Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have yet to settle the score.
The two undefeated heavyweights went 12 rounds in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles only to see the three judges at ringside render the controversial split draw verdict.
While most people believe Fury outboxed Wilder for the majority of the contest, the hard-hitting American scored two knockdowns, including one devastating punch in the final round, to leave the judges knotted in disagreement about what they had just witnessed.
So after 12 rounds of boxing, nothing really changed for either fighter. Both WBC heavyweight titleholder Wilder and lineal champion Fury got to keep their claim to being boxing’s world heavyweight champion for at least little while longer.
Now the two massive boxers are scheduled to meet again in a hotly anticipated rematch on Feb. 22 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder vs. Fury 2 will be the first jointly-operated FOX Sports and ESPN+ boxing pay-per-view. Additionally, the fight is expected to be one of the biggest boxing events of the year.
The two fighters finally had the chance to meet face-to-face again 13 months after their first encounter at Monday’s press conference in Los Angeles.
Both wholeheartedly seem to believe they deserved the nod from the judges the first time around, and each seems just as sure he’ll be the fighter to ultimately secure the win in the second contest next month.
Wilder: ‘This is Called Unfinished Business’
Wilder simply couldn’t believe Fury was able to get back to his feet in the 12th round of the first fight.
While the first knockdown in the fight during the seventh round seemed to have mostly been an issue with Fury’s balance being off after Wilder hit him on the temple, most people watching the fight had to think Fury was finished when Wilder delivered another massive blow during the final round.
But Fury amazingly rose to his feet and finished the fight to hear the final bell.
“He doesn’t even know how he got on the ground or how he got up in the first fight,” said Wilder.
That moment robbed the American of the knockout he was sure he had just delivered, and the 34-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Al., believes he’ll finish the job this time around.
“When you’re facing power there’s no way around it,” said Wilder. “You can’t prepare for that. You just have to hope that when it lands, it doesn’t do that much damage.”
Fury: Wilder ‘Going to Sleep in 2 Rounds’
Fury isn’t nearly the same kind of puncher as Wilder, but few heavyweights in history have been that. In fact, Wilder might be the hardest punching heavyweight ever in a sport that’s boasted such grand knockout artists during its history as Joe Louis, George Foreman and Mike Tyson.
To put it plainly, Wilder’s power is sensational.
Still, the 31-year-old Fury told the dangerous American he’d be glad to meet Wilder in the center of the ring for the rematch. More importantly, Fury believes he’ll be the one left standing at the end of the fight.
“He thinks I’m going to come out herky-jerky with my famous style, but I want him to meet me in the center of the ring and have a slugfest, best man wins,” said Fury. “I didn’t have the gas to finish him in the last fight, but this time I can turn that screwdriver until he’s gone.”
Fury went so far as to predict the very round in which he’d stop Wilder.
But that’s just a typical prefight move for Fury. The expert boxer talks heartily about knocking his opponents out in a round or two, only to end up boxing beautifully from the outside for most of his fights.
Still, as clever a boxer as Fury is, like the 6 feet 7 inch Wilder, Fury is a massive heavyweight by any standard. He stands 6 feet 9 inches, weighs 255 pounds and can end any fight with a single punch because of it.