IF I am in Deontay Wilder’s corner…
Martin Bowers ( Trains Daniel Dubois, current British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion): Fury’s a nightmare to prepare for. You can’t go into a fight against him with just one specific game plan, otherwise you’ll come unstuck. If you go after him, he can make you look silly. If you stand off him, he can make you look silly. With Wilder’s power, it’s s**t or bust for him. He can’t be too kamikaze but he’s got to throw lots of shots and try to catch Fury. He’s got to keep trying to get him on his back foot, put him under pressure and find a gap. He can’t just sit back and look for an opening. He’s got to create an opening. He’s got to actively pressure him into making a mistake and not just hope that he does.
Fury could easily come out in the first round and be southpaw, so I’d definitely make sure Wilder has both orthodox and southpaw sparring partners during camp. But as everyone knows, the one thing that Wilder’s got is that get-out-of-jail card. It only takes one split second and one slight lapse in concentration from Fury and it’s lights out. That’s all Wilder can hope for. There’s no way in a million years that Wilder can outbox Fury.
Dominic Ingle ( Trains Kell Brook, former world welterweight champion, Kid Galahad, former world featherweight title challenger, and Liam Williams, current British middleweight champion): Wilder’s not going to outbox Fury. The only way he’s going to win is by taking a risk and jumping on him a bit more. You’re never going to beat Fury if you stand off him. Sometimes you need to take a chance and get on top of him. Although he knocked Fury down twice, Wilder didn’t land too many of his big shots. He’s got to be brave in the rematch. He’s got to force the issue and make it a bit dirty – like Marco Antonio Barrera did against Naseem Hamed. He can’t give Fury time to think.
Wilder used to be more erratic – just running out there and throwing everything at his opponents. Now he’s got a more balanced style, although he doesn’t actually do a great deal. Against Fury he was composed, because he had to be. But he’s got to be a bit more aggressive this time. He’s got to try to keep close to Fury, though it doesn’t seem to be his way these days. He’s got a long reach but he’s not the best of boxers. He’s often losing fights before he lands the big shot. He’s got to land more of those shots in the rematch.
Jim McDonnell ( Has trained James DeGale, former world super-middleweight champion, and Danny Williams, former world heavyweight title challenger): It seems to be in Fury’s DNA to respond to violence with violence, which is dangerous when you’re fighting someone like Wilder. I don’t think for one second that Wilder can win this fight on points, because Fury’s talent and pedigree means that he can outbox anyone. Wilder’s not going to outpoint Fury. It’s all on the KO for him. He’s got to turn this into a fight instead of a boxing match. He’s got to make it personal in the build-up, push Fury’s buttons and get inside his head. He’s got to goad him into getting involved in a fight, rather than just sticking to his boxing.
There are some technical mistakes that Fury makes. If you’re aware of what those mistakes are, then you can take advantage of them – especially if you’re a massive puncher like Wilder. If Fury gets brave and gets involved, he could walk on to one. Even if Wilder catches you on the top of the head, you’ll be all over the place. He’s just so heavy handed. It’s up to Wilder to force the action and make things happen. He can do that by letting his hands go, but also by getting under Fury’s skin.
John Scully ( Has trained Chad Dawson, former world light-heavyweight champion, and Jose Antonio Rivera, former world super-welterweight champion): If I was training Wilder for the Fury rematch, I’d put a lot of emphasis on his left jab. Many times it’ll be a thing where Wilder overextends himself trying for the knockout and he ends up off balance and not putting his punches together as smoothly as he might. If he were to come in behind more deliberate double and triple jabs, I think he could offset and negate a lot Fury’s awkwardness. I think jabs up top and hard right hands to the body would enable Wilder to more frequently get himself into a position to come back up to the head with shorter punches that’d surprise Fury.
Definitely when he’s on the inside it must be a scenario where Wilder digs into Fury’s body with purpose. Letting Fury escape unscathed from every potentially draining inside physical encounter would be a huge mistake on Wilder’s part. Both guys will need to make certain adjustments from their first fight in order to come out on top, but despite the fact that he came very close to winning by knockout last time, Wilder’s the one who needs to have the mentality to alter his approach in order to be successful.
If I am in Tyson Fury’s corner…
Martin Bowers: Fury’s just got to concentrate and stay switched on for the full 36 minutes. I’d tell him not to f**k about, not to look out at the crowd during the fight, not to wave to the audience, not to show out to the corner, just to focus on Wilder. He can’t afford to switch off for a single second. If he hadn’t have got caught those two times in the first fight, he’d have won it. That’s what I’d drill into him. If he concentrates, he’s going down in history. If he doesn’t concentrate, he’s going down in a heap.
