Wilder and Fury continue 'unfinished business' in Las Vegas
LONDON – The 12th round of the original 2018 fight between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for the WBC (World Boxing Council) title is so timeless that it is still a hot topic 18 months later ahead of their Las Vegas rematch at the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday.
At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Fury had already been down in the ninth round but as the final bell neared, everyone in the arena thought it was over when Fury fell after a fierce right-left combination with his eyes closed.
In a split second, Fury opened his eyes and rose to his feet before fighting to a draw.
Veteran judges have been named for the rematch but Wilder says that punch gives him a psychological advantage as they prepare for round 13.
"Round 12 has been in his mind since this fight was announced. It's been in his head for a while," said Wilder.
"It was a miracle he got up. He should be saying thank you Lord Jesus. It's always living in his head that punch and as a fighter, I understand this.
"We risk our lives for the entertainment of others and you don't forget when you've been hurt. So coming into this fight, he knows what to expect already."
"Fair play to Wilder, he hit me with two of the best punches I've ever seen thrown that night," admitted Fury.
Championship-renowned referee Kenny Bayliss has been named for the fight along with judges Dave Moretti, Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman as the ringside judges.
"Kenny is a great referee," said Wilder.
"I like the way he move in the ring and the expressions on his face when he does that. I look forward to his expression when he's looking over Fury and counting to 10."
Britain's Fury is only the second fighter to last a 12-round fight with Wilder, who has a formidable record of 41 knock-outs from 42 fights, a talent Wilder described as a gift.
"I think I have proved that I have something very special," said Wilder.
"This is god given. I don't have to do any weights or cardio. It's born with me and it's an amazing feeling to have it."
Fury hopes to continue an unbeaten streak of 30 fights but he will aim to do so with a new trainer after leaving Ben Davison for Javan Sugar Hill Steward - the son of Emmanuel Steward, who once trained Wladimir Klitschko and former undisputed champion Lennox Lewis.
When Wilder heard this news, he thought that there were more secrets behind the scenes in Fury's camp.
"He's got a lot of nervous energy by changing a lot of his team and so many different things," Wilder explained "Like the saying goes, if it isn't broken, why fix it?"
The former champion Fury, who wrested the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles from Klitschko before a three-year hiatus, is known for his boxing skills rather than power but claims he will get a knockout win on Saturday.
But a key part of that win over Klitschko was crafted in the buildup with signature Fury bravado and Wilder says he is doing the same thing in Vegas.
The 35-year-old American remains convinced that the title will stay with him and that he won't be the one lying on his back.
"I don't believe nothing Fury says," claimed Wilder.
"I think he's just trying to butter me up like he did in the first fight with a lot of taunting. With a fighter as dangerous as I am, I don't see that (a Fury knockout win) happening.
"We'll pick up from where we left off because it's just unfinished business."dpa