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Wilder: This is it, this Fury knockout is going to be devastating


Deontay Wilder. Photo: Getty Images

Deontay Wilder. Photo: Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Deontay Wilder. Photo: Getty Images

Deontay Wilder cuts a compelling, chiselled figure entering his training base in Tuscaloosa as the 34-year-old counts down the days to his second prizefight with Tyson Fury for the No 1 position in the heavyweight championship of the world.

This is the fighting Wilder, ready for destruction. But there is a patience about him, a relaxed yet menacing calm. It bodes ominously for Fury.

As does the 6ft 7in champion's warning that he will put into practice lessons he learnt from their first, drawn fight 14 months ago.

"I'm starting where I left off. We know each other now. Two warriors with the mindset that you're going to have to damn near kill us.

"The key to the second fight is making the appropriate adjustments that I didn't make in the first fight. I did things I don't normally do. I was more wild. I was reckless. I'll be different this time."

Wilder is speaking in the Alabama Skyy Boxing Gym of his career-long trainer Jay Deas. The air hangs heavy with the perspiration of a dozen boxers, all of whom have been working hard for the past three hours.

Trainer Deas stands a little way off, listening, arms folded.

"This is the biggest heavyweight title fight in the world. I'm happy to be a part of it. The first fight was thrilling and left us with a controversial decision. This is what makes the second fight so exciting. It's bottom line time," says Wilder (right), removing his T-shirt for photographs.

His body is a story book of tattoos, epigrams, words and pictures adorning his huge, taut frame. He radiates health and his eyes are bright.

"Not only do I look good, I feel great as well. My life is structured around peace. I don't have no drama in my life. It took a long time to get to this point. That means a lot when you have to prepare for war.

"Come February 22, at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, it's going to be amazing. I'm thankful to be in these times of the heavyweight division. It was dead. But now it's breathing like a dragon."

Just 14 months ago, the battle of Los Angeles between Wilder and Fury was an intense thriller over 12 rounds, its denouement making it a classic as Fury was felled before regaining his feet and fighting back.

The fight was declared a draw. Many felt Fury - who boxed brilliantly - won on points, and the Briton has said he wants a decisive victory this time - a knockout.

Victory, though, will have a wider meaning for Wilder. He will be asked for his prediction time and again in the next seven days.

"When I visualise the fight and I look at it, I never really see the round," he says. "But since Mr Fury likes WWE so much, I can see myself hitting him and knocking him out of the ring. This is it. I tell people, worry about this fight. After this, all that disappears. There won't be another fight. The knockout is going to be devastating."

© Daily Telegraph, London