By: Sean Crose
“This is where we come and settle everything,” Deontay Wilder said on a media conference call on Tuesday to promote his highly publicized February 22nd rematch with TysonFury. “This is judgment day.” The first fight between the two supersized heavyweights went down in December of 2018. The bout became instantly famous for two reasons. The first is that Wilder dropped Fury with a thunderous shot in the final round. The second is that Fury managed to get up. Needless to say, the battle ended in a draw, making the rematch for Wilder’s WBC title all the more enticing.
“The first fight was an amazing fight,” Wilder admitted. Still, the 42-0-1 Alabama native made it clear that he isn’t intending for the rematch to end in a draw. “ This time,” Wilder stated, “he’s not getting up. That’s for sure. I promise you that.” Fury, of course, has been making predictions of his own, including an unlikely one where he claims he will knock Wilder out in the second round. Fury is an excellent boxer, but a knockout machine he is not. “I’m prepared for anything he brings to the table,” Wilder said of Fury. “Deep down in his heart I really feel that he’s nervous.”
Wilder-Fury 2, which will go down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is nothing if not a highly promoted affair. Both ESPN and FOX are behind the pay per view event, which means there is a whole lot of money and power pushing to make the match between the two giant showmen (each man is closer to seven feet than six and loves to shoot his mouth off) a huge success. “The fans are in for a treat. They’re the ones who are getting their money’s worth,” said Wilder. “We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we fight to the end.”
In truth, both Wilder and Fury seem to, if not like each other, than to have a mutual respect. Wider and Fury aren’t men who avoid threats. If they were, they wouldn’t be fighting each other for the second time. “At this point in time,” said Wilder, “it’s truly about me and Fury. This is our time. This is our date.” One man not respected by Wilder is fellow heavyweight and multi-belt holder Anthony Joshua, who recently regained his titles by outboxing Andy Ruiz, who had attained them in a stunning upset last June. “I’m not worried about that coward,” Wilder said of Joshua. “That coward barely got his titles back.”
Which means that, for now at least, the focus is solely on the 29-0-1 Fury. For soon the time for talk will be over and Wilder and Fury will find themselves face to face in the ring once more. “My confidence is very high,” Wilder told the media. “We know each other a little bit more than we did the first time.” Boxing is nothing if not a sport where anything can happen. As things stand, however, Wilder is pleased. “When I was coming up,” he said, “nobody in the world knew who the heavyweight champion of the world was…as I sit here and talk to you guys, I can say a job well done.”