LOS ANGELES – The most important heavyweight championship battle on American soil for more than 15 years will take place on the same site as the previous match.
On Saturday night, the Staples Center – the site of the June 2003 classic between Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko – will reopen for the heavyweights, while World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder will defend his title against Britain's Tyson Fury.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KO) of Tuscaloosa, Alaska, is the best American heavyweight to feature since the days of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. His rise in the ranks of the heavyweights has not been slowed down even though he is – by the admission of his own team – completely brutal as a boxer. Wilder assistant coach Mark Breland, 1984 Olympic gold medalist told The Undefeated that his office was, from his point of view, "about my position [age] 11. "
But Wilder's faults have been camouflaged by his incredible power. Bermane Stiverne, one man, has already managed to distance Wilder. And in a rematch in 2017, Wilder, 33, eliminated Stiverne in the first round. In March, his right hand punished him helped to overcome several moments of tension and to score a knockout in the 10th round against Luis Ortiz. It is not illegal to compare Wilder's power to powerful hitters such as Tyson, George Foreman and Earnie Shavers.
Conversely, Fury (27-0, 19 KO) does not expect to win the fight with strong shots – despite its impressive build of 6 feet 9 inches and 256.6 pounds. Instead, he will seek to use his long jab to repel Wilder's attacks and prevent the champion from penetrating inside.
Fury, 30, enters the category of outsiders on Saturday. But he also had little chance against Wladimir Klitschko before his 2015 fight and Fury dominated the future Hall of Fame to win a decision victory.
After this staggering victory, Fury spent the next two and a half years away from sport – as he struggled with substance abuse, depression and other mental health issues. But he looked solid in two fights back this year and he is in excellent physical condition. He must be fit enough to cover the ring for 36 minutes and avoid Wilder stinging his right hand.
On the underlying card, Accokeek, Maryland, Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KO), a native of the team, returns to the game after a shoulder surgery in April. He will defend his middleweight titles in junior middleweight international boxing federation, International Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association against the British Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KO).
What do you want to know
When: Eastern Saturday, December 1st
Or: Staples Center, Los Angeles
TV: Showtime PPV ($ 74.99) | Current: Showtime.com or Showtime app
Deontay Wilder (c) vs. Tyson Fury (WBC Heavyweight Title)
Jarrett Hurd (c) against Jason Welborn (WBA, IBF, IBO titles)
Luis Ortiz against Travis Kauffman (heavyweight)
Joe Joyce vs. Joe Hanks (Heavyweight)