American boxer Deontay Wilder will be at a career high weight, but will still be 42 pounds lighter than Tyson Fury for their much-anticipated heavyweight rematch at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Wilder weighed in at 231 pounds (105 kg) and Fury tipped the scales at 273 pounds on Friday as both boxers weighed in much heavier than they did for their first fight 14 months ago. Wilder is 18 pounds heavier and Fury added 15 pounds to his frame. Organizers cancelled Friday’s face-to-face photo op at the weigh in after the fighters exchanged shoves during the final news conference on Wednesday.
But the pair did jaw at each other from a distance on the podium.
“That’s my belt. That’s mine,” Fury yelled at Wilder, who holds the WBC heavyweight title.
The two will square off in one of the biggest heavyweight fights recent memory Saturday at the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena.
Tickets for Saturday’s bout have been changing hands for up to $11,000, while promoters predict the event could generate more than 2 million pay-per-view sales in the United States alone.
At the centre of the action are two of heavyweight boxing’s most charismatic and skillful protagonists, the hard-hitting “Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Fury, the eccentric, self-styled “Gypsy King” from northern England.
Both men will be taking unbeaten records into the 12-round contest, with the 34-year-old Wilder looking to add Fury’s name to a tally which reads 42-0 with one drawn and 41 knockouts.
The fight is a classic clash of styles, pitting Wilder’s devastating knockout power against the more elusive, mobile defensive style of Fury.
In their first fight in Los Angeles, Fury recovered from two juddering knockdowns to claim a draw, miraculously climbing off the canvas in the 12th round to hang on for a share of the spoils.
Once the final bell rang, the judges ruled it a controversial split draw: 114-112 for Fury, 115-111 Wilder and 113-113.
Wilder will be making the 11th defence of his title in an attempt to break a tie with Muhammad Ali for consecutive heavyweight defences.
He demolished Dominic Breazeale in one round last May, and then scored a spectacular one-punch seventh-round knockout of Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in November.
Fury has promised to take a more aggressive approach this time around. But cuts are a worry after he required more than 40 stitches to patch up a horrific gash over his right eye in an unimpressive win over Otto Wallin in his last fight in September.