Finally, after the usual war of words and increasing tension that usually precedes a Tyson Fury fight, his trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder will get underway at 11pm GMT.
For once in his career, perhaps even the first time, Fury will be the favourite, having roundly out-boxed and felled Wilder in the last fight, which led the American’s team to throw in the towel.
There is no doubt that Fury is by far the better fighter but, as fight night slowly ticks around, questions are increasing as to whether Fury is perhaps slightly over-confident heading into what is still a bout with one of the best in the world.
These queries have largely been raised in response to the two boxer’s most recent press conference, where tensions were high as Fury’s preparation for the fight was questioned.
The fight had to be delayed in the first place, from its original date in July after Fury contracted Covid-19, while he then had to understandably fly back to the UK and undergo a period in quarantine while his sixth child was born, who then had to spend time in an intensive care unit, all of which must have weighed heavily on Fury’s mind. With his typical confidence, Fury brushed off the accusation, claiming that “I’ve been training myself like in the Rocky movie. Like I said, what I don’t know about boxing ain’t worth knowing”. He also told Wilder: “Do yourself a favour and retire – your legacy’s in bits, all the excuses, you’ve been destroyed. No one’s even believed you, everyone’s laughing at you. You’re a weak man.”
Whether this brash attitude will be rewarded on Saturday is still to be seen, however. Wilder, as Fury’s coach Sugarhill Steward has constantly asserted and re-asserted, will always be a dangerous opponent. Just watch a highlights reel of his knockouts and you will realise that all he requires is one punch to put his opponent on the deck.
Fury has the movement to counter-act this but, if he loses his concentration for even one second, he will be on the canvas once again, and it would be interesting to see if he could get up, as he did famously during their first fight. Wilder has also switched up his training methods ahead of the fight, so it’ll be interesting to see what tricks he has up is sleeves, and whether Fury can adapt, when they do emerge.
Last night’s weigh-ins also threw up some interesting results, as both men packed on the muscle, and recorded the heaviest weights of their careers so far, with Fury at 19st 11lb and Wilder coming in at 17st.
His weight underlined that Fury, once again, will take the fight to Wilder, and the result should be the same as last time around. In boxing, however, as Oleksandr Usyk showed only a few weeks ago, you never really know.