Top Rank: Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III Predictions

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Top Rank: Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder Predictions

Pintsized Background

Fury vs Wilder III is finally upon us. No matter the incessant screeching of Fury ducking a title defence, Fury’s egg timers in the gloves or Wilder’s crazed faux-motivational eulogies – the two dossers are finally getting at it again in the ring. As a fan, I felt nothing but disappointment in the build-up this match-up. In my eyes, Fury has handily beat Wilder twice and I saw the trilogy as nothing more than a delay in the eventual unification bout with AJ. Now that Joshua has dropped the belts to Usyk and will enter an immediate rematch, I have slumped into a greater depression in the knowledge that an AJ vs Fury fight for the undisputed Heavyweight title in the UK will never occur.

I suppose Fury vs Wilder III at this point is an acceptable diversion. The tiny bit of excitement of Wilder dropping Mark Breland and heading over to the tutelage of Malik Scott is somewhat spicy, but judging by the training videos, they are planning to introduce a reinvented, technical out-boxing Wilder. At thirty-five years of age and lacking basic fundamentals in several areas, it is unlikely that Wilder will be able to maintain a composed approach throughout the twelve rounds – let alone when Fury disrupts his flow by bullying with his weight and reach. At least Wilder hits hard and Tyson is horrendously hittable in the early stages of a fight.

Prefer to read up on the other boxing action this weekend? No worries. Peep our preview of Matchroom: Liam Smith vs Anthony Fowler. Prefer a review of last weekend’s event to jog the memory, read MAFB: Joshua vs Usyk Review.

Unconvinced by Pintsized’s mystical predicting powers? Take a look at our prediction success last month detailed in Boxing Predictions Results: August 2021.

Deontay Wilder's big chance for the trilogy is to build himself towards a David Allen physique | Fury vs Wilder III
Deontay Wilder’s big chance for the trilogy is to build himself towards a David Allen physique | Fury vs Wilder III

Fury vs Wilder III: Main Event

Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21KO) vs Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

WBC World Heavyweight Title

Tyson Fury

As annoying as Fury’s followers can be, they aren’t wrong to believe that Fury has Wilder’s number in every avenue of this fight. The Gypsy King is the far superior technician, tactician and athlete (despite his body shape). There isn’t another man at Heavyweight, who is naturally 250lbs+ that can maintain the physical and mental exertion that Fury achieves.

We must all pray that Wilder has worked on his inside game otherwise a repeat of the second fight will occur. Whether fans want to support a dirty boxer or not, Fury excels at the unseen game. Grabbing collar ties and Wilder’s biceps, Fury nullified the incoming danger by riding over Wilder and roughing up the American to the body. When Wilder attempted to engage in the clinch, Fury positioned himself appropriately to force Wilder to carry his entire weight. Coming in at 277lbs (granted, this was fully clothed), Fury will prove even more difficult for the American to deal with in the clinch.

Issues will arise if Fury has bought into the hype too much, however. Wilder was unfortunate not to land cleanly during the first two rounds of their rematch, brushing Fury with hard rights as furiously tried to pin Wilder to the ropes. Walking onto Wilder’s shots, as opposed to moving with the punches he ate in the twelfth round, will switch off Fury’s lights this time around. Fury is vulnerable to early-round punishment while he attempts to read an opponent, and while Wilder could be a new fighter on Saturday after a camp change, it is more likely that Fury resumes in the manner in which he closed out the second fight.

Deontay Wilder

To be honest, I’m not sure what has changed this time around that can give Wilder more than a punchers chance. The extra weight and subsequent muscle mass may aid Wilder in stopping Fury from man-handling him in the clinch – but even that is unlikely. Fury’s success in the clinch is only partly attributable to his frame, more so Fury’s technique is superior. Wilder’s high guard defence off the back-foot allows Fury to walk up and hold Wilder’s bicep, stuffing incoming shots while leaning on the American in the process. Russel Mora as the referee may see a few controversial calls (see Mares-Agbeko low blow), but he will be more willing to allow Fury to enjoy an ugly fight in the clinch than Kenny Bayless allowed.

Unlike in the past, Wilder cannot use his reputation to keep fighters pinned into a state of low volume while waiting to time his perfect shot. By setting a ferociously high pace in the second fight, Fury forced Wilder onto the back-foot and desperately swinging for the bleachers. It isn’t just Fury’s shoulder and foot feints of the first fight, the Gypsy King’s genuine offence filtered in-between the feints leave Wilder scratching his head as to determine which shots are legitimate.

