Deontay Wilder goes head-to-head with Tyson Fury on December 1 aiming to prove his fearsome reputation in the heavyweight boxing ranks is justified.
Wilder heads into the contest in Los Angeles with a perfect 40-0 record that includes 19 first round knockouts. The Tyson Fury vs Wilder odds slightly favour the current WBC champion, but the British star believes he will be the fighter to retain his unbeaten record.
Fury had a difficult couple of years after defeating Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion back in 2015. He vacated the WBA (unified), WBO and IBO titles the following year pending investigation on anti-doping and medical issues and wasn’t cleared to fight again until December 2017.
Mental health issues led many pundits to predict that Fury was finished in the ring, but he has battled back to secure a title shot against the American.
Wilder won the WBC title in 2015 when he beat Bermane Stiverne and has since made seven successful defences. He is undoubtedly a big puncher, but can appear clumsy when he comes up against fighters with good defensive skills.
His flailing style of attack could easily play into Fury’s hands, with the ‘Gypsy King’ renowned for his ability to avoid being hit. Fury’s elusive style baffled Klitschko and it could have a similar effect against Wilder.
A victory for either fighter would increase the calls for a unification fight with Anthony Joshua. The British boxer is unbeaten in 22 fights and a match against either Wilder or Fury would be a massive event.
Fury’s absence from the ring has left bookies rating him as the underdog against Wilder, but his defensive acumen may end up being the key factor in the fight.
The champion was almost beaten by Luis Ortiz in his last bout, although he battled back to retain his title in the 10th round.
However, Fury is a significant step up in class from the Cuban veteran and odds of around 11/8 to win the contest looks a solid wager.