Wilder vs. Fury 2 fight predictions: Legends, world champions make picks for heavyweight title rematch
No one knows what it takes to win a world championship as much as fighters who have done so in their careers
Heavyweight championship boxing fights rarely provide a chance for redemption. After Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury were left with an unsatisfying split draw in their first encounter in December 2018, though, the pair of sluggers will run it back with the WBC and lineal heavyweight crowns on the line inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
With such high stakes in Sin City this weekend, media members are asking anyone and everyone who they like to win this epic rematch. We at CBS Sports did our best to compile some of the biggest names in boxing and see which way they are leaning. From current champions, like Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez, to legends like "Sugar" Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson, everyone has an opinion.
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Let's get down to the picks before the heavyweights throw down on Saturday.
Deontay Wilder wins
Sugar Ray Leonard, former five-division world champion: "I like Deontay Wilder to win, possibly by knockout, but, in truth, I don't see either guy being knocked out. I think that Wilder not only has that powerful right hand, but that he has improved in his ability to set it up. On the other hand, I know that Tyson Fury has excellent boxing abilities and a tremendous chin from the way that he got up from the two knockdowns in their previous fight. In the end, I think that Wilder is always in shape and that he will use his speed and power to get the job done." [PBC press release]
Manny Pacquiao, WBA welterweight world champion: "Never bet against a puncher, particularly one like Deontay Wilder. I look at Wilder like I do at a Mike Tyson, another puncher. I see Wilder winning this rematch with Tyson Fury by 10th-round knockout." [PBC press release]
Thomas Hearns, former five-division world champion: "Deontay Wilder can box and win, but I think that his power will be the difference in defeating Tyson Fury. I believe that it will go to a decision again, but with Deontay Wilder winning it." [PBC press release]
Evander Holyfield, former two-division world champion: "I'm picking Deontay Wilder based on his confidence and the fact that he does all of the right things to remain in great shape, and that he's committed to his craft. Wilder's not just a big guy with a right hand, but he's also become more calculated in his approach. That's why I'm picking him to win this second fight against Tyson Fury." [PBC press release]
Shawn Porter, former two-time welterweight world champion: "I have not had this hard of a time picking a winner of a fight after dissecting every component in a very long time. I honestly believe that this fight right here will seal both of their legacies. This is a 50-50 fight for several reasons. Deontay Wilder will be much more patient and freer from the anxiety he had trying to put on a big show in the first fight. Tyson Fury is now two years from depression, two fights from the retirement he came out of to fight Wilder. Fury has changed trainers in order to take the fight to Wilder and win by KO. Fury still has his speed and quickness, while Wilder is still powerful and more confident. It's going to be a great fight. It's razor thin until the end. I'm picking Wilder to win by KO, Fury by points, or Fury by KO. This is a 50-50 fight. I said on 'Inside PBC Boxing' a couple of weeks ago that Wilder wins by KO, but I'm picking the fans to win." [PBC press release]
Larry Holmes, former heavyweight world champion: "Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury in the seventh or eighth round if he does what I know that he can do, which is stay on the outside, use his jab, throw that right hand over the jab." [PBC press release]
David Haye, former two-division world champion: "I don't think people have mentioned the horrendous cut that Tyson Fury received in his last fight. I believe that would be opened up. Once he's lost one eye, Tyson Fury's view and perspective will be lost and he'll end up, unfortunately, walking into one of the biggest shots in boxing history as Wilder is that guy." [BT Sport]
Keith Thurman, former welterweight world champion: "I'm going with Deontay Wilder, who is one of the most dangerous punchers in boxing history. There's something about the first time that you step into the ring with an opponent, the entire, 'I've never seen you; you've never seen me before.' But the fact is, Wilder now knows the movement, the speed and the tactics that Tyson Fury has, but, of course, Fury has the ability to dance, move around and change it up. But as long as Wilder can keep up with and move with him, I believe that he will do what he does best. I believe that Wilder can end the fight at any moment, aiming that right hand straight down the pipe, which he just about did in the last fight. It's a tremendous event, I missed the first one, but I'll be present at this next one and another great heavyweight rivalry. Team BombZquad." [PBC press release]
Mikey Garcia, former four-division world champion: "I've got Deontay Wilder knocking out Tyson Fury in the eighth round. Wilder will be much more aggressive than he was in their first fight. Wilder will catch Fury with a big shot in the eighth round." [PBC press release]
Jermall Charlo, WBC middleweight world champion: "Deontay Wilder by knockout in the 10th over Tyson Fury. Deontay has to establish the jab early to get close, then crank right hands repeatedly." [PBC press release]
