It’s a heavyweight game of risk vs reward tonight in Sin City: Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have descended on Las Vegas in an attempt to cash in on the biggest gambles of their careers.
As they approach the roulette wheel from different sides of the table, Wilder and Fury’s objective is shared; their methods of hitting the heavyweight jackpot are as contrary as they are fascinating.
The approach from the “Bronze Bomber” is gung-ho. Big bets, single numbers, impatient spins: the less time the champion can spend at the table the better, as eagle-eyed piercing stares daren’t look away from the rotation of the wheel in case a big one lands.
Nine and 12 came in the last time Wilder sat at the table with Fury, but the stakes weren’t quite big enough to ignite the sirens of a heavyweight jackpot win.
Fury’s approach is more measured; more patient. Smaller stakes across a covered table playing a well-considered deeply thought out game spin after spin.
There’s less action, reduced drama, but a sense that the “Gypsy King” is in full control. Still, that failure to cover one single digit could see his lights turned off in an instance.
Saturday’s jackpot winner will lay claim to the heavyweight throne. It will represent a defining win in this era of heavyweights, with each fighter’s legacy resting on the result inside the MGM Grand.
Deontay Wilder’s legacy as the “biggest puncher in heavyweight history” hangs in the balance as the bell for the 13th round sounds. To place Wilder’s power above the revered group of Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, George Forman, Rocky Marciano, Ernie Shavers and Joe Louis would prove a tough task if the “Bronze Bomber” fails to dispatch of Fury on Saturday night.
Similarly, Fury’s legacy as one of the slickest, hardest to hit heavyweights of all time is under the microscope. If the Briton gets crushed within the opening stanzas of the rematch, the record books will struggle to underline that statement, with his 2015 clinic over Wladimir Klitschko the only real nugget of compelling evidence.
If Lewis-Tyson was the biggest heavyweight fight since Ali-Frazier, then Fury-Wilder 2 is undoubtedly the biggest since Lewis-Tyson – the narrative, the contrasting styles and the prize that’s on offer all blend to concoct a heavyweight recipe impossible to ignore.
As the camera pans down on the ring for the opening bell of the rematch, the talking stops; questions turn into answers.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, but the likely outcome is that to the spin of a roulette wheel just metres away inside the iconic MGM Grand.
Black or red, Wilder or Fury?
Please, just not green again.