Tyson vows to pound Wilder with fists of Fury

British boxer Tyson Fury (left) and US boxer Deontay Wilder face off prior to their World Heavyweight Championship fight at The Novo Theater in Los Angeles on Jan 13, 2020.
British boxer Tyson Fury (left) and US boxer Deontay Wilder face off prior to their World Heavyweight Championship fight at The Novo Theater in Los Angeles on Jan 13, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES • Tyson Fury leaned into the microphone and issued an audacious prediction to Deontay Wilder regarding their rematch.

"You're going to sleep in two rounds," the British boxer said.

Wilder replied by picking up his own microphone and sniffing it loudly, mocking Fury for his past problems with drug abuse, before also predicting a knockout.

When the two unbeaten heavyweights got together in Los Angeles on Monday night, they picked up right where they left off across the street in December 2018.

That thrilling split draw at the Staples Centre has led to a rematch on Feb 22 in Las Vegas, and both men are aiming to brutally erase each other's perfect record in what is the most-anticipated heavyweight title fight in recent years.

While many felt Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) edged that bout, Wilder left him flat on his back in the 12th and final round, only for a stunning recovery to beat the count.

The American (42-0-1, 41 KOs), however, believes he will finish the job next month.

"I'm more prepared than ever," Wilder said. "I told Fury two years ago I was going to baptise him, and I did just that. Rising up is part of the baptism. I told him he was going to go, 'Timber'."

And he did just that.

"This time around, it's called unfinished business. He won't be able to get back up. This time, I'm going to knock him out."

The match-up is fascinating because it pits Fury's technical boxing skills against Wilder's ferocious punching power, which has made him one of the most-feared boxers.

This time, though, Fury is prepared to let his hands go, insisting he will go for a KO as judges will not favour him if it goes to a decision.

"I accept that," he said. "Thinking I won the fight ain't enough. I need to know. Thinking it doesn't count. I need to end the fight."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'Tyson vows to pound Wilder with fists of Fury'. Print Edition | Subscribe