Sunday, November 29

Deontay Wilder ‘points win in Las Vegas impossible’ Tyson Fury

Fury, 31, drew with Wilder in Los Angeles in 2018 and he hopes to avoid controversy by securing a knockout in their rematch on Saturday.

But he said similarities in his style with Floyd Mayweather – who landed 15 wins by decision in Vegas – is reason for his confidence in the judging.

“That slick style works and the judges here like that,” Fury told BBC Sport.

“Wilder can’t beat me on points, it’s not possible. This is Las Vegas, not Los Angeles.

“One of the greatest boxers that has ever lived in Mayweather has come from this town and they can appreciate a master boxer here.

“If it goes 12 rounds I have won.”

Fury conducted media commitments at the offices of his US promoters Top Rank on Monday, a short drive from the Las Vegas strip where his bout with WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder can be seen advertised on billboards and blackjack tables.

He spoke glowingly of his first camp under trainer SugarHill Steward after his split from Ben Davison and will also fight for the first time since appointing Conor McGregor’s nutritionist George Lockhart as his personal chef.

Those closest to the British heavyweight believe his dietary changes have offered notable results. The team have also appointed legendary cuts man Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran to ensure the damage caused by a cut that required 47 stitches in Fury’s last fight does not pose an issue.

Fury continues to predict a second-round stoppage of Wilder – who has never been floored as a professional – and trainer Steward told BBC Sport he was brought into the team because he is a “knockout architect”.

“To knock out a knockout artist you have to make them go backwards and back them up,” Fury told the BBC Radio 5 Live Boxing podcast.

“Wilder is used to coming forwards his whole career. He has never knocked anyone out on the back foot.

“All bullies when they are backed-up, fold. Wilder is no different to any other playground bully. When someone stands up to Deontay Wilder, he will fold. I will prove that on Saturday.

“Technically he is not so great. Fighting Deontay Wilder is like giving a seven-year-old an AK-47 in a room, fully loaded. He is easy to control but could let rip any time.

“He can throw punches from novice angles that usually a world champion or high-level professional wouldn’t throw. They come from the floor sometimes or around corners so you have to have your wits about you.”

Fury is expected to weigh in about 10lbs heavier than when he out-pointed Sweden’s Otto Wallin in September and again believes extra bulk will help him stop Wilder.

On Monday, Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas told BBC Radio 5 Live it was “advantageous” his fighter last competed as recently as November, when he knocked out Luis Ortiz.

But Fury is adamant the 34-year-old Alabama fighter’s five-year “reign as world champion is over” and any win would see him reclaim world-champion status for the first time since he gave up his titles when he battled personal issues in the wake of beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

A set of three bout with Wilder may form part of his next move and while there are also calls for him to face IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, Fury is only certain of how long he has left in the sport.

“I am in the latter end of my career,” he added. “Three more fights, whether it takes a year or 18 months. The Gypsy King will be no more within two years that’s for sure.”

Fury’s rematch with Wilder was carefully plotted, with promoters Top Rank overseeing him build his profile with wins in the US over Tom Schwarz and Wallin in 2019.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum, 88, believes the contest will now sell in excess of two million purchases on pay-per-view.

Sitting with BBC Sport in his Las Vegas office, Arum said: “You may not know what has happened in the USA. We have two major networks pushing the fight, Fox and ESPN.

“Fox broadcast the Super Bowl. A 30-second commercial on the Super Bowl costs $5.6m [£4.3m]. Fox gave us two slots. When you put a spot like that on in the Super Bowl, you reach over 130 million people in the United States.

“Last weekend you could not put a sports network on and not see adverts for this bout. Nothing like that has ever happened in this country since I have been in this business in 1966.”

Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas Date: Saturday, 22 February Time: About 04:00 GMT, Sunday, 23 February.