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Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury **OFFICIAL THREAD** -- December 1 SHO PPV (1 Viewer)

Good Posting Judge

Since an actor possibly fighting a nearly 50 year-old future HOF'er has a thread, I suppose this should too:

Deontay Wilder is 40-0 and has the WBC title (Anthony Joshua, also undefeated, has the other 3 major belts). He's the most prominent heavyweight in America, having built momentum over the last year with a 1st-round "demolition" of Stiverne in their 2nd fight (more on those air quotes in a sec), as well as a late stoppage win in a very entertaining fight with Luis Ortiz, an extremely skilled Cuban boxer who is literally probably 45 years old. But provided an incredibly stiff test for Wilder, which he passed, if barely, as Ortiz had him in deep trouble in the 6th round. But Wilder survived, and went on to knock out a gassed Ortiz in the 10th round. His resume' beyond that is fairly thin, and there have been some very clear dive-jobs: Malik Scott, Liakovich, and that recent Stiverne fight, where Stiverne clearly just falls back after blocking a punch. Very clearly his people were concerned about keeping a clean path for him, and it was to my surprise that the fight with Ortiz was on the up-and-up, as the money for a four-belt unification against Joshua, who sells out Wembley easily in the UK, would've been massive. With a loss to Ortiz, he'd go to the back of the line.

Wilder's style is...unorthodox. Like he does some weird-### #### in the ring, he literally defies convention, but it's worked thus far. He has an incredible right hand, particularly his straight right, which is hard enough to put nearly any HW in jeopardy if he lands it. He's extremely fast, both in terms of his reflexes and his feet. Often he doesn't even bother to use a conventional guard, instead keeping his hands low and relying on head movement to get out of the way of oncoming punches. His counter-punching is wildly underrated, because of those reflexes, fighters miss him at their own peril, which is what happened to Artur Szpilka a couple years ago, who was knocked out cold by walking right on to a Wilder right. Everything else is...not great. He often struggles to initiate offense, he'll throw single jabs occasionally, either high or low, but it's all in service of setting up a big right. He eschews body shots completely, he "cuffs" his hooks, throwing with straight elbows, which severely minimizes his power. He sometimes literally runs at opponents in hopes of a finish. He has no clue how to in-fight or wrestle in the clinch. There are a lot of negatives, but again, his speed and power are enough to have him installed as a -160 favorite to beat Fury. 

Tyson Fury is the lineal HW champion, his last significant fight was a stink-fest in Germany a few years ago when he won a decision and a belt against a befuddled Vladimir Klitschko. He's a herky-jerky fighter, tall even for a HW at 6'9", and relies less on thudding power than evading his foe and landing what are usually fairly light shots. He never defended that belt after the win, ballooning up to 400 lbs., dealing with severe depression, drugs/booze, suicidal thoughts, etc. Since then he's gotten a new trainer, cut back down to 250 lbs., and appears to have found himself again. He's gregarious and a natural talker and raconteur, and he's been pretty open about his issues.

In his two tune-up fights, he's looked...ok. It's even hard to really judge, as the level of opposition was so bad. I think the Fury that beat Klitschko would beat Wilder as well, but it's very possible that he's lost a step in his fall-off and recovery. He's a very intelligent boxer, he knows his limitations, and he knows what works for him. But he almost certainly does not possess fight-stopping power the way Wilder does, the general consensus is that Fury will win rounds, and the fight will likely take awhile to get going (if it goes at all), and that Wilder's path to a victory is more likely a KO. Both fighters actually fare better counter-punching, so it'll be interesting to see who initiates offense and how. Fury is +140 to win.

Here's the bad news: This is a $75 PPV, despite neither fighter ever being on PPV in the US. And there isn't a lot to like about the undercard, although there is a lead-in fight on regular Showtime, Stevenson/Gvozdyk, which should be very good. I'm betting Fury and picking him to win via decision with a very low degree of confidence. Both have a rematch clause so it's likely we'll see this run back again in 2019, regardless of result. And Joshua, the superior fighter of the three in my book, hopefully awaits whomever comes out with the belt and the lineal title on the other end.


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