Off the basis of the training videos that have been released from the camp, it would appear that there are no new tools in Wilder’s bag. This could be deliberate, masking a new weapon in the lead-up to this trilogy, but it’s unlikely that an old dog could learn new tricks – especially from an unproven trainer who so far has resembled a hype man more than a coach. Rather, Wilder needs to refine his arsenal. As much as he is memed, Wilder owns a powerful jab and was able to match Fury with jabs at times during their first fight. The right hand will always be the money shot for Wilder, but he needs to straighten it and ensure it consistently lands on Fury’s body. It doesn’t matter if the right hand is hitting the chest or shoulder, Wilder needs to feel the connection to not only instil confidence but also alter Fury’s forward pressure and slow his volume. If Wilder ends up trapped on the back-foot again, he lacks the tools to stop Fury from walking over him again.

Predicted Result: Fury TKO Round 8

To be honest, I’m not sure what has changed this time around that can offer Wilder more than a punchers chance. The extra weight and subsequent muscle mass may aid Wilder in stopping Fury from man-handling him in the clinch – but even that is unlikely. Fury’s success in the clinch is only partly attributable to his frame, more so Fury’s technique is superior. Wilder’s high guard defence off the back-foot allows Fury to walk up and hold Wilder’s bicep, stuffing incoming shots while leaning on the American in the process. Russel Mora as the referee may see a few controversial calls (see Mares-Agbeko low blow), but he will be more willing to allow Fury to enjoy an ugly fight in the clinch than Kenny Bayless allowed.

Off the basis of the training videos that have been released from the camp, it would appear that there are no new tools in Wilder’s bag. This could be deliberate, masking a new weapon in the lead-up to this trilogy, but I doubt it – especially from an unproven trainer who so far has resembled a hype man more than a coach. Fury’s major issue will be if he inexplicably engages in a more tentative, defensive approach as in the first match. Fury is vulnerable to early-round punishment while he attempts to read an opponent, but meeting Wilder for the third time it is more likely that Fury resumes in the manner in which he closed out the second fight.

Egg-timer fisted Fury is coming. Oh my God. Wilder can't hear us. He has air pods in. | Fury vs Wilder III
Egg-timer fisted Fury is coming. Oh my God. Wilder can’t hear us. He has air pods in. | Fury vs Wilder III

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Fury vs Wilder III: Co-Main Event

Robert Helenius (30-3, 19KO) vs Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

Robert Helenius

A year and a half in the making, Helenius and Kownacki meet for a second time after the Nordic Nightmare slept the Pole in a shocking four-round upset. Helenius was all but finished after falling in eight rounds to Gerald Washington, never building off of the disgusting scorecard robbery he received over Dereck Chisora. Kownacki’s ugly swarming style proved ideal for Helenius, a recently gun-shy fighter who found an unmissable target to hit as the Pole chased an early finish.

It is unlikely that Helenius finds the miracle punch once again. Helenius may have landed the jab often, but he never sat down on the shot – the Finn needs Kownacki to respect a ram-rod jab to ensure he maintains breathing room. If not, Helenius needs to once again bring out the short lead hook which regularly found the mark. Kownacki drops his hands mid-combination, and despite Helenius’ inability to commit to hard counters (now too slow to draw back into his guard), clean shots at 50% will still register on Kownacki.

Adam Kownacki

Kownacki, for as sloppy as his style appears, should be able to turn around the result in the rematch. Perhaps paying too little respect to the Heavyweight veteran, Kownacki allowed himself to eat too many clean shots in search of the finish. The same approach of pinning Helenius to the ropes has to be followed, especially as Helenius’ jab consistently peppered the Pole outside of his striking range.

Once on the ropes, rather than looking up the ceiling and aiming to crack Helenius’ chin, Kownacki needs to stay low and tear apart the body. Not only is Kownacki less likely to have his openly exposed chin spun, but the thirty-seven-year-old Finn will be unable to endure sustained pressure to his mid-rift. Especially as Helenius has experienced late-career gas tank and pacing issues from the fourth round onwards.

Predicted Result: Kownacki TKO Round 10

Kownacki, for as sloppy as his style appears, should be able to turn around the result in the rematch. Perhaps paying too little respect to the Heavyweight veteran, Kownacki allowed himself to eat too many clean shots in search of the finish. The same approach of pinning Helenius to the ropes has to be followed, especially as Helenius’ jab consistently peppered the Pole outside of his striking range.