David Benavidez, WBC super middleweight world champion: "I think Deontay Wilder knocks out Tyson Fury in the 11th round, but I think it's gonna be a close fight until that happens. Still, I think Wilder wins the fight. I think Tyson Fury will have a lot of success early, but that ultimately Wilder will catch him with that big right hand and knock him out." [PBC press release]
Anthony Dirrell, former two-time super middleweight world champion: "I am picking Deontay Wilder to win the rematch with Tyson Fury, and I think that it will happen in Round 8 or 9. I just believe that Wilder will be better than he was in the last fight, and you can just look at his record in rematches against Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz." [PBC press release]
Charles Martin, former heavyweight world champion: "Deontay Wilder's gonna win by knockout. I believe that Tyson Fury will be out-boxing Wilder for most of the rounds, but then, he will get stopped by that powerful right hand in the eighth." [PBC press release]
Bermane Stiverne, former heavyweight world champion: "I think Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury, it's just a matter of when he lands the right hand or the left hook and finishes him off. Wilder's power saved him in the last round against Fury the first time, but I think that now that Fury has tasted Wilder's power, I think that has to be in the back of his mind. Whether it's the first or the last round, just like Fury was doing well in the first fight, I think it's going to be a knockout for Wilder." [PBC press release]
Tyson Fury wins
Mike Tyson, former two-time heavyweight world champion: "I like both of them as fighters, they both came from nothing and achieved becoming heavyweight champion; you have to respect that, I was in their position one time. In the first fight I was hoping for Tyson Fury, I always pulled for him because he was named after me, that is the natural thing to do, right? I was always biased toward him. He is very likeable, he is a nice person. I never understood Tyson, I just kept seeing him beating decent fighters. I didn't know if they were washed up or throwing the fights because Tyson did not look like he should be beating them. But he was and he was laughing at them, that made me a fan. He is so much better than what he appears to be and looks like. This will be a really interesting fight because both guys will have something to prove. I just wish the best for Tyson Fury, I'm a Tyson fan." [BT Sport]
Canelo Alvarez, super middleweight champion: "It's going to be a very interesting fight. If Tyson does things right until the last second of the fight, I see him with more possibilities [to win]. He must make the perfect fight." [ESPN Deportes]
Conor McGregor, former UFC two-division world champion: "Deontay Wilder's a power guy, but I think if [Fury] keeps his mind strong, keeps his playfulness in there, keeps his sharpness and his elusiveness, I think he can do the job." [BT Sport]
Anthony Joshua, current heavyweight world champion: "If I was a betting man, yeah, I think that Fury wins." [BT Sport]
Ricky Hatton, former two-division world champion: "I think Tyson is the best heavyweight in the division and I think Wilder is the second-best heavyweight in the division. If it's half the fight it was last time from the value of the spectator point of view, we're in for a treat, aren't we? I thought [Fury] won the last one and I think he'll win this one." [BT Sport]
Jamel Herring, WBO junior lightweight world champion: "If Fury can box the same way he boxed in the first fight, without any scares, he can pull it off. On the flip side, it's hard to pick against Wilder, as he always looks more impressive in rematches." [PBC press release]
Carl Frampton, former two-division world champion: "I think it's a very difficult fight to call. Fury won the last one by a mile, but I think Wilder will be more aggressive this time, which may play into Fury's hands. Wilder can win by KO at any moment, but put a gun to my head, and I'd say Fury on points." [PBC press release]
Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division world champion: "I feel like it's going to be Tyson Fury on points, but it's a fight between the two best fighters in the weight class. The onus is Deontay Wilder to make the adjustments, whereas if Fury fights the same fight, odds are, he's probably going to get the decision. I do think that Fury has to be careful with getting careless in spots, but Wilder can't just fight believing that he can land one shot and get him out of there. Fury is a great boxer who can probably be better at avoiding the shot the second time around because he knows what he's dealing with." [PBC press release]
Andy Lee, former middleweight world champion: "Tyson Fury can win this fight with Deontay Wilder in any way that he wants, whether by stoppage or knockout or accumulation of punishment on points. But the way that Fury's looking in training, I will say that he wins by stoppage or knockout, and I'll say he wins in round number two. I'm a former Kronk Gym fighter, and he's being trained by [Emanuel Steward's nephew Javon] SugarHill Steward, and you know what all of us Kronk Gym fighters want - knockouts." [PBC press release]
Who will win Wilder vs. Fury 2, how long will the fight last, and which best bet pays 9-2? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets, all from the fight game insider who called Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale in the first round at 22-1.
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