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PICK EM FRIDAY | DEONTAY WILDER VS. TYSON FURY II | STAFF PICKS

Reading the countless predictions on this fight from journalists, Professional fighters, fight fans and everyone else in between, it seems there is still uncertainty with most leaving the door slightly ajar for a result of another kind.

Paul J Daley – FURY TKO – Reading the countless predictions on this fight from all walks of life, journalists, Professional fighters, fight fans there is an overriding feeling of uncertainty, most leaving the door slightly ajar for a result of another kind.

Slightly cryptic I know but what I mean by this for example is, along the lines of ‘Fury will outbox Wilder BUT Wilder has the power to knock him out at any given moment’ or alternatively ‘Wilder by KO BUT Fury is the better boxer and could outpoint him’ the kind of thought process that allows the individual to save face amongst his peers should it go one way or the other.

Personally I, like, 99.8% of you witnessed the handing out of a boxing lesson to Wilder the first time the two men met, whereas apart from the knockdown’s it became apparent to all apart form the judging, an easy decision to make, Fury on points was the consensus but that’s not how it played out, a split decision draw instead was rendered.

This time around I feel there will be no such confusion with a more definite result to allay fears, one being of Fury by stoppage. On a number of occasions in the first contest Fury landed solidly on Wilder, stiffening the legs of the American. Fury due to inactivity was happy to play it cautious but I sense he will this time be looking to take the decision away from the judges and a certain My Haymon, sitting down on his punches which aided by a Kronk gym stalwart who knows how to harness power and the added weight confirmed by Fury, I believe will result in the ending coming shockingly early, I feel even as early as the fourth or fifth rounds.

Dan Foley – FURY DEC – After a controversial ending to the first encounter which resulted in a split decision draw, on Saturday night we will finally get to see the much anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. 

During the 14 months since the first fight took place Wilder has added 2 more vicious KO’s of Dominic Breazeale & Luis Ortiz to his undefeated record taking his numbers up to an incredibly impressive 42-0-1 (41 KO’s), Fury meanwhile has also added another 2 W’s to his record defeating Tom Schwarz via TKO and Otto Wallin via UD to improve his record to 29-0-1 (20 KO’s). 

During the first fight Fury showed his superior skill and class by out-boxing Wilder for large parts of the fight, Wilder struggled to get a foot into the fight especially in the early stages and looked bewildered by Fury’s movement and jab.  He slowly got more into the fight as it reached the later rounds, however it was only his massive punching power that kept him in the fight, allowing him to score two knockdowns that saved him from suffering what I felt would’ve been a decision loss. 

That punching power is a game changer but Fury will take a lot of confidence in the fact that he was able to take Wilder’s best shot in the 12th round and still got up to beat the 10 count.  I think this could play a huge factor in Fury’s mentality coming into the rematch, he is rumoured to be in his best condition yet and now that he has experienced Wilder’s power first-hand and lasted 12 rounds with him I believe he will be in an excellent position to defeat the American. 

The only question mark I have is regarding the training camp change for Tyson, this will be his first fight without Ben Davison since his comeback and it’s a big change to make for such an important fight, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects his style and approach to the re-match.  At the end of the day even though I can never count Wilder out completely I feel that Fury has more weapons in his arsenal to get the W in this fight and after watching the first encounter numerous times I think Tyson will make the adjustments necessary and come away from this fight with the unanimous decision which I feel he should have received the first time around.

Richard Lewis – WIDER TKO – As 2018 was drawing to a close two of the current best Heavyweights in the world met head on in a fight that many, myself included felt was too soon for the returning Tyson Fury, who after a two and half year lay off and two fights since his return against meagre opposition, was propelled into a meeting with the long reigning knockout king American Deontay Wilder. 

This was a fight that I thought Fury was mad to take so soon after making his comeback after his well publicised sabbatical from the sport and one that I was sure Deontay Wilder was going to win. I worried for Fury but needn’t of as in his own unique way he met the power and threat that Wilder possessed with an impressive display of Boxing brilliance, picking away at Wilder and frustrating him throughout and comfortably building up a good lead as the fight progressed. 

Many had Fury way ahead as we came into the final quarter of the fight but it was then just when it seemed he’d pulled off the greatest of all comebacks and was once again going to regain his crown as a World Champion he got caught by a glancing right by Wilder and put to the canvas in the 9th round. Fury beat the count, taking his time to raise at the count of 9 but didn’t seem affected by it and recovered well to win rounds 10 and 11. Then disaster struck in the final round BOOM………………… Deontay Wilder caught him again, this time with a ferocious combo that put Fury down flat on his back and seemingly out cold. Surely that was it, it was all over, his chance had gone, or had it? From somewhere Tyson Fury found the strength to get up, beat the count and fight back until the final bell. It truly was extraordinary and amazing to witness and I don’t know if it’ll ever be bettered. As the scorecards were read out I still believed that despite the knockdowns Fury had done enough and was going to be crowned the new WBC Champion, but like most things in modern day Boxing what seems a certainty is almost always not the case and the judges couldn’t agree and the outcome was a split decision. 

