On Saturday, October 9th Fury-Wilder 3 goes down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The rubber match has been long in the making, and often delayed. From disputed rematch clauses to arbitration hearings. Even COVID-19 have played a part in keep this match from taking place. In anticipation of Saturday night’s action, we look at the men, their trilogy, and a possible outcome. Read on for our preview of Fury-Wilder 3.
At this point, these men need no introduction. What does need some fleshing out is what they have been up to since they last met. First, both have been inactive, not for lack of desire. A variety of factors have kept them out of the ring, chief among them COVID. Pandemic aside, Fury and his promoters sought out a British heavyweight unification bout with Anthony Joshua but were unsuccessful in doing so. First, they offered Wilder a step-aside fee to make the Joshua fight happen. Wilder declined and embarked on legal proceedings to enforce the rematch clause in his contract. He won that fight. So hence the third outing. Yet, a factor outside of the Fury camp’s control was Joshua’s most recent defeat at the hands of Olekdsander Usyk. Making a Fury-Joshua unification bout a bust. All of a sudden, a Wilder rematch is the most appealing option.
As for Wilder. In the aftermath of his defeat. He deflected blame for his loss on a variety of factors. From a ring outfit that was too heavy, to accusations that Fury had loaded gloves, even to his trainer Mark Breland throwing in the towel prematurely. However as mentioned above, he also sought to invoke his rematch clause and won to get this third bout through legal proceedings.
But the bigger issue remains. Can he win inside the ring? By that adjust his strategy to change the outcome in this bout. Wilder has brought in a new trainer in the form of Malik Scott. Of Scott, Wilder told us in a recent virtual press conference ““Malik Scott is a wonderful person and trainer. We met years ago sparring with Tomasz Adamek. We clicked right away, and we’ve formed a real bond and brotherhood. I have so much love around me in this camp, that I’m not dwelling on anything negative.”
But what about a game plan? According to Wilder, there indeed is a new strategy to be revealed in the bout “The delay was actually a blessing for me. The more they delayed it, the more time we had to work on my craft and art, along with strategically going over the game plan we’re going to have on October 9.” That’s not saying much about what he will do different. Yet perhaps he’s keeping his cards close to the vest. They will be in Vegas after all.
While many fighters have overcome losses in their career. There are nights where they take more punishment than they ever have in the ring. While they may go on to later success, on these pivotal nights, the punishment endured changes them forever. Meldrick Taylor was never the same after facing Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho was a safety-first fighter after tasting Edwin Rosario’s left hand. Roy Jones was never the same after being dropped in two by Antonio Tarver.
Deontay Wilder took more punishment in the second Fury fight than he ever has. He has also never copped to losing the fight legitimately. Supreme confidence? Or supreme insecurity? Either way, the psychological barrier is present and could be the deciding factor here. While Wilder states he’s changed his game plan and strategy, what will happen once he gets tagged? Will it be Round 7 of the second bout all over again? Look for Fury to exploit this potential weakness, one he has been quite verbal about at the final press conference “Wilder is a weak person mentally and I’m going to knock him out on Saturday night. I obliterated him in the rematch and I see much more of the same in the 3rd fight.”
Mental game aside, from a stragic standpoint obstacles are also present. Fury is the tallest fighter Wilder has ever faced and has the greatest reach. He gives all big men fits. Wilder included, as he did so for over ten rounds of their first bout. Wilder learned he simply can’t drop bombs from a safe distance as he had with other fighters he’s faced. Smart money says this will be a continuation of what we saw in most of the rounds of the first two bouts. Fury outboxing Wilder, perhaps even going for another knockout.
Conventional wisdom aside, Wilder does have a puncher’s chance. Perhaps even more so because he can change the course of a fight with one punch. As he did in the final round of their first meeting. As such, if Fury is not at his best (and some such as promoter Eddie Hearn claim he is not), Wilder can capitalize and come out with his hands raised.
Whichever man has his hands raised on Saturday night, they are both winners. A notion Deontay Wilder seems keenly aware of, stating a the final press confernence “Saturday night is going to be a different fight. It’s rare that we get trilogies like this and I truly believe this one is going down in history.” W
Wilder may well be correct. For he and Fury have brought themselves greater purses, competition and excitement to the sport than they could have done so alone. Making Fury-Wilder 3 quite the heavyweight hat trick!