Fury vs Wilder tactical breakdown: Will we see repeat or revenge?

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder trilogy tactical breakdown: The American has changed trainers but not his mindset as the endless list of excuses go on… BUT perhaps the Gypsy King’s weight gain could level the playing field

  • Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder go head-to-head for a third time this weekend
  • The Gypsy King demolished the American in their rematch bout last year  
  • Wilder has since listed a plethora of excuses as to why he fell to defeat 
  • Meanwhile, Fury’s trainer has revealed his fighter will come in 20lbs heavier 
  • Sportsmail provides a tactical breakdown of the intriguing trilogy bout 

A match-up between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will forever be entertaining. Perhaps not the fight boxing needed or wanted, but with such contrasting styles and personalities – and, of course, the threat of a knockout at any second – it’s an unmissable event regardless. 

We’ve seen two versions of Fury in the pair’s encounters to date: First, a masterful boxer who looked to hit and not get hit, and though being put to the canvas on two occasions and inflicting no real damage on is opponent, was arguably rightly aggrieved to have been awarded just a draw, such was his dominance throughout. 

Second, Fury, under the guidance of new trainer SugarHill Steward, nephew of the legendary Emanuel Steward, put Wilder on the back-foot and battered the American from pillar to post in a jaw-dropping seven-round destruction, leaving the ring almost entirely unscathed. 

Now, after Wilder won his arbitration case and tied Fury into a third and most likely final fight, preventing an all-British undisputed showdown against Anthony Joshua, it’s up to the American to find a solution. 

There have been a plethora of excuses offered, a change of coach and cheating allegations galore. And on Fury’s side, a claim he will come into the trilogy bout considerably heavier. 

Each factor will play a significant role come the opening bell on Saturday night in Las Vegas. But will it be a case of repeat or revenge?

Tyson Fury (left) and Deontay Wilder (right) go head-to-head for a third time this weekend

Fury claimed an emphatic seventh-round stoppage victory when the pair met last year

No face-off was allowed as they exchanged words in the final press conference on Wednesday

As Fury has highlighted on numerous occasions, Wilder is somewhat of a one-trick pony. That’s not to say the American doesn’t possess a jab, and a pretty good one. You don’t win an Olympic bronze medal without the ability to box. 

But it’s Wilder’s reliance on his thunderous right hand that has, in fairness, got him out of trouble on numerous occasions, but certainly contributed to his downfall in the lop-sided rematch loss in February last year.   

The signs were there for all to see well before his one and only defeat. 

He was troubled early on in the first defence of his WBC strap against Eric Molina in 2015, before connecting with a succession of emphatic blows that put his opponent to the canvas and changed the course of the fight, eventually getting the stoppage win in the ninth round. 

Again, against Artur Szpilka back in 2016, he was arguably being comprehensively outboxed, before delivering a sickening right-hand that knocked the Polish fighter out cold in the blink of an eye, once more in the ninth. 

Then in his rematch with Luis Ortiz, Wilder didn’t win a single round before he the stopped the contest with one brutal straight-right in the seventh. The question was always there: what if Wilder couldn’t land the big blow? And that’s what happened against Fury.  

The point is that Wilder simply can’t rely on his right hand against Fury once more. So what does he do?  

Wilder sacked trainer Mark Breland (right) after he threw in the towel in his defeat to Fury

Wilder is now working with former opponent Malik Scott (right) as he looks to turn the tide

Well, the American has made changes ahead of the trilogy bout, ditching former trainer Mark Breland for his new coach Malik Scott. 

The 40-year-old, who was knocked out in just a round in his 2014 match-up against Wilder, offered some insight into their work during Wednesday’s final press conference ahead of the event. 

He said: ‘I went into Deontay’s toolbox and pulled everything out that he did well. I wanted to make sure that we drilled it over and over again. I didn’t teach him anything new. Deontay Wilder can do it all, I just pulled some of those things out of him.

‘When it comes to working on Deontay’s fundamentals, he has good fundamentals, he just didn’t always use them. I’m just reminding him about tools that he wasn’t using.’

Scott is essentially agreeing that Wilder had become too reliant on his right hand. It’s still his primary weapon, and one that should remain at the forefront of his arsenal,  but where was the jab? where was the body work? 

It’s the latter of the two that could prove crucial in the trilogy bout. Fury is rangey, quick and awkward. And in hunting almost exclusively for the head in February last year, Wilder didn’t give himself much of a chance. 

Don House, a long-term boxing trainer and UFC cutman, was also added to Wilder’s circle in preparation for the all-important fight, and he insisted in September that the body work will prove decisive.    

‘Malik has done a wonderful job with him,’ he told 78SPORTSTV. ‘He’s done a wonderful job, those body shots. I’d rather get hit in the head than the body. Deontay has always been focused on knocking guys out to the head.

‘We’re not going to do that in this fight. We’re going to box him and going to break down the body. He (Wilder) loves the body. It’s a bigger target, and you’ve seen Fury’s body on how big a target it is.

‘It’s an easy target to hit. We’re going to maintain and stay in that area, and put the money in the bank, then break him down and knock him out.’

Wilder has also added long-term boxing trainer and UFC cutman Don House (left) to his team

It sounds rather simple, doesn’t it? Hit Fury to the body this time, break him down slowly and eventually the right hand will come into play. 

It’s not quite that straightforward, however. Fury bullied Wilder last year; he leant on him, gave him no time to breathe and roughed him up from the opening bell. An exhausted Wilder was unable to generate enough power to hold him off on the back-foot and you could see that happening again. 

Fundamentally, the adjustments required are just too grand. Wilder will not outbox Fury. He won’t beat him to the jab. He won’t break him down systematically. It won’t happen. 