Fast forward to this coming Saturday and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be the setting as these two men meet in a rematch. Since that first meeting Wilder has kept up his impressive KO record stopping both Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz in a rematch, both inside the distance and in devastating fashion, whilst Fury himself recorded an impressive 2nd round stoppage win over the previously unbeaten Tom Schwarz before having to endure a tough night against another undefeated opponent in Otto Wallin. Fury suffered a bad cut over his right eye early on in the fight but managed to use his experience to get through it, but it wasn’t what we was used to seeing from Fury who at time’s didn’t look to me like he was totally focused on the task at hand. He would of had one eye on the Wilder rematch for sure and thankfully was able to keep his side of the bargain and get through a tough fight save for some 40 plus stitches over said right eye.

How does this fight play out and will it be any different to their first meeting I wonder? I don’t think Deontay Wilder can afford to let Fury to keep him at range with his jab and will know that Fury’s movement for such a big man is very impressive and caused him a lot of problems first time around. Perhaps doubts will creep into his mind whether his power is enough to stop Tyson Fury having seem his rise so impressively in that first fight as mentioned. Tyson Fury on the other hand looks a lot lighter and fitter and not carrying that excess weight that he did first time, but with a change of trainer with the shock parting with the reliable and highly rated Ben Davison being replaced with Javan ‘Sugarhill’ Steward, nephew of the Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward, that could have a negative impact though lots of indications are that Steward wants Tyson to be more aggressive and himself go for the KO. 

I don’t think Tyson can win the fight this way and it’ll be more to do with his ability and technique like the first fight if he’s to get through it and come out of it as the victor. With a more aggressive approach though your always at risk of getting caught yourself and I think that’s just what will happen and I’m leaning towards Deontay Wilder catching Fury again but maybe a little cleaner this time. Will history repeat itself and how many more times will Fury be able to rise from the canvas and fight on like he did? As much as I’d love to see Tyson Fury win this time, having the belief that he did first time save for some questionable judging, I don’t feel like he will and Deontay Wilder will get to him and stop him in or around the 10th round of another back and forth duel. There will be excitement, fireworks and plenty of talking points but let’s hope there isn’t another questionable draw.

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Marco Garcia – FURY MD – How do I come up with a solid prediction of who wins between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury this Saturday? My choice has wavered back and forth since the fight was officially announced and with good reason.

The first time around in December of 2018 I felt Fury did enough to win despite being knocked down twice, this time around he should be less rusty, in better shape, and with more respect for Wilder’s right hand. Wilder on his part brings to the table his accurate and powerful right hand, while it may seem to be his only weapon we should not forget that outside of an early career knockdown, Wilder has yet to touch the canvas again even against hard punchers like Ortiz who had him badly hurt in their first fight. Looking at vulnerabilities there will be two that stand out, Wilder’s propensity to give up round after round while seeking a knockout, and Fury’s massive cut over his right eye which will be a target.

So who will win? In my opinion I feel that Fury was able to outbox, out smart, and land significant punches after returning from a long layoff for 12 rounds, I see him doing the same and getting the nod, not just because he’ll box better offensively, but he’ll avoid that troubling right hand. Fury by 12 round majority decision.

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Sean Bastow – FURY DEC – I believe that since the first fight Tyson Fury has improved and had to overcome futher adversity with that terrible cut against Wallin. Wilder did not look great against Ortiz, but has shown he can end a fight at any given time but the only difference is Fury got up and can do it again should he get put on the canvas. If the eye holds up, and Fury can adopt the same gameplan from the first fight I think he cruises to a UD

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Ricky Wright – FURY DEC – Many knowledgeable boxing pundits spoke out that Tyson’s first encounter with Wilder took place too soon after his comeback. The Fury who drew against Wilder wasn’t a patch, physically and mentally on the Fury who beat Klitchko. Since the Wilder fight, Fury has kept up a healthy regime and made better lifestyle choices which will aid him in winning a convincing decision over the American.

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Wilson M Scott – FURY DEC – Well, this is it! The showdown to decide who is the best?? We saw Ruiz beat Joshua by KO, and we seen their respective rematch with Joshua playing it safe and winning on points.

