighter’s chief promoter Bob Arum was keen on the contest from the outset.
Regardless, the scene is now set for Fury and Wilder’s trilogy fight, while Joshua himself will fight the WBO mandatory contender Oleksandr Usyk.
Can Wilder Finally Crack the Fury Code?
Some will argue that the third Fury v Wilder fight is unnecessary, especially following the former’s demolition of the latter in the last contest on February 22nd, 2020..
After a controversial draw in the pair’s first outing (which many believed that Fury won), the rematch saw Fury assume the centre ring from the start of the bout and adopt a much more aggressive approach than expected.
Dubbed ‘Unfinished Business’ by promoters, the fight continued this way during the first three rounds, with Wilder continually fighting on the back foot and struggling to cope with Fury’s hand speed and tactical approach.
He was subsequently dropped in the third and fifth rounds, with Wilder’s team finally throwing in the towel midway through the seventh with the American bleeding profusely from his mouth and ears and struggling to resist Fury’s advances.
Both fights saw Fury adopt different styles, as he fought primarily on the backfoot in their first bout before stepping forward and looking to dominate Wilder from the centre ring in the second.
So, while Wilder struggled to land his deadly right hand consistently in the first bout (despite finding his range in the second half of the fight), he was unable to throw it all in the second, as Fury took away his space and forced him to fight almost entirely in retreat.
One takeaway here is that Wilder lacks ring variety and an ability to adapt to his opponent’s tactics. Moreover, he was unable to cut off the ring successfully and throw enough combinations in the first fight with Fury, and struggled to remain elusive and fight on the backfoot as Tyson pressed forward in the rematch.
This is a point that Fury has made ahead of the trilogy fight, as he remains staunch in the observation that Wilder is a one-dimensional, one-trick pony that cannot function when crowded for space or kept at arms’ length.
Wilder has also shown this weakness against skilled fighters like Luiz Ortiz, who dominated the former WBC champion twice before falling foul of his concussive right-hand.
With this in mind, it’s hard to imagine Wilder winning this time around or finding a formula to overcome Fury, although new coach Malik Scott has hinted at a change of approach this time around.
If he is to prevail, Wilder must almost forget about the immense power in his right hand, and instead focus on the boxing fundamentals of jabbing and moving. This way, he can work his way into a fight with Fury, and create openings for his powerful right hand later in the bout.
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