The heavyweight division will be in the global spotlight on Saturday night, when Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) defends his WBC world heavyweight title against former world champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) in a pay-per-view bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
It's a titanic matchup that pits two popular fighters with big followings on both sides of the Atlantic who have contrasting methods of winning a fight.
Wilder is a knockout king, possessing arguably the most devastating punch in the sport. He will stalk his opponents, waiting for the perfect opportunity to unleash his explosive right hand.
Fury, when fit and committed, likes to move around the ring, darting in and out, putting on a show and scoring some nice jabs and counter punches while he's at it.
Wilder and Fury are talented, entertaining, hard-hitting and the bad blood is boiling. Here's how to watch.
Wilder vs. Fury Fight Info
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. ET (main card start time)
Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles
TV: Showtime (U.S., pay-per-view), BT Sport Box Office (UK, PPV)
Live Stream: SHO.com (U.S., PPV)
Odds: Wilder -175 (bet $175 to win $100), Fury +145 (bet $100 to win $145)
Fight odds according to OddsShark and updated as of Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 a.m. ET.
The world didn't have to wait until Saturday to see a bit of action from Wilder and Fury. The two nearly got into it at their pre-fight press conference Wednesday, as Showtime Boxing shared (Warning: video contains profanity):
Both fighters have backed up their actions with some excellent pre-bout bravado. How sure is the 30-year-old Fury that he is going to win?
"I'm going to win this fight—one million per cent," Fury said, per Sky Sports. "There is not a doubt in my mind. No matter what he brings on Saturday night, I will overcome him and win and take the WBC title back to the UK."
It's a fair bit of confidence from a fighter who is three years removed from beating Wladimir Klitschko to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Since then, Fury has talked retirement, created controversy for making derogatory remarks, faced drug bans and had mental health issues.
Fury claims to be back in world-beating form after a couple of tune-up fights and some time spent getting into a good fighting shape, but Wilder isn't having any of it. The Bronze Bomber has gone as far as saying Fury was never worthy of being a heavyweight champion.
"He didn't beat Klitschko; Klitschko beat himself," Wilder said at Wednesday's presser. If Klitschko had shown up and thrown more punches, he'd have won. Everybody knows that. So much emotion is running through my body right now. I was ready two weeks ago. I can't wait to put these hands on you. When I get in the ring, it'll be no more Mr. Nice Guy."
While Fury hasn't had a true challenge in three years, the same can't be said for Wilder. The 33-year-old champion is coming off his most significant win yet, a TKO-victory over the then-undefeated Luis "King Kong" Ortiz in March. Wilder overcame technical shortcomings and a furious seventh-round charge from Ortiz to win that bout in the 10th with one of his trademark right-handed power shots.
Wilder has been criticized for the lack of quality opponents on his resume, but Ortiz was the real deal. Now he has to take on another gifted boxer in Fury.
So can Wilder do it? Can the Alabama-born slugger retain his belt and set up a clash with Joshua? Most seem to think so. The oddsmakers have him as a slight favorite. ESPN.com asked 25 writers, commentators and former and current boxers for their predictions: 20 picked Wilder, two picked Fury and three could see it going either way.
Even the ring itself favors Wilder, per the Daily Star's Chris McKenna:
Most seem to think Wilder will send Fury crashing to the canvas. It only takes one decent-sized mistake from Fury, and his journey is over. He has been sent to the canvas once in his career, against Steve Cunningham in 2013.
If Fury is going to beat Wilder, he will need all his tricks. Movement is necessary, circling away from the right and keeping the head on a swivel. A solid jab is probably necessary, and some well-time clinching can't hurt when he does have to get in close and senses the power punches coming. The reach advantage (85" to 83", per BoxRec) will come in handy if he can bank some early rounds and needs to keep Wilder at bay later on.
Considering the path both fighters have taken to get to this point and their various strengths and weaknesses, it does feel like anything could happen Saturday night, and the way it all goes down is important.
The more entertaining the action and decisive the victory, the more pressure it will put on Joshua, the winner and the string-pullers in boxing to put on the megafight the boxing world is waiting for.