Defeat for either will have major consequences. Should Wilder lose, he will surrender his belt, but more importantly lose the aura that surrounds him - the hard, steely exterior that surrounds an undefeated fighter with such blistering punching power. For Fury, defeat would perhaps signal the end of his quest to become a heavyweight world champion once again. His last few years in the ring have all led to this, the crowning moment of one of sport's greatest comeback stories.
You can understand, then, why Fury is doing all within his power to give himself the best chance of a win. He has parted ways with coach Ben Davison, who helped guide Fury out of the mire of depression and lack of fitness back to the top of the sport. Sugar Hill Steward has come in to replace him, with Fury citing that he needed a more technical coach in order to make gains against Wilder.Of course, boxing fans still remember with great clarity the epic clash between the pair in December 2018, where a split-decision draw was the final result. It seemed as though Fury had dominated much of the proceedings, but a crashing Wilder hit in the final round sent the Gypsy King hurtling to the canvas. Somehow, despite seeming down and out, Fury rose again and finished the fight in a strong fashion. It was a recovery that perfectly encapsulated Fury's comeback from doubts and insecurities to be one of the sport's best boxers once again.
Now, Fury feels the time has come to settle things once and for all. He has harped on in the build-up to the fight about a dream he had which apparently signals that he is going to knock Wilder out in the second round of their rematch. To do that will be the ultimate test of Fury's resolve and talent, first of all to resist the power of such a formidable opponent, and secondly to knock out a man who has never tasted defeat in the ring in a 43-fight professional career.
But to seek a knockout leaves Fury vulnerable. His strength is usually in wearing opponents down, in using his exceptional movement and footwork to grind down his opponent's resolve. It's a tactic that many people felt earned Fury the victory in the first fight against Wilder, but a draw was the controversial verdict. He has said that he does not believe that he will get a points decision in the US, and it's hard to blame him given the result of the first fight. But if Fury goes too gung-ho he may leave himself open to one of Wilder's trademark knockout blows.
It promises to be an enthralling occasion, and it may just prove that Fury's singular focus on getting the knockout will make him a more dangerous opponent to Wilder on the whole. It's still anyone's guess as to who will come out on top in this mammoth showdown between two of the sport's greats.
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