On December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California the biggest, most important heavyweight title fight of the year takes place—and it doesn’t involve 3-belt world champion Anthony Joshua.
WBC champ Deontay Wilder will be taking on former 3-belt titlist and lineal champ Tyson Fury in a bout that, in some circles, may determine who leapfrogs Joshua for the number one slot in the heavyweight division.
Wilder is currently a -185 favorite at online betting sites like Playamo, but this battle of the giants could easily be an even money contest.
Wilder-Fury will pit the American Wilder’s massive one-punch power and raw aggression against Irishman Fury’s boxing ability and preference for a tactical ring approach.
This big pay-per-view clash also matches two of the sport’s most prolific trash talkers against one another. And, aside from generating headlines and selling PPVs, the copious amounts of trash talk already displayed in pre-fight press conferences could very well influence how this fight plays out—or that’s what Fury hopes, anyway.
“Am I under Wilder’s skin? 100 per cent,” Fury said at the kick-off press conference in London. “He’s mentally baffled at the moment. I’m living in his head rent free…I think he doesn’t know what to do because this has never happened to him. He’s never faced anybody like me, who talks and puts on a big show.”
Wilder, meanwhile, is insisting that Fury’s big talk is just scared chatter.
“I’m the one who brought him back,” Wilder insisted at the New York City presser, referring to Fury’s more than two-and-a-half years away from the sport due to mental health issues and substance addiction problems. “I’m the one who encouraged him when he was in that dark place. I told him, ‘You can do it.’ I dared him to come back. I dared him for this very moment. I want him to have confidence. I want him to have energy. As you can see, that’s nerves. That’s all nerves. Because he knows what’s going to happen. He knows his face is going to get smashed in. And he knows his body will be on the pavement. Let him burn out this energy. It’s entertaining. Because when we get in the ring he’s gonna be all by himself and his demeanor will change. His mannerisms are going to change. He’s so nervous right now. He don’t know what do to with himself.”
It’s said that talk is cheap, and that’s especially true in boxing. But, in the case of Wilder vs. Fury, the big talk is part of what makes this bout so interesting.
As to whether either side can back up their big talk come fight night, well, the world will just have to wait until December 1 to find that out.