By: Waqass Ali
The clash is near and the fighters are close to fighting.
It is without a doubt one of the most exciting upcoming heavyweight clash bout between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Tyson Fury.
Fury (27-0) last became champion when he outpointed Wladamir Klitschko in November 2015 to become the unified WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine champion.
Since then he had personal struggle with depression and mental illness which forced him away from the ring for three years.
The 30-year-old graciously fought the battle and came back to boxing with already two warm-up victory bouts in the bag.
The fight is just one week away and both fighters have been training immensely.
The question remains what are some of the strongest assets of the Gypsy King?
The jab in particular is a strong factor for Fury. He utilises it well and is very consistent with it. He applies the jab whilst moving side to side and once it’s used he moves to a different direction to avoid the return.
In the second bout with Dereck Chisora, Fury averaged throwing 47 jabs with connecting 5 per round, according to Compubox punch stat review.
Fighters that are orthodox facing each other find it easier to land the jab depending on the reach and range. But conventional fighters will find it difficult to land the jab when it comes to southpaws.
In the recent fight Fury had with Francesco Pianeta, he landed 7 of 394 jabs at just 2% of connecting. The outcome of the bout had Fury winning every round regardless of the numbers.
The numbers can be quite little but may not be necessary to worry about depending on the context of the bout.
Since both Wilder and Fury are elevated in terms of their height, Fury will be playing the tall man in the fight. The reason why the height method for Fury may be in effect is because the height similarity stands at 6 feet 9 inches while Wilder is 6 foot 7.
This became evidential when Fury fought Klitschko who stood at 6 foot 6 inches and had no solution whatsoever when facing Fury.
The nervousness of the first round, the fact that it took Klitschko 10 rounds to throw an effective right hand but did little damage and the inactivity in terms of volume of punches.
Klitschko threw overall 231, landing at just 52 with a connect percentage of just 23%.
The longevity of the bout is also a strong asset for Fury since 12 of his 27 wins have been past the fifth round. Just six of Wilder’s 40 wins saw him pushed beyond the fifth round and he’s only been the distance once.
Fury has been the distance eight times without any signs of fatigue. He’s always been in control of the bouts even at the later stages.
According to a poll initiated by Boxing News, 47% of fans pick Fury to win by decision whilst 37% pick Wilder by KO. Another poll by a boxing fanatic twitter page called EditinKing, out of 2,800 plus voters, 49% picked Fury by via points and 29% for Wilder by via KO/TKO.
Fight week vote #WilderFury
We made it! Its finally here.
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) November 25, 2018
Fury in the last few years has adopted the switch stance of going from conventional to southpaw. This first became noticeable when Fury fought Chisora back in November 2014.
It has definitely been an effective use of weaponry against fighters and no one has even challenged it.
When Wilder (40-0) fought ‘King Kong’ Luiz Ortiz, who is a southpaw, it became difficult for him to land a decent shot in the first few rounds. In the third round alone, Wilder only landed two.
Whenever Wilder attempted a big haymaker right hand, he was often countered by Ortiz’s over hand left.
Though he managed to stop the Cuban in the tenth round, it left hardcore fans and critics many questions as how well would Wilder against a tactical boxer who switches stances against the likes of Tyson Fury.
Only time will tell.