The eyes of the boxing world will be fixated on Los Angeles this Saturday when a pair of unbeaten giants square off at the Staples Center.
WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder matches his powerful right hand against the awkward craft of lineal champion Tyson Fury in a Showtime pay-per-view main event that’s among the biggest fights the division has seen in two decades.
So which heavyweight comes out on top? We pooled the thoughts of some of boxing’s biggest current names and well-known legends, including fighters who have shared the right with the combatants to get their take.
Deontay Wilder wins
George Foreman, two-time heavyweight champion: “I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach. The great thing about this fight is that we’re all talking about it. I think Wilder wins a close decision.”
Riddick Bowe, two-time heavyweight champion: “If Wilder comes out and means business, then he should beat Fury with ease. My prediction is Wilder by knockout!”
Luis Ortiz, heavyweight contender (lost to Wilder): “If Fury decides he wants to dip and dive and move, then he can extend the fight. But it’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”
Tyson Fury wins
Mike Tyson, two-time heavyweight champion: “Although Wilder’s punch is strong, nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.”
Amir Khan, welterweight contender: “Fury is taking such a massive risk fighting Wilder. I just feel like whenever it’s time to pull it off, Tyson pulls it off. Everyone underestimated him against Klitschko and he went there and beat him. I know both fighters very well but one thing about Fury is his unorthodox style is going to work for him and is going to cause Wilder a lot of problems. I don’t think Fury will stand there and take that one big shot from him, he will be moving from side to side. It’s a hard fight to call but I lean a little bit more towards Fury on this night.”
Anthony Joshua, unified heavyweight champion: “I need Wilder to win and that way it gives me an opportunity to fight him. As a champion, if he retains his belt, that’s a fight that people have been yearning for so 2019, hopefully, is a big year for me.”
Evander Holyfield, former four-time heavyweight champion: “It’s a great fight. Fury’s got a lot of skills, he’s awkward and he has long arms. He has good reflexes and is a strong counter-puncher. Deontay needs to be first and he can’t wait on Tyson. Tyson’s always been the bigger fighter. In fighting Deontay it’s the same case. If things get difficult, he’s [Fury] got more experience and a lot of tricks. I think with Deontay’s power, he might be able to end it early, but if Tyson can frustrate him and it goes the distance, then it could go his way.”
Lennox Lewis, former three-time heavyweight champion: “If it goes the distance then it belongs to Tyson Fury. If it’s a short fight it will belong to Deontay Wilder. This is an epic and most-unpredictable showdown. I can’t wait for this fight.”