The December 1 clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is the biggest heavyweight title fight in boxing this year, and unlike many heavyweight clashes, it’s one that offers a marked clash in styles.
Both men are undefeated in the ring, and both have world championship pedigree: Wilder is the defending WBC heavyweight champ while Fury previously held all of the other major heavyweight world titles.
But it’s their contrasting fighting styles that make this particular heavyweight title fight more intriguing than most.
Wilder’s style is certainly “wilder” than the more traditional boxing stylists in the heavyweight division.
Compared to the technically-excellent, but somehow boring style exhibited by Wladimir Klitschko, Wilder’s style is wide open, with the American holding his hands wider and lower than the traditional boxing stance and throwing long, winging shots from strange angles.
While the technique might cause a seasoned boxing coach to tear their hair out in frustration, there can be no denying its effectiveness. “The Bronze Bomber” from Alabama has a knockout ratio that is the envy of every other elite-level heavyweight in world boxing.
The 33-year-old American has won 40 out of 40 professional contests, with 39 of those coming inside the distance. He doesn’t mess around when the opening bell rings, either. Incredibly, 19 of those knockouts came in the very first round.
While Wilder uses his prodigious punch power to tread the familiar path of heavyweight boxers of the past and pursue knockouts, Fury has a style all of his own.
Fury can certainly finish fights – his record of 27-0 with 19 knockouts proves that. But his ascent to the top of the heavyweight boxing tree has been built on his feet as much as his hands.
Fury has unusually quick feet for such a big man, and used his deceptive agility in the ring to dance around Klitschko as he left the Ukrainian befuddled and beaten after 12 rounds in their world title clash in 2015.
Despite facing a man with 53 knockouts to his name, Fury was barely troubled as he produced one of the most impressive displays of boxing skill from a British heavyweight since the days of Lennox Lewis to capture the WBA, IBF, IBO, WBO and The Ring heavyweight titles.
Now, after an extended hiatus from the sport, Fury is back in boxing, back in shape and back to capture a heavyweight world title once again.
Power Versus Endurance
A glance at the heavyweight boxing betting odds shows that Wilder is the bookies’ favorite for the matchup. The American is an 8/13 shot, with Fury the 11/8 underdog, and those odds are likely influenced by Wilder’s ability to shut out the lights on almost anyone in the world.
For Fury to win, he will have to catch Wilder’s open chin with a solid shot as the American plunders forward, or he’ll look to follow the same gameplan used to defeat Klitschko and outbox him over the full 12-round distance.
It’s a clash that has the boxing world fascinated, and one the world will be watching closely when these two colossuses of the Queensberry Rules face off at the Staples Center on December 1.