Wilder v Fury 2: Big Fight Betting Preview

Wilder v Fury II - Big Fight Betting Preview

No major Heavyweight title bout in recent history epitomises a 50/50 fight like the one that takes place in Las Vegas on Saturday night (early Sunday morning for the UK). It’s the classic case of the “Puncher” vs the “Boxer”. In one corner the loud-mouthed American boasts a 95% knockout ratio, with one of the most devastatingly powerful right hands in the history of the division. In the other corner an even louder-mouthed Tyson Fury dances his 6ft 9-inch frame around the squared circle like a ballerina, bamboozling his opponents with classy footwork and slippery head movement. Both men claim to have won the first fight in Los Angeles, which the judges at ringside scored a spilt draw.

However, the night will forever be remembered for Tyson climbing up off the deck in the final round after eating a huge straight right-left hook combination from Deontay. In the middle of Wilder’s victory dance, Fury rose from the canvas and finished off the 12th round in style. This was only the second time in his career Wilder has heard the final bell ring. Bermane Stiverne took him the distance in 2015 and in the rematch Wilder knocked him out cold. Therefore, before he entered the ring against Fury, he had put to sleep every man he’d ever faced. This exemplifies the magnitude of the task faced with Tyson in that 12th round, when he found himself looking up at the lights in the Staples Center. But how did we get to that moment in the 1st fight and more importantly what do we have in store for the rematch at the MGM on Saturday?

Looking back to look forward … What we learnt in LA?

The first fight in LA was officially scored 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 Fury and 113-113, culminating in a split-decision draw. This left fight fans with more questions than answers. Answers we will hopefully get when these two giants trade leather once more. Or maybe history will repeat itself and if you fancy that happening the draw is priced at 20/1 on our odds site. On our 100 spread index the draw is priced at 2-5 (100 points for a draw, 0 for any other result). The boxing public was generally spilt on who they thought actually won the fight, maybe slightly wavering in favour of the Gypsy King. There are two main schools of thought, the first is that Fury outboxed Wilder over numerous rounds. The second is that Wilder won the fight through aggression and front foot pressing, not to mention the two knockdowns he managed to score.

A Furious Masterclass?

Firstly, let’s discuss the argument behind why Fury may have won the first fight and his case for winning the rematch. Periodically through the contest Tyson used lateral movement and his jerky faint-throwing style to steer well clear of Deontay’s power punches. He utilised his jab effectively in the early stages to keep Wilder’s right hand occupied, this also kept his opponent in the high-guard defensive position, which Wilder used to block Tyson’s incoming ‘flick’ left jabs. Ben Davison, who trained Tyson for the first fight, has commented recently saying this was a key tactic deployed in their training camp to keep Wilder’s dangerous right hand at bay. Davison and Fury parted ways as preparations began for the rematch, with Tyson teaming up with SugarHill Steward, who is the nephew of the legendary trainer Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward.

The jab is one the most important punches in boxing and especially in the Heavyweight division. This is because it acts as a range finder for further combinations (something Fury deployed well throughout the fight) and stops many incoming attacks in their tracks. Range for these two giants was another key factor and will be again in the rematch, but more on that later. For a 6ft 9inch 17 and half stone man Tyson Fury pretty much defies the laws of how a fighter this size normally operates. Quick feet and sharp lateral movement kept him moving away from Wilder’s right-hand side, while his ring IQ and slick reactions had Wilder punching air for the majority of the fight.

A Wild Knockout?

Every second, of every round, of every fight he has ever been in, Wilder is looking to set up his one big weapon … the straight right hand. He does this by closing the gap between himself and his opponent before they have time to slip the shot or move their feet out of range. He twice capitalised in this fight as he manoeuvred himself into position to really hurt Fury. The first was in the 9th round, as he managed to manipulate Tyson into a corner (somewhere you don’t want to be against a huge hitter) after he closed the distance, he unleashed a left hook and overhand right combination, which floored Fury. Tyson somewhat rode the shots, so they were more glancing blows which he was able to recover from quickly.

The second time Wilder closed the gap effectively it nearly won him the contest and will live long in the memory of all fight fans. 30 seconds into the 12th and final round Fury landed a crisp right hand of his own as he took the centre of the ring. Wilder reacts beautifully by launching his bodyweight forward onto his front foot and catching Fury high on the temple with a bomb of a straight right-hand lead, then a ferocious left hook for good measure before Fury hits the floor.

As impressive as it was to see Fury drag that big frame of his from the depths of defeat, what happened in the remaining two minutes of the fight was as equally astonishing. Wilder decided to empty the tank and throw the kitchen sink at Fury. The Gypsy King bobbed and weaved, gathered his senses and started to fire back one-two combinations of his own. The 12th round encapsulates a lot of what we have to look forward to in Vegas this Saturday. The freakish power of Wilder and the skill under intense pressure of Fury. The questions that remain will be; can Wilder land a shot that will keep Fury on the ground for the 10 count? Or can Fury stay elusive enough for 36 minutes to outbox Wilder and win on the judges’ scorecards? A Fury Points Win in the odds betting is 6/4. A Wilder Win by KO is 5/4.

How long the fight will last is an extremely interesting topic and a favourite with punters. Here at Sporting Index it is made even more tantalising when looking at our spread betting options. Our current ‘Minutes’ spread for the fight is 26-27, if you were place a £10 buy at 27 and the fight goes the distance (36 minutes) you would profit £90. On the flipside if there was a knockout in the first minute of the 8th round (25th minute of the fight) you would lose £20. The beauty here of spread betting is that it doesn’t matter who wins the fight, your focused solely on how long the fights lasts.

