Saturday night sees the biggest heavyweight boxing bout in the United States since Lennox Lewis defeated Mike Tyson in Memphis, Tennessee 2002.
This Saturday it’s another Tyson taking centre stage, but at a base level, comparisons can be drawn with that evening as Fury aims to defuse Deontay Wilder’s Bomb Squad.
Consensus betting – Wilder by KO, Fury on points
On that famous night in Memphis, Lennox Lewis – the specialist pugilist – was expected to outbox and outpoint the technically limited but devastatingly powerful ‘Iron Mike’, whose only chance of victory was deemed to be via knockout. For Wilder-Fury, the same logic applies – only the underdog status is with the boxer, not the puncher.
Fury’s lengthy layoff makes Wilder an understandable favourite, with Betstars best price with 8/11 for Wilder to win, while the likes of Sky Bet, Bet Victor and Paddy Power are aligned on 6/4 for a best price Tyson Fury victory.
However, the method of victory provides more value and if the boxing pundit consensus is to be believed it’s Wilder by knockout (best price Marathon Bet – 15/13) or Fury on points, with Betfair and Paddy Power offering best value at 5/2.
Caught cold, or Fury’s fire still burning?
The old boxing adage of ‘a good boxer always beats a good puncher’ would apply perfectly to this fight…if the good boxer hadn’t recently returned from a two-year layoff, during which he added 10 stone (and much more besides, ahem) to his 6ft 7in frame.
Put simply, this fight – and where your money goes – is determined by your confidence in answering one question: Has Fury’s time away from the ring cost him any of his fleet-of-foot, elusiveness and hand speed?
If your answer is yes, then an early Deontay Wilder knockout should appeal.
Wilder is, somewhat fairly, considered a one-trick pony – but as 39 unconscious opponents will attest - it’s not a bad trick. His footwork is atrocious, his technique crude, but his speed and power undeniable. He throws haymakers, he throws a lot of them and if you’ve got one trick – it’s more likely to work the first time you show it.
Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral are all 6/1 for Wilder to win by KO in Rounds 1-4.
“The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”
If you believe Fury’s powers have not dwindled in his time away, the second line of Muhammad Ali’s “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee” poem applies. If Wladimir Klitschko – one of the most technically sound and decorated champions in recent history – could barely lay a finger on Fury, how on earth will the agricultural Wilder find the target?
Predictably, the noises coming from Team Fury are that ‘Fury 2015’ is not just back, he’s better. ‘Camp chat’ should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but there’s some increasingly visible evidence to back this claim. An issue-free training camp has combined graft, via high altitude training in the San Bernandino Mountains, and craft, via a prolonged stay at Freddie Roach’s WildCard gym in Los Angeles. The end result is that Fury was noticeably glowing in his final press interviews yesterday, radiating a level of good health and confidence that arguably even surpassed his 2015 self.
Fitness speculation aside, there was one telling comment from the camp which carries some substance. Freddie Roach – widely regarded as one of the best boxing trainers of all time and crucially, not known for hyperbole – spoke passionately about Fury’s impressive power, rather than his much-vaunted speed.
If the naturally defensive Tyson Fury’s fitness and flexibility are still intact, his decision to have two attack-minded, ‘war merchants’ in Freddie Roach and Ricky Hatton running his corner sends a message – I’m not just going to make him miss, I’m going to make him pay…and that makes a Fury knockout a very attractive bet.
188BET are best price for the Fury knockout at 15/2, but for added value, group betting is the way to go. Fury’s power wears you down, rather than knocks you out, so the 10/1 offered by SkyBet for Fury to win in Rounds 7-12 looks fantastic value.
Bigger than Klitschko-Joshua?
According to data from bet-bonus-codes.co.uk – yes. Although the 5am start time will mean UK attendance and viewing figures will be down, the fight has been more effective in capturing the betting public’s imagination. Over £6 million has been placed on this fight, surpassing the £5 million placed on Joshua-Klitschko at the same stage.
Double’s Delight: Fury to win by KO, Rounds 7-12 – 10/1 (SkyBet)
Double’s Doughnut: Wilder by decision 5/1 (Various)
All odds sourced via odds comparison sites. Prices may vary. Please gamble responsibly.
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