By: Hans Themistode
Antonio Tarver couldn’t help but notice the appearance of Deontay Wilder on the scales. The former heavyweight titlist has routinely weighed in at just over 200 pounds throughout his career. Despite fighting men who were considerably bigger than he was, the slender frame of Wilder never affected his ability to stop his opposition.
Wilder’s penchant for coming in lighter than normal though, proved to be his detriment early last year. On February 22nd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wilder came in heavier than usual, stepping onto the scales at 231 pounds. Despite the added weight, Wilder was outweighed by Tyson Fury by over 40 pounds. That in turn, allowed Fury to bully the Alabama native all across the ring.
As the two prepare to do it all over again, this time at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wilder looks noticeably bigger. With Fury packing on even more pounds this time around, Wilder has come in at 238 pounds, most of which appear to be solid muscle.
Although both Wilder and head trainer Malik Scott believe his new physique will aid him in dealing with Fury’s gargantuan frame, former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver isn’t so convinced.
“Wilder added on some muscle,” said Tarver during an interview with FightHype.com. “A significant amount of weight. I guess he felt, he was a little bit too small. Now, is he going to use this weight and muscle to his advantage? A lot of times, when you bulk up, it slows you down a little bit. That quick-twitch muscle slows down a lot. I think Wilder is going to need to be fast and quick. A lot more faster than he was in the rematch. If that muscle don’t slow him down, he could use it to his advantage.”
On numerous occasions, Wilder has released video of himself lifting well over 300 pounds on the bench press. The reasoning behind Wilder’s new look is simple, he won’t allow Fury to zap his legs when he leans and holds onto him.
Even with Wilder looking leaner and bigger than before, he still walks into his trilogy against Fury at a decided weight disadvantage.
After Wilder showed the boxing world what he’s been working on over the past year and a half, Fury stepped onto the scales heavier than ever. In total, the WBC heavyweight titlist came in at 277 pounds. Considering that Fury has never come in heavier, there’s a growing belief that his preparation for Wilder wasn’t optimal.
Those sentiments, however, is something that Tarver has openly shrugged off. In no way, shape, or form does he expect the extra pounds to diminish Fury’s performance later on tonight.
“The guy is heavy anyways. Anything under 300 pounds, he’s still effective. You saw that in the last fight.”
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