Beaten from start to finish in their second meeting, Deontay Wilder has taken a “massive roll of the dice” to take down WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in Las Vegas on Sunday AEDT.
British defending champion Fury tipped the scales at 277lbs (125.6kg) at their weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, while Wilder came in at 238lbs (107.95kg).
Fury, who declined to take his shirt off as he climbed on to the scales, is four pounds heavier than the 273lbs he weighed when scoring a seventh-round knockout of Wilder in their second meeting 20 months ago.
It means Wilder will come in 37lb (16 kgs) lighter than his opponent when he attempts to reclaim his WBC title from the unbeaten Fury at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.
Wilder’s previous heaviest fighting weight was the 231lbs (104.71 kg) he weighed during his knockout defeat to Fury last year.
But what does it mean?
According to some, it’s clear indicator that Wilder will come out swinging after being physically dominated during his second-meeting loss in early 2020.
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Friday’s weigh-in saw both fighters kept apart by security as Fury once again taunted Wilder with a stream of expletives and threats of a gruesome beating.
Asked what the significance of his heaviest ever weight would be, Fury replied: “It means total obliteration of a dosser.
“Total annihilation. That’s what it means to me — 277 pounds … I’m going to put him in the Royal Infirmary after this fight, don’t worry about that.”
– ‘Severely hurt’ –
Asked for his prediction on how he expected the fight to go, Fury added: “With him severely hurt on the floor, smashed to bits, like he’s been run over by an 18-wheeler truck.
“Last time he complained he had cracked skull and an injured arm. Well I can’t wait for Saturday night. I’m really going to severely damage him. He’ll be unrecognisable after the fight. I’ll send him home butchered.”
Earlier this week, Fury (30-0-1, 21 knockouts) had played down the significance of his fighting weight, insisting he had prepared properly.
“I’m not aiming for a specific weight, I’m just eating plenty of food,” Fury said.
“I’ve trained hard enough and that’s it. Whatever I weigh in on the night, I weigh in at,” the 33-year-old said.
However Fury’s failure to remove his t-shirt during Friday’s weigh-in earned taunts from Wilder’s supporters, with one member of the challenger’s entourage shouting pointedly: “You fat, dude!”
Fury-Wilder chaos erupts as face-off abandoned after fiery foul-mouthed rant
Fury meanwhile dismissed Wilder’s decision to change trainers following his defeat to the Briton last year.
Wilder is now trained by former heavyweight Malik Scott, who was himself knocked in one round by Wilder back in 2014.
“It’s one shithouse teaching another shithouse how to bomb,” Fury said.
“Both a pack of losers. And they both ain’t worth a sausage.”
Wilder for his part declined to engage with Fury’s goading, instead emphasising his calmer approach and “joyful” training camp.
“Calmness is the key to the storm,” Wilder said.
“I know that when I’m not calm, my mind is cloudy. And when you’re mind is cloudy it allows you to make bad decisions. But when you’re calm you can weather the storm.
“I have rejuvenated myself and reinvented myself. Redemption is upon us. I can’t wait to show the world what I’m all about.”
Saturday’s fight is third instalment of Wilder and Fury’s three-year rivalry. The two men fought to a bruising draw in Los Angeles in 2018 before Fury scored a one-sided victory over the American in their second fight last year.
The trilogy fight is going ahead after an independent arbitrator ruled in May this year that Fury must give Wilder a rematch or be stripped of his title.