Aside from the two knockdowns, I think the way Fury boxed in the first fight will give him great confidence going into the rematch. Even getting up off the floor twice will give him great confidence, although he wouldn’t want to go through that again. He’s probably the only person on the planet who could’ve got up the second time, to be fair. I’d be saying to him ahead of the rematch, do you really want to go through that again? If you don’t, then you need to stay switched on. He can’t drift off. He needs to stay in the moment.
Dominic Ingle: Fury’s just got to avoid that one big shot from Wilder. That’s all he’s really got to do. The fact that Wilder’s so used to knocking everyone out, yet Fury got up from two knockdowns against him, that’s got to put doubts in Wilder’s mind. And you’ve got to appreciate Fury’s durability and stamina by getting up from that big shot in the final round. He’s seen everything that Wilder’s got now. Wilder bases most of his fighting on power, so if Fury nullifies that then it’ll take a big part of his game away.
Fury knows how to slow people up and calm situations down in the ring. He’s a very clever and experienced boxer who rises to the occasion. He’s able to improvise and he’s got a good boxing brain. He would’ve definitely learned lessons and taken things on board from the first fight, which he’ll be able to take into rematch. He needs to be a bit more mobile than last time and torment the life out of Wilder. He’s not a massive puncher – although he can punch a bit – but he’s a very good boxer. If Wilder doesn’t get him with the big bombs, everything favours Fury.
Jim McDonnell: I think that with training someone to fight Wilder, there are similarities to when I trained Danny Williams to fight Mike Tyson. Tyson had that punch power and fear factor like Wilder. It’s no secret that Wilder’s probably the biggest puncher ever. Fury will be well aware of that. It’ll all come down to his mental preparation. Going back to Mike Tyson, a lot of his opponents were so terrified of him that they were beaten before the first bell. That’s why when I was training Danny for that fight, we did a lot of mind drills to get his mindset right.
Fury always talks a good fight but I’m sure there’ll be some fear in him. That’s not a negative though. It’s a plus. Having fear of Wilder’s power will make him extra sharp from the get-go. We all know he’s got the skills and ability to beat Wilder, but it only takes one split second to get knocked out. Concentration is everything for Fury in this fight. He can’t even think about switching off for a nanosecond, because Wilder’s power and timing is unreal. He’s got to tie Wilder up, bend a few rules and just rack up the points.
John Scully: This is one of the most interesting, must-see heavyweight fights of the last 20 years. Tensions will be even higher than they were for the first fight and both fighters will have to overcome what the other brings to the table in order to win.
Wilder’s supernatural punch power makes any bet against him an extremely risky one. Nevertheless, Fury has no real reason to not do exactly what he did last time – that being making himself a difficult target, being loose and relaxed, while outwardly exhibiting confidence and putting unexpected punches together fluidly.
Fury laid the blueprint beautifully in the first fight on how to nullify Wilder’s strengths. For long stretches of the fight Wilder looked completely lost and out of sorts. Fury would be very wise to keep Wilder turning in circles and looking for him, implementing dozens of head and shoulder feints in the process, not letting him get set to throw his big power shots. Fury should also think about getting off first, punching at Wilder before he gets a chance to set himself. In the first fight, Fury had great success with that at times and should definitely make it a focal point of his approach in the rematch.
Martin Bowers: The second time around, the boxer should beat the puncher. Fury’s an enigma but I think he’ll win. Even though he stopped John McDermott and Dereck Chisora in his only two previous rematches, I can’t see him stopping Wilder. I’d be very surprised if he did. I think he’ll win a decision. Fury on points
Dominic Ingle: Wilder’s got it all to do because Fury’s very good defensively. I don’t think Fury’s going to get dropped this time. I think he’ll avoid the big shot, outbox Wilder and win on points. I can see him being super cautious and on edge, because he knows what Wilder can do with his power. Fury on points
Jim McDonnell: I’m going to go for a Fury points win, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it. Wilder’s such a dangerous puncher so it’s almost impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen. Fury will have to come through some tough moments, but I think he can get the victory. Fury on points.
John Scully: If I had to put some cash on a winner, I’d somewhat hesitantly predict that man to be Fury. I think he may be able to avoid Wilder’s bombs, fight an even smarter fight this time around – with more punches thrown in combinations – and come away with a unanimous decision. Fury on points