Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said on Tuesday that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the third fight between heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury and former titlist Deontay Wilder would no longer take place on July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Instead, Arum said the fight would more likely take place in early October at the earliest, assuming the sports world is back up and running.
So now that there will be a few more months until Fury and Wilder meet for the third time, Dan Rafael and Steve Kim answer a few questions about what the postponement could mean for both camps.
Do you see a fight in between for Fury and Wilder with the date being changed?
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Kim: For over 19 rounds fought between them, Fury has probably won the vast majority. He stopped Wilder in the most recent bout. He has exhibited superior tactical skills and the ability to be the more physical fighter, who will always have a few inches in height and at least 40 pounds in size. That is very difficult — if not impossible — to overcome.
If you talk to Fury’s trainer, Javan “Sugar” Hill, who had only a few months to get Fury prepared for the second fight with Wilder, he’ll tell you that they will have a more complete arsenal as Fury gets acclimated to this more offensive style — marching forward, using his imposing stature to close in on opponents — rather than dancing away on the perimeter of the ring.
Should Wilder get/add a new trainer now that he has more time to prepare?
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Kim: I can see adding another trainer, but I don’t see Wilder ditching his whole team. And to be fair, they took a guy who got a very late start in boxing and turned him into a long-reigning champion. Let’s be honest — we all knew of Wilder’s limitations, and before the rematch, how many people were really clamoring for him to ditch Deas and/or Breland? But as is often the case in boxing, when someone suffers a tough loss, wholesale changes are expected, if not demanded, by the masses. It seems a tad unfair.
I’ll say this, if Wilder brings in a new trainer, you aren’t going to re-invent the Wilder wheel. He is what he is, a devastating right-handed puncher who is not the most complete package in the ring. And that is fine, he’s actually made it work in what has turned out to be a very productive and lucrative career.
Whoever is in charge of preparing Wilder for the third fight should just really focus on making him the best version of himself, and making sure that he’s better prepared for a Fury that is going to try and knock him off his front foot.