That’s not to say Wilder can’t win, but rather a round-by-round breakdown might just not be the most practical plan. 

Speaking to Sportsmail, Johnny Nelson insisted he believes Wilder will instead go for broke early, though believing the American’s mindset could hold him back.  

‘Deontay Wilder blamed everyone and anyone for why he lost that fight bar himself,’ he said. ‘If that’s not just for the cameras, then exactly the same thing is going to happen.

‘Can he develop into an outstanding boxer and outbox Tyson Fury? No, because that’s how he’s performed since the Olympics. I heard him say he’ll jump on him early, and that’s what I can see Wilder doing.

‘We know if he hits him once, he’s got the power to take him out. So I think he’s going to jump on him early. But the indication is that he’s not learned his lesson and he thinks the loss was everyone else’s fault. In that case, the same is just going to happen again.’ 

Wilder blamed his ring-walk outfit in the immediate aftermath to his 2020 defeat to Fury

The heavyweight also insisted his opponent tampered with his gloves before the fight started 

It’s a point that has to be explored. Did Wilder change trainers to alter his style? Or is it because he genuinely believes he was cheated? Perhaps signs point to the latter. 

Since the defeat, Wilder has claimed his ring-walk outfit was too heavy, his water was spiked, blamed his ‘traitor’ former trainer for throwing in the towel, insisted Fury had tampered with his gloves and more. 

Even at Wednesday’s press conference, just days before the fight, Wilder was still adamant Fury had cheated his way to victory. 

It’s a mindset that could prove entirely problematic for the former WBC champion. If he’s not made any alternations and is indeed banking on the fact Fury cheated, as Nelson said, we’ll just see the same result once more. 

But while we may see the same Wilder come to the ring, will we see a different Fury?

SugarHill Steward (left) has claimed Fury will carry an additional 20lbs in this weekend’s bout

In a claim that saw the boxing world raise a collective eyebrow, Fury’s trainer Steward recently revealed his fighter will come in carrying an additional 20lbs for the trilogy bout, in what would be a career-heaviest weigh-in. 

The immediate question is why? It’s all on Wilder to make the adjustments, not Fury, who showed in the rematch that not only can he outbox the Bronze Bomber, but utilise his strength and hurt him as well. 

Steward, who assured they are preparing for the best version of Wilder possible, insisted ‘the bigger the better’, stating Fury is putting on muscle, not fat, and training well with the added weight.  

Fury has also on multiple occasions promised to utilise a come-forward style once more, stating he will run over the American as if he’s an 18-wheeler and Wilder’s a human being.  

Set to come in significantly heavier than Wilder once more, Fury will certainly be able to use his weight advantage again, but he must ensure the speed is still there.  

If Fury can avoid being knocked out, he almost certainly wins. But the danger is that by packing on the pounds, Fury is only increasing the possibility that Wilder will connect with one of his famous right hands. 

Eddie Hearn believes Fury is not as well-prepared as he was for the rematch win over Wilder

Eddie Hearn – who has repeatedly insisted he wants Fury to win, either to face now mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte or eventually Joshua – believes the Gypsy King might just not be in his best shape going into the bout. 

Fury has not had it easy in the build-up to the event. He was in negotiations to fight Joshua for all the belts this summer prior to Wilder’s intervention, and admitted he was ‘wounded’ as Oleksandr Usyk snatched the Brit’s collection on belts in September. 

But his preparations for Wilder were disrupted as he tested positive for coronavirus for a second time in July, which saw the bout pushed back to October. 

Subsequently in August, Fury welcomed a sixth child into his family as his wife Paris gave birth to a baby girl, Athena. 

His daughter was placed into an intensive care unit after her birth, with Fury having to delay his training camp to be with his family, who have remained in Morecambe during the final days leading up to the fight.       

 Fury and his wife, Paris, welcomed a sixth child into their family with Athena born in August

He greeted her arrival with a message on social media but almost lost his daughter at birth

‘When you’re told your child is dead it’s trauma,’ Fury told Sportsmail in an interview. ‘Thanks to those great nurses and doctors who saved her we’ve moved on now. We always like to look forward, not back.’ 

Fury’s complications are another factor to consider, and though Hearn believes the Brit will win, he does question the Gypsy King’s physical state.  

‘There’s a couple of things I’m not sure about heading into this fight,’ he told talkSPORT. ‘Obviously, the COVID situation; (did Fury have) COVID? 

‘Was it the camp situation wasn’t going great? I think his wife had a baby recently and there’s a few complications around that.’

He added: ‘I don’t think Fury is as well-prepared as he was going into (fight) number two. I’m not sure he needs to be 100 per cent to beat him. I just think he’s got to stay sharp, he’s got to stay switched on, but I see him winning the fight on points.’ 

The rematch bout last year saw Fury bring over a massive contingent of British fans, which won’t be the case for the trilogy due to Covid restrictions

The final factor to consider, as Hearn also pointed out, is the atmosphere, with Covid restrictions meaning the Las Vegas crowd will be almost entirely American. 

It marks a drastic change to the rematch bout, also in Vegas, where Fury brought a massive British following with him. 

Fury, however, famously went out to Dusseldorf to dethrone the long-reigning Wladamir Klitschko, who had made Germany a second home throughout his career.

And though Hearn speculated who the change would benefit more, in truth it will likely have little bearing on either fighter.   

Instead, it will come down to how each have approached the fight. 

If Wilder refuses to recognise he was beaten by the better man, then a puncher’s chance is all he has. But if Fury’s preparations have suffered, or if his weight gain is both true and proves detrimental, the playing field may have been somewhat levelled. 




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