Wednesday 12 December 2018

Wilder warns rival he should 'fear for his life' as Fury seeks 'true path'

Deontay Wilder wears a mask at yesterday’s weigh-in at Los Angeles Convention Center ahead of tonight’s fight with Tyson Fury. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Deontay Wilder wears a mask at yesterday’s weigh-in at Los Angeles Convention Center ahead of tonight’s fight with Tyson Fury. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

The heavyweight world title fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles tonight has grown into one of the most anticipated in modern times, simply because no one really knows what will happen when the first bell tolls.

It could go many ways. It is, for one, a clash of styles: Wilder, the 6ft 7in WBC champion, is an out-and-out puncher, while 6ft 9in Fury is an outlandishly effective boxer likely to be more than two stone heavier. Both boxers are undefeated - with 67 contests between them - both have huge egos, compelling personalities and fascinating back stories.

Fury, who was the world No 1 three years ago, has won the battle of the set-pieces this week, but in a dark moment after they had squared up at the news conference, Wilder said: "He should fear for his life. I want you to look into my eyes. I mean it, fear for his life."

This was the 'Bronze Bomber' of Alabama, the alter-ego of the champion, who, taking off his sunglasses, glared outwards at the thought of dismantling the self-proclaimed 'Gypsy King.'

Wilder is a fighter, who, after all, has knocked out all 39 of his opponents and has openly said that he would not mind a death on his record.

Fury's return, beating mental illness and losing 140lb, has become the "story of a man fighting for survival and to be the champion again", in his own words, as he prepares to take on the world's biggest puncher after a short comeback following 30 months in the wilderness.

Preceding this, Fury had shocked the world when he outboxed Wladimir Klitschko, the reigning heavyweight king for a decade, to claim three world title belts. "I believe it was my destiny, and that destiny was achieved," Fury said yesterday.

"This time, I think it's more than boxing. That may sound silly, but it's more than boxing that I'm brought back for. The journey I've been on, no one will ever know the true path. This has been the hardest, longest comeback, fighting for survival on a daily basis, that could ever be possible. To be on the verge of being a heavyweight world champion again, I think there's a bigger story than a boxing fight." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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