By: Sean Crose
It looks like the like the long awaited rematch between heavyweight powerhouses Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is set to go down on February 22nd of next year. Although no location has been announced, ESPN has reported that the fight itself, as well as the date, is indeed a go. This should come as no surprise, as both Wilder and Fury have been quite open about the fact that they fully plan to face each other again. There are also whispers online that the bout might be hyped around the festivities surrounding February 2nd’s Super Bowl game.
Wilder, an undefeated 42-0-1 power puncher, is being hailed by some as the greatest knockout artist in the history of boxing. Though this assertion is far from universal, it’s clear that the sheer impact and immediate aftermath of the Alabama native’s shots have already become legendary. As for Fury, the man is the antithesis of the heavyweight division’s previous era, which was dominated by the staid and gentlemanly Wladimir Klitshcko. Loud, humorous, and eccentric, Fury struts about the media landscape like a true showman. Undefeated, like Wilder, the 29-0-1 Englishman is surprisingly slick and skilled for his enormous, six foot, nine inch frame.
The first fight between the two men went down last December, and ended up being a classic solely for what transpired in the final round. By most accounts, Fury was winning the fight through the employment of his slippery defensive skill set. Heading into round twelve, he appeared on the way to victory despite the fact that Wilder had dropped him earlier. Then the moment came when a somewhat boring fight suddenly turned into an iconic one. Wilder hit Fury so hard that the European giant ended up flat on his back with his eyes open. If that weren’t enough, Fury actually managed to get up and fight well throughout the rest of the round. The battle was ruled a draw, and the world knew almost instantly that a second act would be on its way.
Since that fight nearly a year go, each man has gone to other victories, while informing fans all the while that he would indeed be facing off against his most famous rival again. Fury demolished Tom Schwarz in June, then got a run for his money in his victory over Otto Wallin in September. Fury has also engaged in an entertaining WWE battle with fellow giant Braun Strowman, and has said he plans to engage in mixed martial arts.
For his own part, Wilder has continued along his path of highlight reel victories. After frighteningly disposing of Dominic Breazeale last May, the defending WBC champ had a rematch with Luis Ortiz last weekend. The Cuban gave Wilder a scare in their first fight, and was dominating the second – until, as is now almost expected – Wilder abruptly closed the show with a shot straight out of a Rocky movie. All of this led to a discussion throughout the fight world focused on the fact that Wilder ALWAYS seems a find a way to let his power get him out of trouble. Both Fury and Ortiz have out-skilled the man, only to have things turn in the blink of an eye. It’s now happened to Ortiz twice against Wilder.
The question now is: How will Fury find a way to keep the impact and results of Wilder’s power from being the story of their rematch?