Tactics and adjustments

The unpredictable Tyson Fury

The biggest talking point coming into the rematch was the decision Tyson took to part ways with Ben Davison and bring in SugarHill Steward. The split, on the surface, seems to have happened amicably and we can only speculate the reasons behind this change in personnel. One opinion is Davison’s supposed lack of experience at the elite level. If this is true, Fury might be looking to add different elements to his game. One theory is that Fury is looking to come in slightly heavier to improve his power and plant his feet more in the fight, something SugarHill has built his reputation on as a trainer (following on from his legendary uncle). If this theory is one you fancy, the odds on a Tyson Fury KO win are 5/1.

This would be a bold strategy therefore the more likely reason is that Tyson just needed to freshen up the people around him and keep engaged in his training camp. Tactically Fury fought the first fight very well, from a boxing purists standpoint. If he tweaks other elements of his game (like landing heavier power punches as counters) then he can really do some damage to the American. Two out of the three judges at ringside had Fury cruising halfway through the fight. The tide seemed to turn when Fury was dropped in the 9th and gave up a 10-8 round to Wilder. This goes to show how quickly things can change in a Heavyweight title fight and why the rematch is so fascinating. Wilder to knock Fury out in the 9th round is currently 16/1.

Can Deontay Wilder Box?

Wilder is the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World. When he hangs up his gloves he will be remembered for his highlight reel knockouts and unrefined boxing style. This is how things seem on the surface, but if we dig a little deeper we can find Wilder to be a sound operator. He hasn’t become World Champion and defended his title ten times on pure fluke. He isn’t just knocking people out with blind luck, his feet positioning and movement are key factors in landing the finishing punches. This was evident in Wilder’s recent rematch with Luis Ortiz back in December. Ortiz dominated the fight winning the first 6 rounds with ease. Ortiz boxed well on the ‘outside’ countering with his overhand left at every opportunity. Wilder was incredibly passive. He didn’t let his hands go when Ortiz came to work on the ‘inside’, he waited patiently for his opportunity to strike.

And strike he did with 5 seconds remaining in the 7th round. Watching this knockout back, Wilder implements some very subtle moves to position himself perfectly. He paws his jab in Ortiz’s face which creates the perfect distance for him to strike (range being so vital as previously discussed, not only in this fight but boxing in general). He then faints another left jab which misdirects Ortiz’s defensive stance, leaving space for a short-straight right from Wilder. The final blow is a textbook sharp right hand, not travelling a great amount of distance but timed to perfection, straight down the pipe landing flush. Wilder had pretty much waited 7 rounds for this split-second opportunity and when it came he pounced ferociously.

This captures Wilder’s mentally when he enters the ring. He has so much confidence and self-belief in his ability to land a fight winning punch at any stage of a contest. This tactic is commendable in its bravery. Giving away rounds and waiting patiently is a bold strategy at this elite level of boxing. His first fight with Fury epitomised his mentally, if only Fury had not been able to rise off the deck it would have paid off. It goes to show the danger Wilder possess that at any stage of the fight in the right circumstances, he can end it at any moment. His endurance is very underrated as he is able to carry his power right up until the final bell.

In terms of adjustments, Wilder’s case is a fascinating one. One criticism he faces is when he has someone hurt or backed up he tends to fall over his feet and launches inaccurate swings. When Fury rose in the 12th round Wilder rushed in, throwing himself forward, swinging unbalanced and imprecise shots. This left him vulnerable to counters and he also gassed quickly, dumping major amounts of energy in the process. One adjustment he may look to make is patience and keeping a cooler head in these situations. When he smells blood if he can be patient and land more precisely on his opponent when he’s backed up, then it could be curtains for the Gypsy King. Can Wilder get a knockout in the 12th round? We have a Wilder KO in the 12th priced at 33/1.

Wilder v Fury II Betting Options Odds & Spreads

Fixed-Odds Betting

To recap, the main fixed-odds markets we have a Fury Points win at 6/4, a Wilder Knockout victory at 5/4 and the draw priced at 20/1. The fight winner market is on a knife-edge with Wilder priced at 10/11 and Fury at 20/21, a true Pick ’em contest!

Other markets of interest include the Fight Going the Distance, the yes selection being 21/20 and the no being 7/10. We have an Under/Over rounds line set at 10 rounds, less than 10 priced at 10/11 and at least 10 rounds 17/20. Grouped round betting is also a popular market with punters, Wilder to win in rounds 7-9 is priced at 19/4.

We also have some cracking specials for the big fight. The standouts include Fury to be knocked down and win the fight at 7/2. There were two knockdowns in the first fight and if you fancy that happening again our 2 Total Knockdowns price is 3/1. If you like an outside shout, we have Fury to be knocked down in the 12th and win the fight priced at 80/1

Spread Betting

A big talking point heading into this fight is how long will it last? Our Spread Betting options for the fight are a great alternative to the fixed-odds markets. Our Fight Minutes spread is 26-27. On the same theme is the Total Rounds spread, currently priced at 9-9.5.

Another interesting spread market is the Supremacy, we have Wilder the favourite with a spread of 3.5-6.5. This spread is a prediction on one fighter's dominance over another. Points are awarded as follows:10 points for winning, plus 3 points per round end remaining. So for example if Wilder knocks Fury out in the 1st round the market would make up at 46 points.

We also have some spread specials for the big night in Vegas. Highlights include Total Fight Knockdowns at 1.2-1.3. We are also offering Performance markets which are scored on this basis: 50pts KO win, 25pts for win by decision, 10pts for a draw and 20pts per knockdown scored. There is a minus 10pts everytime your man is knocked down. Our Wilder Performance spread is 33-37 and our Fury spread is 14-17.

Get ready for Saturday evening’s huge bout with Sporting Index’s industry leading boxing spreads and boxing odds.

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