WHEN analysing the outcome of a rematch there’s two things to be considered before all others: What happened in the first fight and what’s happened since. Those two factors alone make the sequel between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and challenger Tyson Fury truly fascinating.
Their respective journeys to fight one – Fury’s physical and mental turnaround or Wilder’s ongoing quest for respect – are also worthy of consideration, but I believe events since the afternoon of December 1, 2018, will play the biggest role in deciding the result of the sequel.
Fury deserved the decision in their opener, in my opinion. That he outboxed Wilder for long periods will unquestionably provide comfort to the Englishman. That he was knocked out in the last round, albeit not for the required 10 seconds, will also play on his mind. In a similar way, Wilder will remember how tricky and skilled his opponent was and, behind the scenes, consider the possibility that he may not find the finisher this time. Yet he will be upbeat that, after the most difficult 11 rounds of his entire career, he engineered the opening and confident that his subsequent work subsequently has made him a better fighter.