Fight Week: Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder set for one more collision

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FIGHT WEEK

HEAVYWEIGHT KING TYSON FURY AND DEONTAY WILDER ARE SET TO DO BATTLE A THIRD TIME ON PAY-PER-VIEW SATURDAY NIGHT FROM T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS.

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TYSON FURY (30-0-1, 21 KOs) VS. DEONTAY WILDER (42-1-1, 41 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Oct. 9

  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

  • TV/Stream: Pay-per-view

  • Division: Heavyweight

  • At stake: Fury’s WBC title

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Fury No. 8

  • Odds: Fury 2½ favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Efe Ajagba vs. Frank Sanchez, heavyweights; Robert Helenius vs. Adam Kownacki, heavyweights; Edgar Berlanga vs. Marcelo Esteban Coceres, super middleweights; Julian Williams vs. Vladimir Hernandez, junior middleweights

  • Prediction: Fury UD

  • Background: They fought to a disputed draw in December 2018. Fury sensationally stopped Willder in seven rounds in the rematch 14 months later. On Saturday, they’ll do it one more time. Fury was on track to face British rival Anthony Joshua for the undisputed championship in August but an arbitrator ruled that Fury was bound by a rematch clause in their contract for the second fight, which forced The Gypsy King to fight Wilder again even though their original rematch was conclusive. Fury imposed his size advantage on Wilder by fighting aggressively, which was out of character for the gifted boxer but resulted in a one-sided victory. One more victory would solidify Fury’s position as the true heavyweight king, particularly after cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk upset Joshua to win three of the four major belts on Sept. 25. Wilder fired trainer Mark Breland after the setback against Fury and has been working with former heavyweight contender Malik Scott, with whom he seems to have good chemistry. It remains to be seen whether the 35-year-old former champ can make the necessary adjustments to turn the tables on Fury from one fight to the next. The fight, which had been scheduled for July 24, was pushed back after Fury contracted the coronavirus.

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LIAM SMITH (29-3-1, 16 KOs) VS. ANTHONY FOWLER (15-1, 12 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Oct. 9

  • Where: Echo Arena, Liverpool, England

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Junior middleweight

  • At stake: No titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Smith 1½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Ted Cheeseman vs. Troy Williamson, junior middleweights; Kieron Conway vs. James Metcalf, junior middleweights; Shannon Courtenay vs. Jamie Mitchell, bantamweights (for Courtenay’s WBA title)

  • Prediction: Smith UD

  • Background: This battle of Liverpudlians in their hometown is crucial for both fighters. Smith, a former 154-pound beltholder, is coming off a close, but unanimous decision loss to unbeaten Magomed Kurbanov in May that spoiled his chances of getting another title shot anytime soon. If the 33-year-old beats Fowler, he will have gotten back on track. If he loses a second consecutive fight, it will be doubly difficult to bounce back. Smith will have the advantage of big-fight experience over Fowler. The hard-punching underdog has won six consecutive fights (four by knockout) since he lost a split decision to unbeaten Scott Fitzgerald in March 2019, his only setback. Fowler last fought in July, when he stopped German Rico Mueller in eight rounds. Fowler is 30. If he’s going to build toward fighting for a major belt, he needs to get moving. A victory on Saturday would be a big step for him.