Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder Ready for Huge Heavyweight Title Clash
Boxers Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will fight for the WBC heavyweight title this weekend.
Updated: Nov. 28, 2018 • 1:10 PM ET
Deontay Wilder is looking to keep his undefeated record this weekend.
The WBC heavyweight title will be on the line this Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as undefeated American champion Deontay Wilder will defend his belt against undefeated British challenger Tyson Fury, the former IBF, IBO and WBO champion, in a 12-round fight. Saturday’s co-main event will be for the IBF and WBA junior middleweight titles, as undefeated champion Jarrett Hurd will defend his belts against British challenger Jason Welborn.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is coming off a hard-fought battle and 10th-round knockout of Luis Ortiz in March. He was tested and hurt in the seventh round of the fight, but Wilder proved he has tremendous heart to match arguably the best punching power in the heavyweight division.
The 33-year-old Wilder, a Tuscaloosa, Ala. native, knows what he’s up against on Saturday and believes he’ll once again prove his value in the heavyweight division.
"I'm expecting Tyson Fury to be awkward, to be long and throwing his punches from distance and trying to outbox me,” Wilder said via BBC Sport. “May the best style win. I'm a true champion. A true champion knows how to adjust to any fighter and any style in the world.
"I'm one of the elite guys in the heavyweight division and I'll soon be the only champion. One face, one name from Alabama. All I want to do is accomplish my goals and when I've done that I'll get out of the sport. Unifying the division, reigning with all the titles and swiping out all of the best heavyweights in my time. I reckon I could beat George Foreman's record at 45 years old."
If Wilder gets by Fury on Saturday, he’s expected to have a unification bout against IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, who still doesn’t have an opponent for an upcoming fight in April. Whether that fight will be against Wilder remains to be seen.
“The Bronze Bomber” is looking to defend his belt for the eighth time and has key victories over Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne (twice), Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka and Eric Molina.
Fury returned to boxing in June after a two-year absence from the fight game, defeating Sefer Seferi followed by a victory over Francesco Pianeta in August. He won the IBF, IBO and WBO titles in November 2015 against Wladimir Klitschko; but Fury never defended the belts, citing depression as a primary reason for taking time away from the ring. He then went on a downward spiral to well-documented substance abuse, and it was questionable whether he would ever return to the ring.
The 30-year-old Fury was able to get clean and lose the excessive weight he gained during his time away from training. He has a new focus, now setting his sights on once again becoming a champion and using that star power to help make a difference in his community.
“They think I’ve just come here to pick up a few quid, but I couldn’t care less about the money,” Fury said via talkSPORT. “I don’t have much use for it. I’m planning to give it all away to the poor and for building houses for the homeless. I will probably wind up like all the other boxers down the years. Skint.”
Fury believes he has what it takes to defeat the current champion.
"Deontay's style will work into my hands," Fury said via ESPN. "The more he pushes, the quicker it ends. The more he wants to impress the fans, the quicker he loses. He's feeling the pressure already. He's very on edge around me."
The 30-year-old from Manchester, England has key victories over Klitschko, Christian Hammer, Dereck Chisora, Joey Abell and Steve Cunningham. If Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) can claim victory on Saturday, a unification bout with his fellow countrymen Joshua would be an intriguing matchup. Fury, though, cannot take Wilder for granted.
Saturday’s co-main event will feature undefeated champion Jarrett Hurd and his defense of the IBF and WBA junior middleweight titles, as he’ll take on journeymen challenger Jason Welborn.
Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) most recently defeated Erislandy Lara by split-decision in April to capture the WBA belt, dropping Lara with a short left hook in the 12th round that was the difference between winning and losing.
The 28-year-old Hurd underwent shoulder surgery in June, but has recovered well and is ready for a true contest on Saturday.
“Jason Welborn's a game opponent who vacated to fight for my two titles,” Hurd, an Accokeek, Md. native, said via Boxing Scene. “Jason just lost his Mom, and I've sent my condolences. When a fighter has something to fight for like he does, I know he's going to come prepared and has nothing to lose.
“But I wanna display my height, range and especially test my left arm with my jab to make sure it's back."
Hurd is looking for his eighth finish in nine fights and has defeated key fighters such as Lara, Austin Trout, Tony Harrison and Ionut Dan Ion.
Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs) vacated the British middleweight title and is dropping from middleweight to challenge Hurd. He’s on a five-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Tommy Langford by split-decision in September. The win marked back-to-back split-decision victories over Langford.
Despite moving down in weight, the 32-year-old Welborn will have his hands full with Hurd’s 6-foot-1, 76.5-inch reach. Fighting out of Tividale, United Kingdom, Welborn is confident that the world will be surprised on Saturday.
“The team and the confidence they have in me, they know with the strength and the ability I have and that I can beat fighters like this,” Welborn said via the Express & Star. “I’m just looking forward to getting out there now and showing the world what I am about. I’m ready for the best in the world.
“This is where putting a pair of boxing gloves on can change my life. If I do this, it will be a dream come true.”
• The main event and undercard can be seen this Saturday on Showtime Pay Per View at 9 p.m.
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