Wilder vs Fury: More Than a Title on the Line in December Showdown
After Tyson Fury’s one sided victory over Francesco Pianetta in August, it became hard for many to imagine how the slower paced lineal heavyweight champion would fare in a title fight against someone like World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Deontay Wilder, an action-first fighter whose 40-0 record is due to a consistent pressure attack backed by a lethal right hand.
Upon further reflection, however, the contrast in styles will create an intriguing fight. Just not in the way many expect.
Fury can and will present challenges for Wilder, just as he has for 27 other opponents. Fury is a somewhat stationary fighter, but his style is one that earned him a monumental upset against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to become the lineal heavyweight champion.
The safe bet for this fight rests in Wilder’s powerful right hand. However, Fury is no stranger to getting decked, getting back up, and finishing fights. The most memorable example came when Fury was dropped by Steve Cunningham. Not only did Fury get up, but he came back to win that fight.
Knowing Fury’s strengths, Wilder will have to make adjustments in his style to have success, and he may have to do things that are somewhat new to him. He should find a way to work the body. Fury is not known for a high punch output and therefore may not be as open to head shots as much as Wilder’s previous opponents. It will be interesting to see if Wilder can make adjustments if his attack-first approach isn’t immediately successful.
If Wilder is able to land the right hand and knock Fury down, how will he react if Fury withstands the assault and keeps on fighting? Will it affect Wilder physiologically or cause him to punch himself out?
There’s no way to know how each fighter is feeling heading into the anticipated heavyweight title fight on Dec. 1. Some may believe that more pressure is on Wilder to deliver a spectacular showing. That’s certainly not fair. Wilder has certainly done enough to impress fans and critics alike. He has always sought out the toughest fights possible and managed to deal with multiple setbacks and delays while his nearest counterpart, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has risen in popularity.
While Wilder shouldn't feel the need to over perform against Fury, headlining his first pay-per-view on a world stage could certainly make the urge to answer the opening bell by swinging for the fences impossible to resist. That’s certainly understandable — after all, he is the Bronze Bomber — but it may be safer to box Fury until an opening presents itself.
The question is, can Wilder box Fury effectively? He boxed well against Bermane Stiverne to win the WBC title in 2015, but Fury is much better than Stiverne. The combination punching that eluded Wilder in his most recent outing against Luis Ortiz, may serve him well against Fury.
Wilder should certainly be excited about the chance to beat a well-known heavyweight in Fury on Dec. 1. As has been the goal of many heavyweight contenders and champions past and present, Wilder’s goal is to prove that he is undoubtedly the best heavyweight in the world. That can’t happen until he squares off with Joshua sometime in the future. But by showing skills against Fury beyond the powerful right hand, Wilder can take a step in further proving to the critics what many already know; he is not a one-dimensional fighter but a full-on threat to rule the heavyweight division for years to come.
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