Everybody has an opinion on who will leave Las Vegas as the WBC world heavyweight champion on Saturday, and ahead of the huge rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury we have been looking at what current professionals, former champions and top promoters have had to say.
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Current IBF, WBA & WBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua
“I believe Fury will win,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “Wilder has shown you can’t blink for a second with him, it takes one punch, but it shows that a good boxer who’s young and fresh and who can make a game plan can be victorious for seven to X amount of rounds. Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit and [Luiz] Ortiz got hit by a big punch, but Fury is evasive, he’s much bigger, he boxes on the back foot and flicks his jab so he is difficult to hit. He fought Wilder the first time after a long lay-off and I think Fury has taken some relatively soft touch fights got his confidence back and going into the new year as a new man, with a new team and a new mind set. He must feel something in him that is new and he wants to be the new heavyweight champion of the world. He has a good chance of beating Wilder as long as he sticks to his game plan for 12 rounds.”
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Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis
“Tyson Fury has the power, he just needed to develop it properly and for someone to bring it out of him,” Lewis told talkSPORT. “The guy is 6ft 9in – he did concuss Deontay a little in the first fight, so he has the power to effect him. If he is going to go after him, he better make it good. I’m thinking he’s going to muller him for a minute and then get back to the boxing.”
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Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno
“I’m favouring Tyson Fury to win because he has the boxing skill,” Bruno told talkSPORT’s Sports Breakfast. “When Tyson Fury fought him last time, he had been out of the ring for three years and went on the fast lane. He has come back in the slow lane, has got the rust out of his body. If you look at Wilder’s last fight against Luis Ortiz, it took him seven rounds before Wilder caught him with a right hand. Tyson Fury is much fresher, much more skilful, much younger and a better boxer. All he’s got to do is not got hit. He has the bulk and weight behind him. He is about two, three stone heavier than Wilder. He will bully him and is a better boxer than Ortiz. If you watch him, he is borderline 40 and was boxing Wilder’s ears off before he got caught. Fury, when he fought Wilder, wasn’t fazed for the 12 rounds. And don’t forget he lost ten stone. He is very tricky, you never know what he is going to do. He can turn southpaw, orthodox and he can box and frustrate you. As long as he doesn’t get stupid and too brave because Wilder has dynamite in both his hands. But that is all he has got. In the last fight, Wilder got him late but Tyson got too complacent and became a showman. He has to stay focused, watch him at all times, use his skill. If he boxes sensibly, he boxes smart, he has got the height, the reach, the weight, the experience behind him to box his ears off all night.”
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Former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor
“Deontay Wilder’s a power guy,” McGregor told BT Sport. “But I think if [Fury] keeps his mind strong, keeps his playfulness in there, keeps his sharpness and his elusiveness, I think he can do the job.”
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Former five-weight world champion Sugar Ray Leonard
“I like Deontay Wilder to win, possibly by knockout, but, in truth, I don’t see either guy being knocked out,” Robinson told Premier Boxing Champions. “I think that Wilder not only has that powerful right hand, but that he has improved in his ability to set it up. On the other hand, I know that Tyson Fury has excellent boxing abilities and a tremendous chin from the way that he got up from the two knockdowns in their previous fight. In the end, I think that Wilder is always in shape and that he will use his speed and power to get the job done.”
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Renowned trainer & commentator Teddy Atlas
“I think Wilder is the hardest puncher in the history of the sport,” Atlas told Boxing Scene. “As far as the hardest punchers, you have Earnie Shavers, Max Baer, Joe Louis and Mike Tyson who could do damage with the left and right. But for just one punch, I have to go with Wilder. I could go really dramatic and strong in my prediction and say it could happen in the first two or three rounds. Anything can happen. I can see the knockout happening later, but as great as he is with that power I could see it ending earlier. He’s missing and derelict in technical powers, but he’s got that one-punch power to make up for it.”
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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn
“I thought [Fury] might win the fight, but I’ve heard a few things in the camp and stuff like that,” Hearn told Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT. “Listen, it might be rubbish, but I do [now] think Wilder’s going to win the fight by stoppage. Wilder doesn’t really have a chin, but Fury can’t really hit that hard in heavyweight terms. He can still really punch. If he hit Wilder clean, I’m sure he’d have him in problems. For me, Wilder should be more reckless in the fight.”
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Former world cruiserweight & heavyweight champion David Haye
“I don’t think people have mentioned the horrendous cut that Tyson Fury received in his last fight,” Haye told BT Sport. “I believe that would be opened up. Once he’s lost one eye, Tyson Fury’s view and perspective will be lost and he’ll end up, unfortunately, walking into one of the biggest shots in boxing history as Wilder is that guy.”