So they are equal at the moment and neither can declare supremacy. But on Saturday the 22nd of feb, we get to see who is the divisions true kingpin. with both claiming to be the real winner in the previous bout, forever on paper now as a draw.

We have one fighter in Wilder declaring he got screwed on the count and finished the fight stronger with his knockdowns in rounds 9 and 12, and the other who was a few years out the ring without any true test in opposition whilst battling weight problems amongst his many other noted struggles, claiming that he in-fact humiliated the WBC belt holder for near 12 rounds, got up from two massive devastating blows in the last round, but yes got back up, and fired back with fury, excuse the pun! And completed what some might well could have called an equal round, I did give the rd to Wilder but not by much!

To briefly sum it up, Mr Atlas the very well respected trainer is picking Wilder by KO because he thinks he has sharpened up and improved a little in timing in his two most recent bouts and Fury hasn’t, I hate to burst Teddy’s bubble but I say he is wrong.

Here is why, Fury needs a big name opponent to get him up for the fight, this is where we see him at his best. What he done to Wilder in that 1st matchup was near boxing heavyweight technical perfection and that was with his aforementioned problems, now I think he is in a better place physically and this time around it will be easier for the Gypsy King.

He has also felt Wilder’s biggest punch now and knows he can survive them so we might see a more aggressive Fury. But I don’t buy the going for an early KO talk, Thats just to sell the fight and get in Wilder’s head a bit.

Tyson is not stupid though, he knows what the dangers in any heavyweights flinging bombs means, and I feel he does not get the credit for being the very smart fighter he is, inside and out the ring. As for Wilder, Breazeale wasn’t ready having long inactivity himself and Ortiz well lets just say he got caught, make that fight 4-5 years ago and Wilder gets beat. but it is what it is, and wisely I would say the bigger belt holders did hold off till he became older before getting him his shot, smart move by all, and so its by this observation I have made my choice that Fury wins on points much easier than last time out I feel he will make it so clear this time they will have no choice to give it to him barring a riot.

A far superior boxer who will fully expose Wilder this time and win on his jab, combinations in and out and his footwork, taking nothing away from Deontay his record doesn’t lie but he swings for the hills usually missing, while being picked off by the true heavyweight king, who if focused, is on a whole different level.

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Barbara Pinellla – FURY DEC – I believe that in order to get the win, Wilder is going to have to knock Fury out. That said, I don’t think that will happen. I think Tyson will be better than he was in the first fight, and will change some things up. I think Deontay’s confidence that he will be so much better prepared than his opponent will be his undoing. I say Fury wins on points. 

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Tre Berry III – FURY DEC – Tyson Fury in weeks leading up to the fight had been speaking at lengths on his desire to knock out Deontay Wilder in 2 rounds.  I didn’t take his words seriously at all, but lately I’ve changed my tune as I see in interviews where he expressed vehemently taking it out of the judges and referee’s hands, so he could avoid any mishaps with a decision up for grabs that may be out of his control if he allows it to go the distance. 

Deontay of course will be ready for that, and will welcome it with open arms as he is of course a true power puncher by trait, who will try to take advantage of Fury when he’s in his range, instead of chasing around the slick boxer which would limit his opportunities. 

I feel that Fury for the first 2 – 3 rounds will try to put Wilder away, but can’t land anything big enough to do so, while evading Deontay’s power successfully in those first few rounds, to where Fury will decide to switch tactics and go back to his normal style of fighting to outbox Deontay down the stretch for a 12 round decision. 

He may possibly hit the canvas once before the opening bell, but I predict he will survive that, and this time around, the scorecards will have him in their favour to crown a new Lineal Champion in fulfilling the RING and TBRB’s Heavyweight vacancies.

Craig Morgan – WILDER KO – Repeat or revenge for either man? I’ve gone back and forth several times, I really cannot definitively predict the outcome. The cut that Fury received in his previous fight is a massive concern. The change of trainer, right before this fight, will it be a good or bad move? I don’t know enough about Sugar Hill, although he was mentored by one of the greatest trainers of all time, his uncle Emanuel Steward.

Wilder is a devastating puncher and has proven in the past that when he rematches an opponent, knocks them out. How Fury got to his feet in the 12th round of their first encounter, after the concusive knockdown, I’ll never understand.

In my opinion, Fury talking about taking the fight to Wilder and going for the knockout, think it’s the wrong thing to do, he needs to do the same thing as the first fight but try to avoid being put down even more. I expect Fury to win most of the early rounds but also think that Wilder will catch up with him earlier in this fight. I’d love to see Fury pull it off but think that Wilder will make the necessary adjustments and get a knockout win.

