It’s never simple if you’re a boxing fan. It’s rare that the fights everyone wants to see actually materialise. There are countless examples throughout the years of boxers avoiding opponents that might trouble them. Too often, the men behind the scenes make the calls that prolong their paydays.
When Deontay Wilder announced his next opponent would be Tyson Fury there was a collective sigh among fight fans. New faces, same old problem. Some thought Anthony Joshua had ducked a dangerous opponent, others that Wilder thought too highly of himself to accept a fight that paid more to the Englishman.
His opposition have largely been journeymen and have hardly provided him with stern tests on his way to becoming WBC Heavyweight Champion. And Fury, making his way back onto the World stage after a well-reported ban, has hardly set the world alight with his choice of warm up opponents.
And yet, here we are. With the clock ticking down until the first round in Los Angeles, there’s electricity in the air.
Deontay Wilder will have watched Joseph Parker get his shot at Anthony Joshua and thought he could have tested him further. But as is often the case, fighters will say one thing, behind closed doors their promoters will say another.
The Bronze Bomber certainly has the credentials for a Heavyweight champion. He’s stuck around at the top of the WBC division for a long time. He has a fearsome knockout record and he’s not lacking in match sharpness. However his fight against Ortiz showed he can be outboxed. He got rocked by a good combination from the Cuban and showed great character to get the win. But there’s no denying he has devastating power in his right hand.
The odds for Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury
The odds of Tyson Fury winning this fight is shortening. He's now 2.45* to claim the win. But Wilder is still the favourite at 1.55*. Don't want to bet on the fight winner? See the full range of markets for Wilder v Fury.
Fury looks a different fighter to the one who outfoxed Wladimir Klitschko to claim his Heavyweight titles. That victory thrust the Gypsy King into the spotlight and for a fighter who made a habit of being a pantomime villain, showed he could really box. No one will know how long he would have stayed at the top of the division. Fury was something of an enigma, even as he stood with the World at his feet. He’ll surely look to take the fight the distance.
Who will win the fight?
But neither of these heavyweights are the same as the last time the public saw them in action.
Fury’s training camp in California isn’t the place to go if he were expecting one final payday.
This is not the preparation of a man with one eye on retirement. No, by taking on a heavy favourite in their own backyard, this is a fighter hungry for the world to take notice. Again. The Bronze Bomber will have to be at his best to stop a resurgent Fury. And it's not certain that he has it in his locker. Wilder looked agitated in the press conference. Fury is back to his mischievous best. He may take his time but Fury should win.
Things are moving in the right direction in boxing’s marquee division. And hopefully the winner gets their chance at Anthony Joshua before too long.
Boxing will always have its politics. At least this time there will be some entertainment.