Heavyweight Boxing: Deontay Wilder Enters Saturday as Slight Favorite in Rematch with Tyson Fury

Posted on: February 22, 2020, 04:53h. 

Last updated on: February 23, 2020, 11:35h.

It’s finally arrived. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will step into the ring Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for one of the most anticipated rematches in recent boxing history.

This is as close as the Nevada State Athletic Commission would let Deontay Wilder (left) and Tyson Fury get to one another at Friday’s weigh-in. (Image: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)

Nearly 15 months ago, the two fighters met at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, both carrying undefeated records. Wilder brought his WBC heavyweight belt, while Fury put his lineal championship title on the line. That bout ended in a draw, thanks to Fury recovering from a knockdown in the 12th and final round.

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, and I’m sure he’s been waiting as well,” said Wilder at Wednesday’s final pre-fight press conference.

That press conference was marred by a dust-up between the two fighters. After that took place, the Nevada State Athletic Commission took the unusual step of canceling the stare-down between the fighters during their weigh-in on Friday.

Aside from their draw, both men come into the rematch with otherwise unblemished records. Fury has 20 knockouts in his 29 career wins, while Wilder has scored knockouts in 41 of his 42 victories.

Oddsmakers have Wilder, the American, a slight favorite in the rematch. William Hill has the widest margin, with Wilder at -135 and Great Britain’s Fury at +115. FanDuel has it -112/-104, while DraftKings offers -121/+100. PointsBet’s odds are -118/+100.

Odds on a draw happening again are +2200 at DraftKings, William Hill, and PointsBet. FanDuel has +2300 odds on a draw.

Over at FanDuel, 72 percent of the bets are on Wilder. Those wagers account for 86 percent of the handle on the match.

Odds are current as of 7 am ET Saturday. The bout is expected to start at 11:30 pm ET.

Boxers Bulk Up for Rematch

Both men come into the bout much heavier than they did for their Dec. 1, 2018 boxing match. The 6-9 Fury comes in at 273 pounds, while the 6-7 Wilder weighed in at 231. It’s the heaviest Wilder’s ever fought, and it’s three pounds off the high mark for Fury.

Fury has said he has no qualms about adding the weight. He’s not looking for the bout to go the scheduled 12 rounds again.

Wanting to go head to head with him is a bold move, but we fight fire with fire,” Fury said Wednesday. “When I went at him in the first fight, though, he could not contain me. If I start doing that in round one, then he will be gassed by round five and hanging on for dear life, if he even gets that far.”

FanDuel bettors think the bout will last longer than 10.5 rounds by a 2-1 margin. More of them believe it’ll be a Wilder winning by a knockout (33 percent of the method of victory handle) as opposed to Fury (13 percent).

What Comes Next?

For the longest time, it seemed like the winner of this bout would likely face Anthony Joshua perhaps as soon as later this year for a chance to unify the heavyweight belts. Joshua had taken care of his business by avenging his only loss and beating Andy Ruiz Jr. to reclaim his titles back in December

But not only do we need to get past Fury-Wilder 2 first, we may need to get through Fury-Wilder 3. Media reports have circulated that the loser of Saturday’s bout can trigger an automatic rematch if they agree to take the smaller purse in a 60/40 split.

If Saturday’s bout can live up to the hype built off the first fight and this week’s pre-fight activities, then we may very well see Fury-Wilder 3 before Joshua gets his chance.