With a win over Francesco Pianeta on Saturday in Belfast, Tyson Fury secured his shot at WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder for November, reportedly coming to Las Vegas, and airing in the U.S. on Showtime pay-per-view.
Fury (27-0, 19 KO) is already making big promises:
“We are two men who will fight anybody. They called. I answered. I said ‘send me a contract’. They sent me a contract. I said ‘yes’ and now he gets his chance to fight the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. One thing I promise when I go to Las Vegas, I’m knocking you out.”
This is a good line to start selling the big fight, but it’s probably just a line. Say what you will about Fury, but in the ring he’s no fool. He’s a crafty, smart fighter, and he’s never made his money as a massive puncher despite his size. That’s more the game of Wilder (40-0, 39 KO), who fights for knockouts and has only once gone the distance as a pro.
Fury, really, should be expected to try to utilize his height and reach and boxing skills, his hand speed and footwork, trying to stay out of the pocket against Wilder, who himself is tall and rangy. Even against Pianeta, Fury worked on getting his old style back into high gear — he slipped and moved, boxed first, and peppered away at an inferior fighter.
Wilder is a much more dangerous proposition, of course, and again, Fury knows that. He didn’t go 10 rounds with Pianeta for fun, he did it to get valuable rounds in and prepare himself for what’s going to be a much harder challenge next time out.