Fury chasing knockout in Wilder rematch

by Rob Woollard
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder face off ahead of their February 22 rematch in Las Vegas

Tyson Fury vowed Monday to chase a knockout in next month's eagerly anticipated rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, insisting he believes he has no chance of earning a victory on points in Las Vegas.

The charismatic undefeated British fighter faces the unbeaten Wilder at the MGM Grand on February 22, after the two men battled to a draw in Los Angeles in December 2018.

Fury (29-0-1, 20 knockouts) earned a share of the spoils in the first fight after frustrating Wilder with a superbly elusive performance.

However the self-styled "Gypsy King" survived a 12th round knockdown to cling on for the draw at the Staples Center.

At a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Fury said he plans to attack Wilder early on in next month's bout, insisting he is targeting a second-round knockout.

"Thinking ain't enough," the 31-year-old Fury said. "I need to know I've won the fight. I know I need to get a knockout here. I'm going into this fight knowing I can't win a decision. I've got to knock him out."

Fury claimed his recent change of trainer -- he has dispensed with the services of Ben Davison in favour of Sugarhill Steward, the nephew of late Kronk gym legend Emanuel Steward -- would help him score a knockout.

"I'm looking for a knockout," he said. "That's why I hired Sugarhill. He gets you to sit down on that big right hand. That's what I'm looking for. There's the game plan."

- No 'Herky-jerky style' -

Fury said he expected the fight to flip expectations of either a knockout for the hard-hitting Wilder or a points win for Fury.

"The consensus is either he knocks me out, or I win on points," Fury said. "Usually when people have that opinion, it goes the opposite way around. Expect him to box and me to be looking for the knockout.

"He thinks I'm going to come out herky-jerky with my famous style, but I want him to meet me in the center of the ring and have a slugfest, best man wins.

Wilder (42-0-1, 41 knockouts) however was unimpressed with Fury's claims of a tactical switch.

"No, I don't believe nothing Fury says at this moment in time," Wilder said. "He's very nervous as you can see. He can't even sit still.

"The fight will be interesting, he's a great fighter. I'm looking forward to it. But I don't believe anything he says.

"He's saying those things, I don't feel in his energy that he believes that. I feel like he's nervous because of what happened the first time."

Wilder believes the key to the rematch will be patience. In the first fight he tired during the later rounds after swinging and missing with a series of huge right hands earlier on.

"More patience. More calm. I just need to calm down," Wilder said. "I just learned from the first fight I need to be calmer."

Wilder also ridiculed Fury's insistence that he should have been declared the victory of the 2018 meeting.

"If he beat me, then why all the new trainers? Every day it changes. Firing and hiring. I still to this day have the same people with me and I don't need to change it," Wilder said.

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder face off ahead of their February 22 rematch in Las Vegas