We’re just days away from a blockbuster heavyweight clash as Tyson Fury defends his WBC belt against Deontay Wilder – so who will come out on top in the trilogy bout?
Plus, Mike Tyson praises Anthony Joshua after the Briton’s defeat by Oleksandr Usyk and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez refuses to rule out a fight with YouTuber Jake Paul.
It’s Fight Talk – your weekly fix of boxing news.
Is Fury just too good for Wilder?
The first fight was a thrilling draw.
The second was a Fury masterclass.
And on Saturday night in Las Vegas, two of the biggest characters in boxing go at it for third time as Fury defends his WBC heavyweight title against American Wilder.
Even in fight week, the mind games are going strong…
So let’s look at the potential route to victory for both men.
Not many thought Fury would go toe-to-toe against the hard-hitting Wilder last time round, but that’s exactly what he did.
The Morecambe-based fighter used his superior technical ability to evade Wilder’s advances and pick off his opponent in a seventh-round stoppage win.
After the one-sided nature of that victory, most fight fans can’t see past another Fury win…
Will inactivity cost the champion?
But preparations have been far from ideal for Fury.
He was set to take on Anthony Joshua in an all-British undisputed contest in the summer, before an arbitration ruling stated he had to fight Wilder again.
The trilogy bout was then delayed in July after Fury contracted coronavirus.
In fact, by the time the first bell rings at the T-Mobile Arena, it will have been one year, seven months and 18 days since both men entered the ring.
Although in the minority, there are some fans who feel the disruption and inactivity will impact Fury more than Wilder….
Wilder has to go for KO
The overwhelming consensus amongst those in boxing is that Wilder only has one way of winning his title back – a knockout.
He may not be the most skilled boxer but – with 41 stoppages in his 42 wins – his power is undeniable.
In the first fight, Wilder floored Fury twice – the second of which seemed to knock out the challenger, before he almost inexplicably rose to his feet.
Former boxing great Roy Jones Jr says while Fury is “one of the best skilled guys in the division”, Wilder will be dangerous “from the first second of round one to the last second of round 12”.
“Until the last bell rings, Fury won’t be champion. But if the last bell does ring, Fury will be champ,” Jones told Talksport.
And heavyweight legend Mike Tyson, speaking to ES News, believes Wilder “should go all out for five or six rounds,” adding: “If you catch him, you catch him. Go all out, win or lose.”
Will we see more excuses?
Wilder has linked up with new cornerman Malik Scott and has been posting videos of his gruelling training regime.
He seems motivated to prove his doubters wrong.
But there are some who still can’t forgive the man from Alabama for his reaction to losing against Fury last year.
Wilder criticised and sacked his assistant trainer Mark Breland for chucking in the towel and later accused his opponent of glove tampering, a claim Fury denies.
He even blamed the defeat on the weight of his walk-on outfit – a bejewelled mask and crown which lit up, with a matching cloak.
John Fury, Tyson’s dad, told Talksport that Wilder “let the American people down” with the excuses.
He added: “I’ve had great respect for their champions, past and present, but he behaved like a spoilt kid who couldn’t believe his misfortune and couldn’t accept the situation he was in.
“It put me off him as a man – he’s not a man.”
But is Wilder getting his excuses in early this time? This week he stayed firm in his unfounded belief that there was wrongdoing from Fury, and says he expects it to happen again.
“You think he ain’t going to try to cheat this time?” he asked on 78SportsTV.
“Oh they’re thinking. They’re coming up with a masterplan.”
Meanwhile, this former super featherweight world champion couldn’t help but have a tongue-in-cheek dig at Wilder…
And this fan also had a little fun at Wilder’s expense…
After Oleksandr Usyk dethroned Anthony Joshua to win the WBO, WBA and IBF titles on 25 September, defeat for Fury would leave Britain without a world heavyweight champion.
But victory would strengthen his claims of being the best in the world – and finally settle this rivalry.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ says he will wear another extravagant ring-walk costume and ‘The Gypsy King’ says he is training like Rocky Balboa. Both men are predicting stoppage wins.
Whatever the outcome, you’re always sure to be entertained with these two.
Iron Mike praises Joshua
Sticking with the heavyweights, Joshua might still be recovering from his loss to Usyk but the Briton has received some kind words from a heavyweight legend for the way he reacted to the defeat.
Former champion Mike Tyson had this to say…
‘Never say never’ – Alvarez on facing Paul
And finally, YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul may divide opinion, but he’s caught the attention of a pound-for-pound star.
Paul boasts a record of four professional boxing wins; against fellow YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, ex-NBA player Nate Robinson and former MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
All four opponents were making their boxing debuts, but Paul’s following has made him a big draw in the sport.
And that could be enough to tempt superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who has refused to rule out a future fight against Paul.
“You can never say never,” Alvarez told Fight Hype.
Paul responded to Alvarez’s comments by imitating the Mexican fighter…
While Paul’s trash talk is perhaps not the most creative, he certainly knows how to keep his name relevant.
But could he really face one of the best boxers from the modern era? You feel this isn’t the last we’ve heard on matter.