When Tyson Fury was celebrating his victory over Deontay Wilder in their 2020 rematch, he probably didn’t expect to be gearing up for a third fight with the American some 18 months later. But that is the situation he finds himself in, with Wilder having insisted that the third fight stipulated in the pair’s contract be honoured.
Fury had been eyeing up a mammoth showdown with Anthony Joshua, but that has had to be put on hold, and might not happen at all due to the fact that Joshua lost his world heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month. It’s been a strange time for the heavyweight division, and while Fury was left disappointed that Joshua lost his crown, he has a real chance to prove against Wilder that he is second to none in heavyweight boxing at the moment.
“Did I watch the fight? Yes I did. Was I absolutely wounded that he won? Yes I was,” Fury said in the aftermath of the Joshua v Usyk fight. “The only thing I’m bothered about is beating Deontay Wilder, and that’s the most dangerous heavyweight out there. In my opinion, Wilder beats Joshua, Usyk, all the rest of the division, comfortable – but he cannot beat me.”
Fury has every reason to be confident heading into the trilogy fight. The Fury v Wilder odds place him as the odds-on favourite to emerge triumphant, and it’s clear that it’s going to take a huge performance from the American to exact revenge on his British heavyweight rival. The second fight between the pair saw Fury dominate, and whilst Wilder will point to the facial injuries he sustained as a reason for his under-performance, the reality was that Fury simply had his number throughout the contest.
With Joshua’s loss to Usyk, he has now suffered defeat on two separate occasions in the last couple of years. That is not the kind of form you expect from an elite heavyweight fighter, one once regarded as the best Britain has seen for years and there is a very real possibility that Joshua’s powers are beginning to wane. On top of that, the nature of Wilder’s defeat to Fury back in February 2020 suggested that he has some serious weaknesses as well. In the end, the only fighter yet to suffer a setback of any note in the ring is Fury.
You could argue that if Fury defeats Wilder, it won’t really prove much. He has already shown he has the capability to do damage to the American, and in many ways the trilogy fight is merely one last chance for Wilder to get some personal revenge. That brings its own pressure for Fury, but you wouldn’t expect him to waver when the going gets tough. He lives for occasions like this.
Should he come out on top, as the boxing betting tips suggest he will, then Fury will stand alone as the best heavyweight in the world at the moment — if he isn’t already. He has a great opportunity to prove his quality once and for all, and send the doubters packing.