Tyson ready for 'war' as Wilder ridicules his punch

Deontay Wilder (left) and Tyson Fury at a press conference in Los Angeles on Jan 25, ahead of their rematch in Las Vegas on Feb 22. The 12-round battle of unbeaten fighters is for Wilder's WBC crown. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Deontay Wilder (left) and Tyson Fury at a press conference in Los Angeles on Jan 25, ahead of their rematch in Las Vegas on Feb 22. The 12-round battle of unbeaten fighters is for Wilder's WBC crown. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Britain's Tyson Fury has vowed to deliver a career-best performance in his upcoming heavyweight title rematch with American Deontay Wilder, expecting a "war" in their Feb 22 showdown at Las Vegas.

The 12-round battle of unbeaten fighters for Wilder's World Boxing Council crown is a rematch of a thrilling 2018 draw at Los Angeles.

Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder in the first fight, but the Englishman plans a more aggressive approach for the rematch.

"Never have I been as ready and focused for one fight as I am for this fight," he said on Thursday.

"You're going to see the best Tyson Fury that Tyson Fury can be.

"I'm match fit. I'm ready. I'm confident. I'm injury free. I'm ready for a war, one round or 12."

Fury, the lineal champion, is 29-0 with one draw and 20 knockouts while Wilder enters 42-0 with one tie and 41 knockouts.

"If I beat Deontay Wilder, I'll be the best heavyweight of my era, standing alone," he added.

Fight promoter Bob Arum also said victory would seal Fury's place among such all-time heavyweight legends as Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield.

"Everybody would have to recognise him as one of the great heavyweight champions of all time," Arum said. "He definitely will belong with those immortals."

Fury believes that he learnt from the first fight that he must press the attack when he senses weakness from Wilder.

READY FOR BATTLE

Never have I been as ready and focused for one fight as I am for this fight. You're going to see the best Tyson Fury that Tyson Fury can be. I'm ready for a war, one round or 12.

TYSON FURY , British boxer, on his heavyweight title rematch with American Deontay Wilder.

PILLOW PUNCHES

He has pillows as fists. That's how soft they were. Maybe my adrenaline was too high to feel anything. Sometimes after a fight you feel sore. But I didn't feel anything.

DEONTAY WILDER , American boxer, making fun of Fury's punching power.

"The mistake I made last time was not making him pay when he was hurt," the 31-year-old said.

"This time when I get him hurt, I'll throw everything but the kitchen sink at him and he won't know what hit him.

"I learnt he can be hit and hurt quite regularly. That's the biggest thing I learnt from fighting him. He's a one-dimensional fighter and I'm going to prove that.

"I took his best shots and fired them back into him. He's a one-trick pony. He's a knockout artist... but he couldn't finish me."

Wilder, however, has instead ridiculed Fury's punching power.

The 34-year-old said on Tuesday: "I can't tell you any rounds where I felt like I was threatened by his power.

"He has pillows as fists. That's how soft they were. Maybe my adrenaline was too high to feel anything. Sometimes after a fight you feel sore. But even after the fight, I didn't feel anything.

"I took all his punches, the ones he landed, and I walked right through them. So I don't respect none of his power."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'Tyson ready for 'war' as Wilder ridicules his punch'. Print Edition | Subscribe