Wilder vs Fury: Analysing the Rematch
The world heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is one of the most eagerly awaited fights in boxing in 2020. The two fighters have already boxed to a controversial draw last year and they are set to do it all again on February 22 in Las Vegas.
The first step to assessing the Wilder vs. Fury rematch is the two fighting styles of each boxer. Wilder will almost certainly look to draw Fury into his kind of fight once again, where both fighters are trading punches, so he can land his big right hand. Fury for all boxing skills is not a big puncher at the top level, but he hits hard enough to gain his opponent's respect, so he will likely look to take a more tactical approach again, and be happy to win rounds by using his superior boxing skills to frustrate the champion – any talk of trading punches with the American in the center of the ring should be taken lightly.
Wilder Possesses Punch Power & Speed
Big punchers usually come in two categories: Those who carry speed-based power and those with heavy hands. Then there is the uncommon fighter privileged enough to have both abilities – Deontay Wilder fits into this category. Punching hard is effectively a natural gift to a boxer. You can improve punch power through conditioning and working on different techniques, but mainly, at top-level, it is natural. One fighter hits another fighter and something materialises, another fighter hits someone and nothing occurs.
Wilder does possess a terrific uppercut on the inside as well as his devastating big right hand – and this was the punch that ended his last fight with Luis Ortiz the first time around - so Fury will also need to be weary of this shot on the inside. The American carries a good left hook, and he may seek out a slightly different approach to try to land a knockout punch in the rematch, after largely being unsuccessful in the first fight until the final round.
Can Fury Dance Around Wilder's Power?
Fury should come into the rematch with better reflexes and stamina than he did the first fight, after such a long layoff, and Wilder will know this. The 31 year-old possesses fantastic boxing skills and speed for such a big man, and it is almost a case of avoiding the big punch of Wilder to win the fight.
Wilder knows he is not a great boxer, and we have evidence of how inferior a boxer he is compared to Fury from the first battle. The 34 year-old is largely a low-volume fighter when he is facing someone who is trying to box with him. He will bide his time and wait for a mistake before going for a knockout punch, which highlights how he will look to win this rematch.
Boxer vs. Puncher: What does history suggest?
The rematch represents the classic boxer vs. puncher style matchup. The common boxer vs. puncher is a style matchup that many believe favours the boxer but there are many attributes outside of this that you to need consider.
A skilled boxer with a weak chin against a not-so-skilled fighter with great power make for an exciting match-up (e.g. Ruiz vs Joshua). On one side, the boxer can outbox the less-skilled fighter. On the other side, the less-skilled fighter potentially only needs one punch to end the fight, but when considering two fighters at a comparative level, boxers will usually have the edge over punchers.
Compubox stats clearly suggest that no fighter has puzzled and confused Wilder more in his career than Fury.
Power is a great weapon to have, but it can mean very little at the elite level if the opponent knows how to nullify it correctly. Every fighter punches hard at world heavyweight championship level - it's just a matter of how hard.
In the first fight between the pair, Wilder landed just 17% of his power punches according to the compubox stats. Below is a breakdown fight-by-fight of how the American has landed his power punch in fights before this compared to his bout with Fury.
- vs. Fury: 17%
- vs. Ortiz: 39%
- vs. Stiverne II: 60%
- vs. Washington: 47%
- vs. Arreola: 52%
- vs. Szpilka: 42%
- vs. Duhaupas: 69%
- vs. Molina: 56%
Compubox stats clearly suggest that no fighter has puzzled and confused Wilder more in his career than Fury (Wilder landed just 17%), so it would be disadvantageous to change tactics in the rematch.
Fury is the better, more skilled boxer, but Wilder carries far superior power, so by analysing this data, the evidence suggests that Fury will not engage in any type of slugfest with Wilder, despite what he has been stating.
Analysing recent opposition
Prior to the first fight, opponents like Sefer Seferi and Francisco Pianeta were lined up for Fury, not because he enjoys taking easy fights, but because he wasn’t yet ready for dangerous ones. In terms of the level of opponents faced since the first fight, Wilder has secured another big win over a tricky fighter in Luis Ortiz, and a devastating one round knockout over Dominic Breazeale. Fury has been ticking over and expanding his profile in the US, with wins over sub-par opposition in Tom Schwartz and Otto Wallin, as well as making an appearance in WWE.
Despite Wilder boxing a better level of opposition recently, it is the 31 year-old, Fury, that has a better resume. The Brit has it in his arsenal to even make Wilder look silly in the ring at times, but he will need to be on top form and switched on for every minute of every round to be successful in beating the WBC champion. Fury was good enough the first time; but he will likely need to be even better this time around.
It is also worth noting that in this rematch that Fury is a fighter who will perform better against better opposition, he is never going to look outstanding against lesser opposition due to his lack of punching power. Against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder in the first fight, Fury boxed, neutralised, and used all of his advantages. Fury, against Klitschko, closed the Ukrainian down, and he beat him convincingly. But, likewise, Klitschko’s negation to throw any kind of telling or meaningful punches, was as much a determining reason as to why Fury could win so comfortably.
Fury’s size was a big factor, and against Klitschko he reduced the champion to tactics of overthinking every punch he was about to, or wanted to throw. Klitschko, became a safety-first fighter after teaming up with Emmanuel Steward, and it had worked almost effortlessly up until that night. Keep the opponent at arm’s reach; never have to punch up (as he was always bigger than his opponents), or take any kind of risk. Which meant, he was always victorious without any kind of real test.
Deontay Wilder, for all his flaws in a ring, doesn’t think like Klitschko. He is wild, ultra-energetic, and punches when he needs to punch. A ruthless finisher, The “Bronze Bomber” has 41 knockouts in 42 fights. This style makes Wilder dangerous against anyone, which in turn is why we cannot disregard his chances of beating Tyson Fury by knockout – we just need to look at the 12th round in the first fight to see that.
The rematch again will likely be a classic matador vs. bull affair once again, with Fury trying to bewilder the awkward Wilder, whilst the champion is waiting for his power shot to land on Fury, which inevitably usually arrives at some point, it is just a case of how hard it arrives.
By analysing both styles, and the strategies that they bring to the ring, it is likely the fight will be decided with Wilder by KO, or TKO, or Fury winning on points.
Wilder vs. Fury: What is the best bet?
This fight is a classic case of boxer vs. puncher, and this means it is easier to conclude on the potential outcome of the fight. The odds at Cloudbet slightly favour Fury’s chances of winning, and this looks the smartest bet to have based on what we know about both men. Wilder is marginally less favoured, despite being the favourite in the first fight, this will be more down to the American likely needing a knockout to win the fight.
The edge for Wilder was largely due to Fury’s inactivity before the first fight, and the fact he carried serious power in the right hand. By analysing both styles, and the strategies that they bring to the ring, it is likely the fight will be decided with Wilder by KO, or TKO, or Fury winning on points.
Adopting a betting strategy on this fight, where you cover both outcomes, will reduce your risk on unlikelier ones and increase your chance of profit. Your advantage is reduced, but you will be able to eliminate improbable outcomes that have little chance of occurring. Similarly, to Money Line betting in boxing, analysing the two fighter’s strengths and weaknesses is imperative if you are hedging or considering other markets.
Despite the talk of a concussive KO occurring in the fight, the likelihood is that it goes long again. Wilder likely won’t have the skills to solve the Fury puzzle once again but will have the power to end the argument at any point. Fury knows this, and much like when he fought Klitschko, the Brit will look to make it extremely hard for Wilder to land cleanly throughout the fight, boxing his way to a points decision win.