For Helenius to succeed, he needs to once again bring out the short lead hook which regularly found the mark. Kownacki drops his hands mid-combination, and despite Helenius’ inability to commit to hard counters (now too slow to draw back into his guard), clean shots at 50% will still register on Kownacki. Unfortunately, if Kownacki changes focus from head to body when against the ropes, the thirty-seven-year-old Finn will be unable to endure sustained pressure to his mid-rift. Helenius’ historic gas tank and pacing issues will only be exacerbated from attacks to the body.

Adam Kownacki moments before he hit the Michael Jackson lean | Fury vs Wilder III
Adam Kownacki moments before he hit the Michael Jackson lean | Fury vs Wilder III

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Fury vs Wilder III: Rest of the Card

Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12KO) vs Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title

WBO NABO Heavyweight Title

Efe Ajagba

Nigerian prospect, Efe Ajagba, has experienced a rocky start to his professional career. Sure, Ajagba has a perfect undefeated record with almost a 100% finish rate to boot – but his defence is woefully leaky at times. A methodical fighter through the early rounds, Ajagba’s size has allowed him to bully opponents early and easily control the pacing of a fight. Slowly unravelling his jab before opening up into more extensive combinations by the mid-rounds, Ajagba is unlikely to so simply command the pace.

Ajagba can be caught, as seen against Iago Kiladze, specifically when he uses his lead hand to hold an opponent’s head in place to land his powerful straight right. Kiladze was able to slip under the outstretched lead hand and counter with a powerful overhand over the top. If Ajagba is lazy with his lead or falls into his straight right again, Sanchez could close the show with one shot.

Frank Sanchez

Frank Sanchez is very much a ‘Cuban’ twenty-eight-years old – the man looks older than Luis Ortiz at times! The patient stalking of the Cuban is coupled up with a series of cute shoulder and hand feints. Whether Sanchez can deal with Ajagba’s constant jab is yet to be seen, but pressure from feints may alternatively leave the Nigerian gun shy. The early rounds are critical for Sanchez to bank points through educated pressure stemming from his front-foot stalking.

By the mid-point, Sanchez is happy to settle into the pace set by his opponent. Patiently waiting to draw opponents onto a hard counter right, the reliance upon the single-shot knockout can see the fight slowly pass Sanchez by. That isn’t to say Sanchez is incapable of landing combinations. Perhaps strict around pacing, Sanchez tends to only explode into voluminous exchanges when he has wobbled an opponent. Both Brian Howard and Nagy Aguilera were both latched upon with vicious combinations as soon as they reacted poorly to a single-shot counter.

Predicted Result: Sanchez Decision

Both men have a lot to lose, and while the two share equally heavy hands, the importance of the match-up may see the two men float through a gun-shy affair. The early rounds are critical for Sanchez to bank points through educated pressure stemming from his front-foot stalking. Ajagba is a slow starter, making a read on opponents behind his jab. By the mid-point, the fight should start to unravel as Sanchez settles into single-shout counters alongside a series of feints, while Ajagba opens up his arsenal.

Ajagba can be caught, as seen against Iago Kiladze, specifically when he uses his lead hand to hold an opponent’s head in place to land his powerful straight right. I expect Sanchez to make the necessary reads and continually exploit the overhand over the extended lead hand. Unfortunately, I also expect an extreme volume of clinches which bog the fight down and do neither man any favours.

Look at Franck Sanchez and honestly tell me that the man is twenty-seven years old | Fury vs Wilder III
Look at Franck Sanchez and honestly tell me that the man is twenty-eight years old | Fury vs Wilder III

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Edgar Berlanga (17-0, 16KO) vs Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-2-1, 16KO)

Super Middleweight (168)

vacant WBO NABO Super Middleweight Title

Edgar Berlanga

After experiencing the first decision of his professional career, Edgar Berlanga is pitted against a durable and tenacious opponent. The Chosen One still has to be backed as a heavy favourite, but it is unlikely he will replicate a typical first-round finish as has been part and parcel of his record so far. Berlanga’s left hook is his money shot, cracking opponents due to the strange angle from which he can contort the punch. Ducking low in the pocket, Berlanga manages to torque the punch from behind his back to cleanly catch opponents unaware. It is an astounding sight to see and is incredibly difficult to defend against. As I seem to always usually cry, more body work is necessary as he faces opponents less likely to wilt at the first sign of pressure.

