Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2: B/R Staff Fight Predictions

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2020

Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2: B/R Staff Fight Predictions

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    What will happen this time?
    What will happen this time?Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    There's nothing quite like heavyweight boxing.

    WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Tyson Fury meet for the second time on Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Wilder and Fury fought to a hotly contested split draw in December 2018 that saw Wilder score knockdowns against Fury in Round 9 and Round 12 but otherwise be outboxed for the rest of the fight.

    The two will tussle again this weekend for Wilder's WBC belt and Fury's made up, but perfectly reasonable by boxing standards, lineal heavyweight championship. Both Wilder and Fury are already big stars in the boxing world. The winner of the rematch would theoretically set himself up nicely to become something even more. 

    Most importantly, though, Wilder vs. Fury 2 will produce the clear No. 1 heavyweight in boxing, and it should also help pave the way to another massive megafight for the winner against WBA, WBO and IBF titleholder Anthony Joshua. 

    Wilder vs. Fury 2 is upon us, people, and everyone in the combat sports world is super hyped about it. 

    That's why we assembled Bleacher Report's best boxing minds to make some predictions. You want to know which of the two heavyweight champions will remain that way, and we're here to tell you. 

    Hey, guys, who wins Wilder vs. Fury 2?

Jonathan Snowden: Deontay Wilder Wins

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    Snowden doesn't expect Fury to get through the full 12 rounds this time.
    Snowden doesn't expect Fury to get through the full 12 rounds this time.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Jonathan Snowden: We've already watched Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder fight for 36 minutes. We saw a lot in those 12 rounds—mugging for the cameras, mesmerizing footwork, startling power and astounding courage.

    So, why does the rematch feel like such a mystery?

    A lot has changed since December 2018. Most notable, of course, is Fury's decision to take on a new trainer, trading in Ben Davison for Javan "SugarHill" Steward. What changes will Steward, the nephew of the late, legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, bring to an Englishman well set in his ways? That's the question everyone—likely to include Steward himself—are asking themselves as fight night nears. 

    I expect the fight to look very different than the first go around. Both men, knowing the bout could be razor close, will work harder to win rounds throughout. That's a dangerous game for Fury—who is never more than one punch away from looking up at the lights.

    This time Wilder knows there will be moments Fury loses focus and knows that when he does, he has the skill and power to put him down. This time, there will be no miraculous recovery, no waking from the dead. Wilder will silence the doubters once and for all—then wait for Anthony Joshua to finally find the gumption to step into the ring with the real world champion.

Lyle Fitzsimmons: Deontay Wilder Wins

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    Fitzsimmons thinks it will be something like Wilder's 2018 bout against Luis Ortiz (just don't quote him on it).
    Fitzsimmons thinks it will be something like Wilder's 2018 bout against Luis Ortiz (just don't quote him on it).Anthony Geathers/Getty Images

    There are sure things. There are hunches.

    And there are flat-out guesses that never make you feel completely comfortable.

    For me, Saturday's fight has veered from one to another since the moment it was announced.

    Make no mistake, I can find plenty of reasons to pick Fury.

    I mean, come on. I saw the first fight. I saw him make Wilder look like a three-bout novice for more than a few moments. And I saw him rise from the era's most dramatic heavyweight knockdown and save his own competitive skin down the stretch by rattling Wilder with powerful counter shots.

    It wouldn't surprise me if he boxed him silly for 12 desultory rounds. It wouldn't surprise me if he engaged and was able to step inside one of his foe's wild swings to land a precise game-changer, either.

    Then I remember I've seen this before.

    I saw Wilder flailing across the ring against Luis Ortiz in 2018. I saw him outpunched and outskilled for six more rounds in their rematch 20 months later. Let's not forget, though, he won them both.

    It's my flat-out guess that it's exactly what we're going to see this time, too.

    Wilder will be the lesser boxer. He will look dreadful at times. An L will seem an imminent formality.

    And then, just like he did twice against Ortiz to save victories—and just like he did against Fury the first time to save a draw—lightning will strike. Because unlike any heavyweight title claimant of recent vintage, he's got the sort of lightning that allows him to rewrite history in real-time.

    It says here that it'll arrive this time in the fifth and be decisive by the sixth.

    Winner and still champion, Deontay Wilder.

    But just in case, if Fury wins double-digit rounds…this conversation never happened.

Scott Harris: Deontay Wilder Wins

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    Harris likes Wilder to stop Fury in Round 9.
    Harris likes Wilder to stop Fury in Round 9.John Locher/Associated Press

    Admittedly, I'm mainly an MMA guy. But as a lifelong fan of boxing—or "the sweet science" as real aficionados like myself call it—I can say that there are no more compelling figures in the sport than Fury and Wilder.

    Canelo Alvarez is more celebrated, Gennady Golovkin is more gifted, Vasyl Lomachenko is flat-out better than everybody else, but these two and this matchup are, to me, easily the most interesting.

    I don't see much reason why this sequel would differ much from the original, with each fighter simply looking to get one break more than the other guy.

    Wilder will seek the knockout. Fury will be elusive. If there was a Nobel Prize For Getting Up After a Knockdown, Fury would have some fancy hardware on his mantelpiece right now.

    No one can doubt Fury's toughness, but I don't think the fates will let anyone do that twice. Wilder wins, notches a highlight and hits a new level of fame.

    Deontay Wilder wins by Round 9 KO. 

Kelsey McCarson: Tyson Fury Wins

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    McCarson can't believe he's the only one picking Fury.
    McCarson can't believe he's the only one picking Fury.John Locher/Associated Press

    I suppose there are two things I can't believe at this moment.

    First, I can't believe I'm the only Bleacher Report writer picking Tyson Fury to beat Deontay Wilder this weekend in the rematch. The first fight was a draw, but it was clear who the better boxer was over the majority of the contest. That being said, it doesn't take much to see that Wilder's devastating power is something he's brilliant at using, and he's certainly looked sharper than ever at it over his last two fights.

    The other thing I can't believe is that I'm picking against Wilder in general. I don't believe it because I've never done it. In fact, I was the one combat sportswriter in the world, or so it felt at times, who was singing the heavyweight's praises long before he ever became champion, and I took tons of heat over it on social media.

    But my prediction isn't really about either of those two feelings. The plain truth of the matter is that I'm predicting Fury will win the fight because he's the way better boxer. He was silly at times with his showboating and antics in the last fight, and it almost cost him. I don't think he'll try that stuff this time around.

    Moreover, Fury is three years younger than Wilder, will likely have improved greatly by bringing in his new training team and is simply the kind of big-fight performer who always answers the call during life's biggest moments. 

    Fury wins by decision in a fight that's easy to score and will have everyone wondering afterward why they thought Wilder could beat him in the first place.