Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury: Strengths and Weaknesses - Boxing News and Views

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury: Strengths and Weaknesses

At the time of writing it appears that Tyson Fury is on the verge of agreeing terms for a fight against WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.

According to some reports this fight could happen in Las Vegas as soon as December of this year.

In light of the recent breakdown in negotiations between team Wilder and Anthony Joshua’s promotional outfit, Matchroom, securing this fight would be a major coup for rival promoter Frank Warren, who represents lineal champion Fury.

This matchup is an interesting clash of styles and personalities. Both are brash and confident but their backgrounds are very different.

Fury descends from traveller stock, with a fighting heritage stretching back hundreds of years.

Within the travelling community young boys are expected to fight as soon as they are physically able, and disputes between families are settled with bare-knuckle contests, usually with large amounts of money at stake.

But a travelling man fights for much more than money: family pride is on the line. Fighting is in Fury’s DNA, and it is what he has been bred to do.

It is this pedigree which helped him compile a record of 26 wins, no losses and 19 knockouts, culminating in his dethroning of 10-year super champion, Wladimir Klitschko.

By contrast, Wilder only took up the sport at the age of 21, which was his third love behind both football and basketball – apparently through necessity.

Wilder has a pedigree of his own, though, winning National Golden Gloves and US championships as an amateur.

All before blasting his way through the professional ranks to the WBC title, having stopped every man he has ever faced in the ring.

Despite this, one gets the impression that it is possible Wilder is a big, strong, athlete that learned to box as opposed to being a natural-born fighter like Fury.

Still, there is no denying his devastating punching power, albeit delivered via some rather crude-looking attacks.

What you see is what you get with Wilder, an erratic power puncher who is always looking to land his Sunday punch to end a fight.

Fury is somewhat more unpredictable, and has sometimes won fights whilst appearing only to do the bare minimum required.

On other occasions he has looked absolutely punch perfect, as evidenced by his performance in the second encounter with Derek Chisora and the title-winning display against Klitschko.

What we can draw from this is that in order to perform at his best, Fury needs to be motivated and sense danger. We can be sure Wilder fulfills this requirement.

Whereas Wilder seems to be a gym rat, it is common knowledge that Fury has spent long periods out of training and living the high life.

During his near three-year exile he reportedly ballooned up to an astonishing 27 stone, allegedly abusing his body during this time with drink, drugs and copious amounts of food.

His inactivity and lifestyle has to be taken into consideration when assessing his chances of returning to the highest level of professional boxing.

His countryman, Ricky Hatton, led a similar lifestyle, heaping on weight between fights and wasting large amounts of time during his training camp shedding the excess weight.

It is generally agreed that this affected him and shortened his career.

However, it is not disrespectful to point out that the Hitman’s face-first style was not conducive to a prolonged career in the first place.

When on form, Fury fights smart, uses his jab and colossal size and reach to avoid being hit and taking any real punishment.

He has looked good in the training footage his camp has released but looking good in training is one thing, competing at the highest level is another.

Wilder’s last outing saw him overpower the tricky and skillful Cuban, Luis Ortiz, who was causing Wilder all kinds of trouble with his clever boxing.

Ortiz even came close to stopping the WBC champion in the 7th round, but like the rest of Wilder’s opponents he eventually succumbed his power in the 10th.

It is tempting to extrapolate from this fight that Wilder can overcome a skillful boxer like Fury.

Ortiz is no Fury, though, and for once Wilder would be looking up at an opponent, not down.

Fury would also enjoy a 2-inch reach advantage and a considerable amount in weight.

Tyson is also very fast and athletic for a man of his size (when in prime condition), but has been put down in the past.

However, when it counts he has looked very elusive and he hardly took a blow against Wladimir Klitschko for example.

Both fighters have business to take care of in the meantime.

Fury’s first comeback fight told us little about his readiness for the toughest tests and we may learn more in his next fight against respected Francesco Pianeta.

It should also be noted too, that prior to his big win over Klitschko, Fury was not exactly active – having only one other outing that year and three fights in the previous two years.

Perhaps indicating that inactivity does not affect him unduly when he is sufficiently motivated.

In Wilder’s case, it seems like he will not risk fighting the WBC’s top ranked fighter, Dillian Whyte, who is on a hot streak.

Instead it looks as if he will be taking on former Anthony Joshua fodder, Dominic Breazeale. Expect a handy Wilder victory which will leave us none the wiser as to his chances against Fury.

There is no question that Wilder is the active, form fighter who looks better prepared going into a Fury clash if it were to happen before the end of this year.

But you cannot discount the talent and fighting heart of the man from Manchester.

The winner of this fight is the lineal champion and will hopefully set up a mouth-watering future clash with unified champion Joshua, when Matchroom finally let him off the leash.

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