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Dean Berks – FURY TKO 7 – If the old expression “You’re only as good as your last fight” is anything to go by, then picking a winner is even more difficult than before. Wilder looked decidedly average before producing his famed right hand against Luis Ortiz, and Fury ended up cut in an unexpectedly taxing encounter against Otto Wallin. In both contests, each man displayed their best and worst attributes.

However, in this fight I expect to see them back to their respective bests. As much as Wilder carries that right hand missile, he is fully aware that Fury can outbox him and also hurt him. He now also knows that Fury can take his best and get up. Fury now knows what to expect but with a more aggressive approach being hinted at, will walking in to the danger zone more expose his chin to an even cleaner shot from Wilder? I have a feeling that this fight will not go the full twelve rounds. I think a fresher, sharper Fury will mix up his skills with some hard right hands following to try to break Wilder mentally. And although he will have to drag himself off of the canvas once again, Fury will gain control and pound out a seventh round stoppage.

Steve Haigh – WILDER KO – Really don’t know which way this will play out on Saturday, clearly there are two scenarios of which one will be the outcome, either Deontay Wilder knocks out Tyson Fury or the latter out boxes the former, pretty much the same as in their first fight.

One or two things concern me about Fury. First of all he intends in coming to the ring a stone heavier, granted, 14lbs on the size and frame of Gypsy King is nothing like the same as on you or I and muscle indeed weighs more than fat, however speed and agility are key for his fight plan. I do not buy into the knockout win for Fury and even so the extra weight is irrelevant for knockout purposes when your that size and weight.

Secondly just how much of an influence was Ben Davidson? Sugar Hill Steward is not Emanuel and also just how much will he try to stamp his own mark on the boxer? It could be crucial in winning or losing the fight

Ultimately  I believe that Deontay Wilder will be a better version of himself than the first time. He will more than likely be out boxed round after round exactly like he found himself in the rematch within Ortiz.

If pushed my conclusion is Tyson Fury will build up a solid lead but sooner or later will get tagged with the big right hand as in the infamous 12th round of their first encounter, but even if he does see out the fight and has what we all believe is a comfortable margin of a lead, Al Haymon is Mr Influence. So will Fury get a fair scorecard, I’m not confident he will and I wont hold my breath either?

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Ricardo Castineyra – WILDER DEC – I think the fight will be very close, once again Wilder will go out to look for that power blow that sends Tyson Fury to the floor whilst on the other hand Tyson Fury will be prepared to hit and move away from the impact zone, Wilder with the aggressiveness that characterises him will be trying to press Gipsy King, I think it will go to the end with the winner in my view will be Wilder, it will be a very interesting fight and why not think of a trilogy

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Ciaran Gibbons – FURY DEC – In most peoples eyes including my own, Fury did enough to beat Wilder despite the knockdowns the first time around so we can expect a similar type performance from Fury when they finally meet again in Las Vegas this Saturday.

In the build up Fury has talked about going to war and trying for a knockout but when the bell goes and reality sets in I expect Fury to move and use lots of angles to try and make it difficult for Wilder to set his feet for his power shots.

Based on his performance against Luis Ortiz in November, Deontay Wilder has not really improved much as a boxer and still makes very basic mistakes but as Ortiz found out the power he has is frightening and can be delivered at any second of the fight. It’s also worth noting that the two knockdowns Wilder scored over Fury were not clean flush punches so the question “can Fury take Wilders power” has not been answered yet.

I expect the fight to be similar to the first time around but this time Fury gets the nod from the judges.

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Sam Constantinou Coulter – FURY DEC – For me this fight is a relatively easy prediction. Fury is the far superior technical boxer and I see him claiming a points win.  Last time out he was in the opinion of most the clear winner and was robbed of a decision. He went into the fight with little adequate preparation and still looked comfortable baring the knockdown. 

Yes Wilder has extreme power and is capable of knocking any man out with a single punch but he is a very limited boxer skill wise. 

I feel like a Fury with more training under his belt and another couple of fights is just going to be too technically good for Wilder. 

Fury will look to move about and outbox Wilder and I see him doing so going on to claim a win on points. 

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Lewis Taylor – FURY DEC – Fury outclassed Wilder for the majority of their first clash with that vicious knockdown in the last round saving the WBC champion from a decision loss.

Fury is expected to be the fittest he has been in years and now he has experienced 12 rounds with Wilder, he will be better prepared to avoid his scary knockout power and if he succeeds using his full 30+ lbs weight advantage and two inch reach whilst also switch hitting from orthodox to southpaw then he should walk away with a comfortable decision this time around. 

