Tyson Fury has been installed as the odds-on favorite to win a rematch against
Deontay Wilder when they lock horns in February. Wilder was out-boxed for six
rounds against Cuban challenger Luis Ortiz in front of a raucous crowd at the
MGM Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The Bronze Bomber was staring
down the barrel of a first-ever defeat, but he then delivered a ferocious right hand
to end the fight in the seventh. It provided a reminder of his tremendous power, but
bookmakers feel he will now be vulnerable when he tangles with Fury again.
“I found my measurement, seen the shot and took it,” said Wilder after the fight.
“We have Tyson Fury the rematch next. It’s set to be done in February, so we will
see how that goes and then after that I am looking for a unification bout. The
heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts lingering around. There
should be one champion, and I think I am the perfect man for that job.”
Wilder has now recorded 10 straight title defenses, but he faces a stern test of his
mettle against Fury. They met at the Staples Center in LA last year and the general
consensus was that Fury was robbed of victory. The judges scored it a draw, but
Fury out-foxed Wilder throughout the fight, landed many more punches and
managed to climb back to his feet after being floored by the Bronze Bomber’s
fabled right hand.
A Leaner and Meaner Gypsy King Awaits
Fury went into the first fight as the huge underdog. He previously beat the
legendary Wladimir Klitschko to become the heavyweight champion of the world,
but he then spent years in the wilderness. Many felt he was a washed-up fighter
after his struggles with depression and drugs, and he was viewed as rusty, out of
shape and cruising for a beat down.
Yet the Gypsy King surprised everyone with his agility, defensive nous and
composure. He controlled the pace of the fight and appeared to have done enough
to seize the belt, only for it to be called a draw. Fury was magnanimous after the
match, but he knew he had been treated unfairly.
He shed a load of weight before the Wilder fight in December 2018, but he looks
even leaner and sharper now. He has more minutes under his belt after going 12
rounds with Otto Wallin in September, and he also showed his power with a brutal
knockout of Tom Schwarz in June. He is growing increasingly antagonistic
towards Wilder too, and it is easy to imagine Fury winning the mind games ahead
of their February showdown.
He is a magnificent defensive fighter and he is technically superior to Wilder, who
was thoroughly outclassed by Ortiz during the first six rounds on Saturday night.
That is why Fury is the odds-on favourite to win the rematch in the Marathonbet
boxing odds , while Wilder is now the clear outsider. The Bronze Bomber is out at
+125 (5/4) with some sportsbooks, while Fury is priced at anywhere between -150
Dynamite in Wilder’s Right Hand
Yet it is always dangerous to bet against Wilder due to his phenomenal punching
power. He was behind on all three scorecards against Ortiz and then he simply
annihilated his opponent with a one-punch KO. The man has dynamite in his right
hand. As long as he is standing, he can conjure up a moment of magic to win any
“These guys have to be perfect for 12 rounds,” said Wilder after the fight. “I
have to be perfect for 2 seconds. Each and every time I have proved that.”
The champion claimed that he went into the fight against Ortiz with a game plan,
arguing that he was happy to be down on the scorecards as he was just biding his
time and waiting for the perfect moment to unleash that right cross. “He was getting a little tired and wearing down,” said Wilder. “Once that point came about, and I had seen my range, I had my distance, bam, baby, goodnight.”
Bam indeed. It was an absolute beauty of a punch. It split Ortiz’s guard, knocked
an avalanche of sweat off his head and sent him crashing to the ground. You might
ask questions of how flat he looked for six rounds, but it certainly cemented his
status as one of the most destructive punchers in history.
The Fight of 2019
It also added to the mystery of Fury’s ability to drag himself to his feet after being
dropped by a similar punch when he faced Wilder last year. The British
heavyweight rose like The Undertaker in a WWE bout, shook off the blow,
showboated a bit and ended up winning the rest of the round. Yet there is another
analysis of that fight. Some say that the count was slow and that Wilder should
have been handed victory via a 12th round knockout.
The referee who officiated the bout denied it, but his comments did suggest that
another ref could have played it differently. If Fury takes another blow of a similar
magnitude in February’s rematch, he could end up tasting defeat for the first time
in his life.
It promises to be a thrilling battle between two absolute titans of the sport. They
have contrasting styles, as Fury will try to offer another defensive masterclass and
run rings around his opponent, while Wilder will simply be waiting for the perfect
time to floor the Gypsy King. That should lead to another enthralling spectacle,
and they are both big personalities, which will help drum up interest in the bout.
It promises to be the fight of 2019 and the winner will be primed to face either
Andy Ruiz Jr. or Anthony Joshua in an eagerly anticipated unification bout. It will
be a huge event from a betting perspective, and it might be an idea to back Fury at
-125 and hedge with a bet on a Wilder knockout at +170.
What Next for Ortiz?
Ortiz is now 40 years old and the popular Cuban would appear to be in the twilight
of his career. Yet he has only ever lost to Wilder – twice now – and he remains a
highly respected heavyweight. He has called out the loser of the rematch between
Ruiz and Joshua, saying he is keen to fight whoever leaves Saudi Arabia empty
The prospect of Ruiz taking on Ortiz in a bid to reinvigorate his career after losing
to Joshua is exciting. Ortiz is a very intelligent boxer, whereas Ruiz is all about
power and guts, so they could end up putting on a great show. If Joshua is beaten
again he will be plunged into a period of introspection and soul-searching, so he
would be unlikely to take on Ortiz any time soon.
Another option would be Olesksanr Usyk, the Ukrainian southpaw who recently
stepped up to heavyweight and stopped Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds. It
feels like the division is alive and well once again, with the possibility of several
big fights on the cards in 2020, but Wilder versus Fury will be the highlight of the