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Wilder v Fury II: Redemption & risk define Las Vegas rematch

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will renew acquaintances for a much-anticipated heavyweight title rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday. 

The in-ring reunion between the pair has been near the top of boxing fans’ wish lists ever since Fury incredibly climbed off the canvas in the 12th round of their drawn first meeting 14 months ago.

Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title will again be on the line, with the champion set to compete on a grander stage than he did in Los Angeles and against a significantly fitter opponent.

It all makes for a tantalising prospect and, if this weekend’s bout delivers the same drama as the first, it will surely go down as one of the great heavyweight rematches.

FURY OUT TO COMPLETE REDEMPTION

Fury has spoken openly about his battle with drugs and depression and his return to the kind of level he displayed in the first fight with Wilder is one of modern-day sport’s most remarkable redemption stories.

However, the one thing his journey from losing the belts he won in a shock victory over Wladimir Klitschko to his return to the big stage lacks is a storybook ending. 

He has the chance to deliver that in Las Vegas. If he is indeed “match fit” as he has repeatedly claimed, Fury can afford to have great hope of seizing that opportunity.

CAN WILDER FINISH THE JOB?

As with Fury, the December 2018 stalemate is the only blemish on Wilder’s record.

The Bronze Bomber could hardly have done more to secure the victory, but he goes into this fight facing questions over whether he can put Fury down for good this time around.

Wilder has said he will target a cut around the eye Fury suffered in his last fight. His success in opening up that old wound could prove key to settling things in his favour.

THE CHALLENGER’S GAMBLES

In the gambling capital of the world, Fury has signalled his intent to put everything on the line to win the WBC strap.

The Briton has spoken frequently about his desire to knock Wilder out. A more aggressive strategy would carry an inherent risk and potentially give Wilder more chances to unleash fearsome flurries of his own.

Wilder is not infallible and looked close to being stopped in the first of his two victories over Luis Ortiz. However, Fury’s apparent change in strategy seems counter-productive given how he controlled the first fight.

A late change in trainer from Ben Davison to Sugarhill Steward also served to raise eyebrows and questions will be asked of that move and the change in approach should the challenger fall short.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE WINNER?

Regardless of who wins the sequel, there are already reports of an agreement being in place for the pair to complete a trilogy of fights. 

Yet, if there is a victor this time around, the spectre of Anthony Joshua, who holds every other world title belt in the division, will loom large for the champion.

Joshua appears to have a laundry list of opponents to keep him busy in the meantime. Yet eventually Fury and Wilder will have to end their spell as dance partners and the focus will turn a unification bout with Joshua that would mark the most significant heavyweight fight in decades.

This Article was first published on beinsports.com

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