By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Tyson Fury doesn’t consider Deontay Wilder more of a threat than even the 39-year-old Wladimir Klitschko that Fury defeated three years ago.
Fury feels as though he upset a more complete fighter than Wilder when he out-boxed Ukraine’s Klitschko in their November 2015 bout. Klitschko was a 4-1 favorite over Fury, but the 6-feet-9 Brit beat the long-reigning champion on all three scorecards to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles from him in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The colorful former champion expects to defeat Wilder convincingly Saturday night, too. He conceded, of course, that Wilder’s pulverizing power will make him dangerous right up until the final bell if their scheduled 12-rounder goes the distance at Staples Center (Showtime Pay-Per-View; $74.99 in HD).
“If we compare ‘em both together,” Fury said of Klitschko and Wilder, “Klitschko had a lot more boxing ability and was much more dangerous and calculated and correct. But Deontay will take more risks, and he’s more vulnerable to being stopped when he throws big punches. All big punchers, in order to get power in their shots, must put maximum leverage in them. And if he doesn’t connect, they expose themselves to being hit back with even harder punches.
“And that’s why 99 percent of big punchers can’t take one back, because they’re loading up. It doesn’t mean they’ve got bad chins, but when you put everything into a punch and you take one back, it’s almost like double impact. So that’s how I compare them.”
Fury’s footwork – exceptional for such a huge man – is one of his greatest advantages over the unconventional Wilder, who’s often times off-balance when unloading his hardest punches. The 6-feet-7 Wilder, however, clearly is the bigger puncher of the two.
“His footwork is terrible,” Fury said. “I’ve seen better footwork on a lunchtime-dinner lady. But his power is an equalizer. He does have an equalizer because he has a massive punch. And as we’ve seen, he can end a fight from round one to round 12. But as long as I’m focused for the full duration of the fight, I don’t see him landing them big punches at all.”
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is regularly listed as about a 2-1 favorite over the 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), of Manchester, England.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.