Fury vs Wilder 2 Odds: Should Tyson adopt a different strategy in 2nd fight? History reveals the truth
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana
With the long-awaited rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury now just a little over a month away, most ringside observers are currently on the fence when deliberating an eventual winner. Even the oddsmakers are seemingly undecided in favoring a specific fighter.
According to "FOX BET", Tyson Fury currently has a small edge, listed as the slight betting favorite at less than 2 to 1 odds, or a microscopic (-162), while Deontay Wilder is currently cited as almost even money or a (+125) betting underdog.
In other words, even the "experts" virtually have no clue who will eventually emerge victorious on February 22nd.
This is somewhat perplexing, considering that most interested observers felt Tyson Fury outboxed the Bronze Bomber with relative ease and deserved to come away with the win.
Although Fury was floored twice during the riveting twelve round affair, the great majority on press row felt the self-proclaimed Gypsy King did enough to earn a clear decision on the judges' scorecards. Unfortunately for the 6'9" heavyweight from the UK, the three kings at ringside were split in their assessment with scores of 115-111 (Wilder), 114-112 (Fury) and 113-113 even.
Despite feeling that he was indeed "jobbed" by the judges at ringside on December 1st, 2018, perhaps it's a good thing that Tyson currently isn't declaring himself the beneficiary of a "moral victory".
History tells us that fighters who believe they rightfully won a controversial first meeting in an elite level match-up, go on to decisively lose the return bout.
Let's examine the first bout between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev as an example.
After flooring Ward during the second stanza of their dramatic twelve round contest, most viewing the fight believed the hard-punching Russian did enough to earn a competitive victory. Unfortunately for Sergey, all three judges scoring the bout from the ring apron saw it identically, with Ward being awarded 7 of the 12 rounds, 114-113.
Feeling like he clearly deserved the victory, Sergey seemingly made no adjustments going into a second match with Ward. Because he was so convinced he won the first bout, Kovalev felt there was no need to change his fight plan or alter his strategy. Unfortunately for Sergey, his counterpart adopted a completely different game plan for the return bout, which included a strong and punishing inside fight game.
After methodically breaking down the surprised Russian to the body over the course of eight hard rounds, Ward arguably did enough damage to merit referee Tony Weeks stepping in and calling a halt to the contest at the 2:29 mark of round eight.
Heading into the contest, most believed GGG to be the clear favorite, having stopped all but one opponent within the distance since winning the WBO Middleweight championship in 2010. Although his first fight with Alvarez was indeed competitive for twelve hard rounds, most believed Gennady decisively earned a points victory.
To the surprise of most, the judges at ringside rendered a split verdict, scoring the contest 118-110 (Canelo), 115-113 (Golovkin) and 114-114 for a split draw decision.
Feeling that he clearly deserved the victory, Gennady seemingly didn't feel the need to make any adjustments to his fight plan and came into the second match with an inflated sense of security. Unfortunately for Golovkin, Canelo implemented a completely different strategy that seemed to disrupt the initial game plan of GGG. Rather than using lateral movement to combat the undefeated puncher, as he did in their first meeting, Alvarez elected to aggressively move forward and back up Golovkin throughout the great majority of the competitive 12 round contest.
The result was a majority decision in favor of Saul Canelo Alvarez. The judges scored the contest 115-113 twice, and 114-114 even.
So although Fury genuinely believes he deserved to receive a unanimous decision victory over Deontay Wilder in their first meeting, his attitude heading into the return bout is uncomplacent. Tyson is truly convinced that he is incapable of receiving a decision victory, even though he genuinely feels he outboxed his opponent for ten of the twelve rounds in their first match.
But will a changed strategy prove to be to his advantage of February 22nd?
In the case of Lennox Lewis versus Evander Holyfield, it didn't benefit the British born champion to change anything after receiving a questionable split draw verdict in their first meeting. Lewis ostensibly implemented the same strategy of controlling range with his footwork and jab while keeping his smaller opponent at a safe distance. Although the fight played out almost identically, three different judges scored the bout in favor of Lennox Lewis this time, rewarding him with a unanimous decision in their second meeting.
So is Tyson Fury doing the right thing in adopting a different mindset heading into this crucial second contest with arguably the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division? Will pressing for a decisive knock-out be an advantage to his seemingly harder punching opponent?
We'll find out on February 22nd.