Claressa Shields: "Tyson Fury is like a white Muhammad Ali"
In just eight more days, the Gypsy King will once again step in the ring with the Bronze Bomber and attempt to hand the former Olympian his first professional defeat. Although Tyson genuinely believes he thoroughly outboxed his opponent on December 1st, 2018, the 6'9" heavyweight champ feels he needs a knock-out to score a decisive victory in Las Vegas, Nevada and plans to implement a different strategy in the rematch.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields believes the lineal champ will eventually resort back to his customary method of boxing as soon as he tastes Wilder's power.
"Going for the knock-out is always good. I feel like if you train for a knock-out, and you have it in your mind, it can happen," Claressa stated to "Behind the Gloves" this past weekend.
"But he's not going to completely change his gameplan. Once you get hit, you go back to the old you. And the old Tyson Fury wasn't bad."
"It was a really great fight between him and Deontay Wilder. Tyson Fury is going to get out there and do what he always does. He's going to box, he's going to feint...he's like a white Muhammad Ali!"
Although the 31-year-old fighter was named after a different American heavyweight champion, Claressa insists that the Manchester native most closely resembles a more fluid ATG in the ring...the fighter formerly known as "Cassius Clay".
"Honestly, like when we were watching him fight, during the first fight, guys were sitting next to me saying, 'yo, this guy boxes like he's Muhammad Ali'! Wow...I'm just seeing that now. I never thought that before, but he definitely had a different game plan for Deontay Wilder when they fought."
"But I thought Wilder won the first fight...I thought he edged it. I think this fight is going to be just as close."
T-Rex recalls meeting Tyson for the first time at a UFC event in January. The Gypsy King apparently left a lasting impression on the Flint, Michigan native. (See Twitter photo in slideshow above)
"He's tall as hell," laughs the three division women's champion. "And he's funny. He's a cool dude."
Despite admittedly pulling for the fellow US Olympian on February 22nd, the always classy Ms. Shields offered sound advice to both competing fighters.
"I feel like Wilder can't give up the early rounds. It may be another 12 round fight. If it is going the distance, Deontay Wilder can win, but he can't give up rounds and he can't just rely on knockdowns to win."
"And if Tyson goes for the KO, he has to be careful. I always feel like, If you throw a big punch, you're open for that same punch. So he may have to be careful doing that."
"But I'm cheering for Deontay Wilder...good luck to both men to come out safely, and I'll be at the fight!"
Fight fans can purchase "Wilder vs Fury 2 on PPV" next Saturday, February 22nd, at 9PM ET for $79.95 on the FOX Sports and ESPN + apps.