Deontay Wilder has a chance at redemption when he attempts to defeat Tyson Fury at the third time of asking on July 28.
The American lost his WBC title in February 2020 and had to go through the court of arbitration to make sure he could get his rematch as Fury looked set to face Anthony Joshua in an undisputed title fight.
Fury and Wilder will undoubtedly be a brilliant spectacle on July 24
Wilder did get his wish and now nearly 18 months on from an emphatic Fury victory, Wilder has the chance to shock the world.
In the wake of his loss, Wilder blamed his head trainer Mark Breland for cheating against him. He said the costume he wore to the ring weighed him down took the power from his legs. He also accused Fury of having something in his gloves in a string of pretty outlandish accusations.
Fury chalked up Wilder’s accusations as dealing with losing for the first time ever.
“I think when you’ve been undefeated for a long time like Wilder was, you need to justify a reason why you lost,” Fury said.
Fury put Wilder down twice in their last meeting
“So I don’t think he could come up with one reason why he lost. He could come up with 20. So sometimes emotionally, mentally, they have to say all these things to vindicate why they lost the fight.
“It can’t just be I lost to a bad man on the night, fair play, see you next time. They’ll be like ‘Oh my god, they had me, but then he had crossbows in his fists.”
So what can Wilder do differently this time against the Gypsy King? What has he been doing to prepare?
“After the second Fury fight, me and Deontay talked and we knew exactly what we wanted to do,” new head coach Malik Scott said. “Our brotherhood has always been up here [gestures a high level], but what I needed and what we have now is the trainer-fighter relationship that passes our brotherhood by far. It’s not even close.
Deontay Wilder, with his trainer Malik Scott
“He’s doing everything I’ve asked of him and more. And he’s made his mind up he’s willing to do something he never did to get something he never had and that’s become a two-time heavyweight champion of the world.”
The Bronze Bomber has been very quiet since the loss to Fury. He has only spoken publicly a few times and he hasn’t shown much of what he’s been up to, but fans have noticed big differences in the way he boxes with the few clubs available.
Scott has certainly made Wilder lighter on his feet. Wilder used to walk forward flat-footed, planted and ready to launch his deadly right hand, but he seems much more nimble and agile in recent footage.
Deontay Wilder has been working on his defence and his head movement, something he never really had to before
Could Wilder really outbox Fury? If he’s looking to evaded Fury’s mass that weighed on him last time and pick his shots, it’s an interesting gameplan.
Wilder has been working diligently with Scott ever since the defeat almost 18 months ago. When no one was considering Wilder as part of the heavyweight title picture, the Bronze Bomber was always fighting for the rematch he knew he needed.
He says he’s going to be a different fighter and a different man. The early evidence says he just might be, but will that be enough to become the first man to defeat Tyson Fury?