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Kevan Jackson – WILDER KO – I believe that Wilder has the edge in this fight. Fury boxed an amazing fight the first time but he still got knocked on his arse … twice, which tells me Wilder had sussed him out. He also has to defend that naughty cut he received in his last fight against Wallin which needed 47 stitches, if that reopens, he’s in big trouble. I’ve also heard that fury will be coming in heavier this time and if so will nullify his agility and speed .

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Lee Thornton – FURY DEC – This weekend the sport of Boxing gets a massive rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. The majority of the media and Boxing public believes Wilder will win this rematch by knocking out Tyson Fury. However I believe Tyson Fury wins this fight for a number of reasons.

Fury weighing more in this fight will allow him to smother Wilder more and use his size advantage along with the fact Fury now has more championship experience since his long lay off. I like Fury to win this fight by decision with angles, his jab and overall superior technique, many fans failed to see that Fury hurt Wilder a few times as well in the last encounter and now training with Andy Lee and Sugar Hill Steward. Fury will sit down on his punches at times and land some very effective counter right hands, I am intrigued to see the game plan Fury has and I expect Fury will make this an ugly fight. 

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Anthony Ritchie – FURY DEC – Many people are saying that Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury is a 50/50 fight, I have to disagree, the only way Fury loses this fight is if he gets careless and walks on to a Wilder right hand, surely the Fury we know and love will be focused, fully prepared and have too much boxing skill for Wilder. 

After boxing to a much disputed draw in the first fight, despite having two low key comeback fights after his much publicised troubles, Fury is fitter, more prepared and knows what Wilder brings to the table now, my pick is Fury out boxes Wilder to a wide Margin points victory to become WBC Champion in the early hours of Sunday morning, hopefully setting up a massive unification bout with Anthony Joshua. 

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Jonathan Harris – FURY DEC – After a long anticipated wait we are finally here, the rematch that has grasped the world by the short and curlys. A day that for me personally at one point I had lost all hope that we would be graced with any date at all for a rematch. 

The first fight was nothing short of an absolute compelling show of skills, drama and explosiveness which also almost shows a touch of an unknown force that graced the ring that night to make Tyson Fury rise in a history making manner to continue the battle to the final bell. 

So What are we looking for the second time around? Can this fight really be more thrilling than the first? I think not unfortunately but it certainly has all the ingredients to make a fine marinated punch up of arguably the two best heavyweights in the world! 

A cargo of circumstances have changed for this fight though that has made me second guess a lot from my original call of the first, Deontay Wilder fighting better opposition between fights, Obviously Fury’s split from trainer Ben Davidson, Fury’s claim of a change of style that is about to approach, Fury’s new found superstar status, Fury’s freshly healed scar tissue. 

Now reading at first you may assume I have made an error in my writing confirming Fury before almost every statement, but I really need to emphasise that the dramatic changes are from the Gypsy King himself. After an almost picture perfect performance in the first dance with Wilder, but why? Is this a lack of confidence? Or is it the mind games that he likes so much to play? 

Tyson’s new found superstar fame with the amazing and inspirational background story though is really starting to prompt my memory back to the movie Rocky 3 where popularity means sacrificing time and training and takes the mind away from the fight ahead! But of course, that’s just a movie, right? 

So away from my drifting imagination and back to reality, we are at the point of witnessing possibly the most nail biting heavy weight punch up there has been for a very long time! And picking this fight has almost been an impossible feat! 

There can only be one winner this time, a draw can not even be an option, well the judges and the rulebook may disagree with me there but you know what I mean. There needs to be one fighter crowned this time and crazily, and maybe slightly bizarre but I am still going with a Tyson Fury points decision, instinctive will kick in when that bell goes and the thought of Ko’ing wilder will be a statement of the past and the boxing strategy very similar to the first bout will be implemented. Once again Frustrating the huge punching Wilder into old swinging ways. 

As always best of luck to both fighters and they exit the ring healthy and wealthy. 

Slaven Ajanovic – FURY DEC – I think the first fight proved Wilder cannot box, therefore Fury should again concentrate on boxing. If he does, he wins. If not, he most likely loses. I still think Fury knows his best chance to win is perhaps a combination of boxing and going forward. Last time he did too little in the early rounds and that may have cost him the decision. I think now he will be more active while Wilder will look to be more patient and pick his shots. My prediction is that Fury wins on points, but likely not by unanimous decision, because there will always be one judge who will give it to the champion

PICK EM RESULT:


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | WILDER V FURY | FULL FIGHT REPLAY

Headline Photo Courtesy of Mikey Williams / Top Rank

I've been in the boxing industry for over 16 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

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