Marcelo Esteban Coceres

Coceres first made a name for himself after giving Billy Joe Saunders a true scare on the undercard of KSI vs Logan Paul 2. The giant Argentian was brought in for his exceptional record on paper but lack of high-level experience to be bowled over by the mouthy Brit. What transpired was Coceres’s countering BJS hard during the early round before settling into a single-shot stalemate during the mid-point. Unfortunately for the Argentinian, BJS tends to fight to his opponent’s level and eventually found the next gear in the eleventh round. Coceres may be able to survive the early rounds against Berlanga, but the prospect has shown little signs of tiring over the stretch.

Predicted Result: Berlanga TKO Round 3

After experiencing the first decision of his professional career, Edgar Berlanga is pitted against a durable and tenacious opponent. Berlanga’s left hook is his money shot, cracking opponents due to the strange angle from which he can contort the punch. Coceres dragged Billy Joe Saunders to the eleventh round of a feisty affair, but he lacked an extra layer to his counter-heavy game once Saunders’ bit down on his gumshield and threw 5+ shots in the pocket. Berlanga should be able to break the Argentinian, but he will likely ship a fair bit of punishment during the early exchanges.

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Julian Williams (27-2-1, 16KO) vs Vladimir Hernandez (12-4, 6KO)

Super Welterweight (154)

Julian Williams

It was only two years ago that Julian Williams shocked the American public with a decisive victory over Jarrett Hurd for almost all the jewels at Super Welterweight. Williams may well have lost them all in his first defence against Jeison Rosario, but the Philly native has to still be considered one of the big boys at Super Welterweight. On the inside, Williams is a beast who shortens his shots to slip through an opponent’s guard. Against a vastly overmatched Hernandez, however, Williams can likely just box at distance to get some comeback rounds under his belt.

Vladimir Hernandez

Mexican journeyman-cum-gatekeeper, Vladimir Hernandez, has found himself on a slight career redemption arc. After suffering back-to-back defeats to prospects, Israil Madrimov and Souleymane Cissokho, Hernandez finds himself on a two-fight streak against competent opposition. As the far shorter fighter, Hernandez will struggle to work inside of Williams, yet even if he closes the distance J-Rock represents the superior technician up close. Hernandez has a strong chin and will be happy to trade punch for punch but Williams’ will land greater volume from a more exotic array of angles.

Predicted Result: Williams Decision

As the far shorter fighter, Hernandez will struggle to work inside of Williams, yet even if he closes the distance J-Rock represents the superior technician up close. Hernandez has a strong chin and will be happy to trade punch for punch but Williams’ will land the greater volume and significant work. If Williams wants, he can choose to box on the outside and get comeback rounds underneath his belt.

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Jared Anderson (9-0, 9KO) vs Vladimir Tereshkin (22-0-1, 12KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

Jared Anderson

Big Baby, Jared Anderson, is a twenty-one-year-old future world champion hopeful from Ohio. With a perfect 100% KO record, there is a lot left to learn about the young slugger. Jeremiah Karpency, Anderson’s last opponent, looked comically doughy as the blown-up Cruiserweight was dispatched in two rounds. Still, Anderson has been an active fighter during his early career and looks to pick his shots cleanly. Anderson’s tendency to lower the right hand after jabbing will be an issue later down the line, but most opponents have not looked to break their guard to exploit the opening.

Vladimir Tereshkin

Russian, Vladimir Tereshkin, has fought a delectable selection of cans over his twenty-fight career. No stranger to an away day, Tereshkin has been victorious in native Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Jamaica and Latvia. Unfortunately, even after such a long career, Tereshkin is only choosing to step up the quality of opposition – after a two-year layoff. No, Francisco Silvens 23-0 record doesn’t count as the Dominican’s fight history is padded to the high heavens. Tereshkin is deathly slow on his feet, with most of his best work coming from catching opponents hell-bent on clinching and surviving for a payday.

Predicted Result: Anderson TKO Round 4

Big Baby, Jared Anderson, is a twenty-one-year-old future world champion hopeful from Ohio. Anderson’s tendency to lower the right hand after jabbing will be an issue later down the line, but Tereshkin with his padded record is not the opponent to exploit the opening. After a two-year layoff, Tereskin is hardly going to found any newfound speed to resolve his deathly slow footwork. Tereshkin’s lumbering, upright approach will be broken down by the fast, clubbing offence of Anderson. Overall, neither fighter will learn anything and only the viewing public will suffer.

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