Classic heavyweight boxing matches are few and far between these days. Sure, there have been some fights that have been hyped to death, like Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker, but they ultimately fell flat in the ring. Even Joshua vs Klitschko, the fight the Ring Magazine called “arguably the best heavyweight championship fight in 20 years”, said more about the travails of the heavyweight division over the last two decades than the bout itself. It was good. Perhaps, very good. But was it great?
On December 1st at the Staples Center, Las Vegas, Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) will put his WBC Heavyweight title on the line against Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs). The build-up has been uncharacteristically muted, especially when you consider Fury’s uncanny ability to steal the headlines. However, with just a few weeks to the fight, don’t put it past the Brit to do something in the vein of Conor McGregor to make sure the limelight is firmly on himself and Wilder before the bell rings.
Joshua awaits winner for unification bout
We know of course, that a chance to unify all the belts, to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, will likely await one of these men in 2019. The money will be too much for the victor’s team or Anthony Joshua’s camp to resist. That fight will sell itself, as it will have the weight of history as its chief promoter. But, to make it a mega-fight, something that makes the world stop like Tyson vs Lewis, then the build-up must start in Las Vegas with Wilder and Fury.
Those who have been skeptical about heavyweight boxing’s ability may be potentially surprised with this one. The two fighters have a nice contrast in styles that could lead to an exciting match up; Wilder is more of a pugilist, able to switch on at the right moment and take down an opponent with powerful strikes. That’s part of the reason for those 39 KOs in 40 fights, an almost ‘perfect’ perfect record.
“You can’t knock out what you can’t hit” was Fury’s way of talking up his speed, quick feet and naturally defensive style. But, let’s face it, Fury is not Floyd Mayweather. Wilder will not be chasing shadows around the ring like Manny Pacquiao did. The clash of styles is only slight, which should make for a much better fight. Both fighters have an innate ability, a sixth sense of when to ramp up the pressure, something that gets the pulses racing with the fans.
Wilder slight favourite with bookies
Who will win and set up a super fight with Anthony Joshua? Most bookies have gone for Wilder, coming in at odds of 4/6 with William Hill. Fury, meanwhile, comes in at 11/8 with the draw at 25/1. It’s arguably more intriguing to look at the method of victory, with statistics suggesting the 6/4 for a Wilder KO win is quite generous. A Fury KO win is best-priced at 9/4 with Coral. You could also see some punters snapping up the 9/4 (Betfred) that Fury infuriates Wilder over 12 rounds and takes the fight on a decision.
Intriguingly, it’s 4/1 (William Hill) that Wilder relies on judges’ decision for only the second time in his ten-year, 40-win, professional career. That’s mighty impressive, regardless of how you feel about the American’s skill-set. Other interesting bets for the fight include the 5/1 (Betfair) for both fighters to be knocked down and 9/2 (Coral) for the fight to end in the first four rounds. There are always extra markets with these super fights, so you can check the latest Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder betting offers for a complete breakdown of the odds and bookies’ promotions like free bets.
Going back to the original point, it probably doesn’t matter who wins. More so, it will matter how the fight plays out and the manner of the victory. A conclusive, entertaining victory for either man will set the wheels in motion towards that Joshua showdown and perhaps, set a fire under the heavyweight division that we have not seen since the 1990’s.