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Wilder vs Fury 2 preview: Tale of the Tape for the heavyweight rematch

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Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have both come in heavier than they were in 2018. Will it matter?

BOX-USA-WILDER-FURY-WEIGH IN Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Tonight on pay-per-view from Las Vegas, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury square off again in a rematch of their controversial 2018 bout in Los Angeles.

Both fighters have promised knockouts for this fight, and both said for weeks they’d be coming in heavier. They did just that, with Wilder weighing in at a career-high 231 pounds, and Fury at 273, the third-highest weight of his career.

Here’s a look at the matchup on paper:

Fury has a little height and a little reach on Wilder, but not enough that the dimensions alone are any big deal. Fury is known to be the better all-around boxer, slicker defensively and better at fighting at the distance he’d prefer. Wilder, of course, has the monster punch, which did put Fury down twice but not out in their first meeting.

The weight is a big discussion point. Wilder has never weighed this much, but he looked absolutely shredded on the scales, too, thicker than normal by a good bit and all of it looking like lean muscle. Fury didn’t take his shirt off at the weigh-in, so we can’t be quite sure, but Tyson Fury’s never been an Anthony Joshua body beautiful type, either. He’s got some noticeable softness to his build whether he’s 270 or 245.

That doesn’t mean this won’t matter for Fury. The highest weights of his career were 276 against Sefer Seferi in 2018 and 274 against Joey Abell in 2014. When he fought Seferi, Fury was coming back after a two-and-a-half year absence from the ring, and he had dropped a ton of weight just to get down to 276. He looked OK performance-wise, but Seferi also presented no challenge.

The Abell fight in 2014, though, was another story. Yes, Fury won in the fourth round, having put Abell down four times. But he wasn’t great in that fight. He was obviously out of shape and didn’t have his usual crispness. He hadn’t fought in 10 months, and he was 20 pounds heavier than his previous fight, a win over Steve Cunningham.

Abell hurt Fury in that fight and got him with some clean shots. From what we could see yesterday, Tyson looked leaner than he was against Abell, even at the same weight. You can put on weight in different ways and Fury may well have packed on the muscle this time. Even just looking at his face on Friday compared to his face in the Abell fight, you can see some difference, and Friday’s face was better.

But we’ll see. It really might make Fury slower, which he probably can’t afford. But it also really might add some heft to his punches, and make it easier for him to lean on Wilder if they get close and sap some of the American’s energy.

As for Wilder’s weight, he’s been around this size before, back in 2015-16 when he’d bulked up a bit into the high 220s. He did labor a bit in wins over Eric Molina and Johann Duhaupas, but also won the rounds and stopped both. He had a bit more trouble with Artur Szpilka, but did get the ninth round knockout in that one, too. More recently, Wilder had trimmed back down to under 220 for three of his last four outings, including the first fight with Fury.

And as for it making a difference in the matchup, that may be negated simply by the fact that they both added about the same amount of weight. The difference on the scales the first time saw Fury 44 pounds heavier than Deontay; this time it’s 42.

Main Card (ESPN+ PPV / FOX Sports PPV, 9:00 pm ET)

  • Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KO) vs Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO), rematch, heavyweights, 12 rounds
  • Charles Martin (27-2-1, 24 KO) vs Gerald Washington (20-3-1, 13 KO), heavyweights, 12 rounds
  • Emanuel Navarrete (30-1, 26 KO) vs Jeo Santisima (19-2, 16 KO), junior featherweights, 12 rounds
  • Sebastian Fundora (13-0-1, 9 KO) vs Daniel Lewis (6-0, 4 KO), junior middleweights, 10 rounds