Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder complete their trilogy this weekend and Frankie Monkhouse says it'll go the champion's way to set up a unification bout...
"Fury knows what to expect and has shown us twice before he has the tools to deal with it."
Boxing fans have an action-packed weekend ahead, but there can be no denying the standout event on the programme. Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder complete the trilogy when facing off for a third time in the early hours of Sunday morning. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas provides the backdrop for a bout that will be crucial in deciding where the heavyweight division goes in 2022.
Fury holds all the aces here. The Englishman has the WBC championship belt in his possession, boasts the advantage in the head-to-head stats and is a firm favourite in the pre-fight betting. After being unlucky to get a draw in the first fight and making easy work of his opponent in the second, most respected pundits have Tyson picked to win again.
It would be dangerous to write off the Bronze Bomber and his 93% knockout ratio, one of the biggest of any heavyweight champion that ever lived. The American has promised to win by KO. The Brit has promised to win by KO. Who will deliver on fight night?
Fury was denied the perfect comeback
In 2018, Fury was robbed of the perfect comeback and one of the most sensational stories in boxing history. After dethroning Wladimir Klitschko, losing his belts out of the ring, then spending three years on the sidelines battling depression, drug abuse and weight issues, Tyson returned. He beat Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta in his two comeback bouts before jumping in at the deep end to face Wilder for the WBC title.
That bout was fought three years after Fury beat Klitschko with less than 14 rounds between. Critics predicting Fury had jumped back in too early weren't in short supply, but the Gypsy King silenced them in style. He built up a wide points lead over the then champion before being dropped twice in the later rounds. Two 8-10 rounds helped level up the scores, and a draw was the result.
Fury felt he deserved more, and he got more in the rematch, knocking out the hard-hitting champion in round seven in February of last year. Tyson downed his opponent in round three and five before forcing the stoppage in the seventh. He was expected to kick on from there and face Anthony Joshua, but that all-British unification fight fell through, meaning the WBC champion has been out of the ring for 20 months.
What do the Fury-Wilder III odds tell us?
The pre-fight betting available on the Betfair Exchange has Fury at 1.422/5 to win again while another KO/TKO can be backed at 2.021/1. The 4.216/5 offered will attract those who prefer to support the champion for a points win.
All or nothing for Wilder
Wilder enters as the challenger and the underdog, having lost the world championship belt he had worked so hard to defend over the years with a memorable run of knockout wins. A man that has been written off to beat the champion. That's something new to the Bronze Bomber, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with it. The bout may be fought in the states, but the Brit will be the best-supported fighter on the night.
Wilder enters with a professional record detailing 42 wins and one draw against a single defeat. Each of the two negative results on his card were inflicted by Fury, first the draw, then the stoppage - so will one man ruin the career of Wilder? At this point, it's looking likely, but Deontay can change all that. If he rises from the flames to win back his belt, he will cement his legacy as a true champion and star of the heavyweight scene.
How Wilder could win this...
Having been out-fought last time, making every excuse under the sun - from drugged water to a heavy suit - a win to level the score is seen as unlikely by most. Wilder was out-boxed then out-fought by Fury, but he has one thing in his armoury that means he can't be completely ignored - that incredible punch power. The American has KO'd every man he has ever fought, except Fury. He did have the champion down twice in their first bout. He'll want to finish the job.
The odds trading on the Betfair Exchange has Wilder as a 3.814/5 underdog to win the fight. If he is going to beat Fury, his best chance looks to be in knocking him out. Wilder by KO/TKO is 4.216/5 with a points win unlikely at 22.021/1.
Our Prediction: Fury to finish the job
Fury should have won the first fight, and he certainly made sure he won the second. The champion didn't just beat Wilder that night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas; he tortured him. The excuses Deontay has made since show he struggles to come to terms with just how badly Fury beat him in America. The Brit embarrassed him with skills then took him out with timing and power. Expect more of the same again here.
Wilder will try a different approach to the third bout, but it won't make any difference. He only knows one way to fight, and that's putting his freakish power to use. Fury knows what to expect and has shown us twice before he has the tools to deal with it. Take Tyson to win by KO/TKO in the second half of the contest.
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