Wilder and Fury have never been more dangerous – Ward

Oleh Dejan Kalinic 21 Februari 2020 29
Wilder and Fury have never been more dangerous – Ward

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have never been more dangerous than now ahead of their showdown, according to former light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward.

Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight title in an eagerly awaited rematch with Fury in Las Vegas, following on from their controversial draw in December 2018.

Ward, who retired in 2017 with an undefeated record, said Wilder and Fury had only become better since their previous bout.

"In my days of following the sport I have several memories of big heavyweight fights, but I don't know if I can remember a heavyweight fight with fighters in their prime, at this stage in their career," he told Omnisport.

"I do believe that Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are in their absolute prime, their absolute peak and even since the first fight, both fighters have bolstered their reputations, they're more popular than they've ever been. I feel like both guys are more dangerous than they've ever been.

"There's just a lot riding on this and you can feel it in the air in Las Vegas that neither fighter can afford to lose and I think both fighters are going to do whatever they have to do to get their hand raised Saturday."

Both Wilder and Fury claim they should have been victorious in Los Angeles nearly 15 months ago, with the former twice knocking down the Brit.

Ward, who beat Sergey Kovalev twice at the end of his career, said the adjustments Fury was looking to make could mean a shorter fight.

"Rematches are all about taking away some adjustments, like what was your takeaway from the first fight and you have to be honest with yourself, even if you don't share with anybody else," he said.

"You've got to be honest about where you got hit, why you got hit, if the guy was strong, if his punch was a lot heavier than you thought. That way you can make the adjustment then you take the takeaway, make the adjustment and then obviously come fight night the hard work is about executing.

"I think Deontay Wilder has definitely worked on a few things, I hear him talking about being more patient, I've heard word out of his camp that he's trying to work on his jab and how to disguise and hide his power a little bit more. I think those are great adjustments. You don't need major adjustments in rematches, you just need the right ones.

"Tyson Fury, on the other hand, he's talking about making polarising adjustments. He doesn't want to box nearly as much as he did the first time, he's talking about coming in bulkier, coming in heavier, 14 and a half pounds north of what he came in the first fight.

"That tells us that he wants to toe the line and attack and fight Deontay Wilder and if he does that it's going to be a short night for either guy, I just don't know which one it's going to be."

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Dejan Kalinic