Wilder-Fury 3: Deontay Wilder says he'll fight like nothing we've seen from him before

Jerell Rushin
The Tuscaloosa News

LAS VEGAS — Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

It will be seen if Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder is off his rocker Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

"The Bronze Bomber" will fight World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for the third time after losing in February 2020 and battling to a draw in 2018.

Since summer, Wilder and his camp have insisted he will be a new boxer when he steps into the ring after suffering the only loss of his 42-1-1 career. Still, he's widely expected to lose by most. The 6-foot-9 Fury is a complete package, so it's not for bad reason.

But there is a fact — it's nearly impossible Wilder wins if he waits to land his famous right hand and is passive again in the trilogy fight as he was behind before losing by technical knockout in the seventh round 20 months ago.

So why would he do it again?

"I think we’ve done all the right things and come Saturday night it’s going to definitely be a different fight for all the fans. It’s going to be exciting," Wilder said Wednesday.

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Wilder's new trainer, former heavyweight Malik Scott, said the 2008 Olympics bronze medalist defended the WBC title 10 times while relying on the right .

Scott, known as a technician during his career, talked in length about working on better setting up punches and being versatile with Wilder, who is known for his power and not manipulating opponents like Fury.

Wilder has worked on anticipation as Fury baited him into getting to him often last year, Scott said. He believes that will help as Wilder is already patient.

The issue with last year's fight was that Wilder was too patient, while Fury was ultra-aggressive and beat him up and exhausted Wilder early. It would be smart for Wilder to take a lead or at least match Fury.

"He got content with just knocking people out with one weapon, his right hand," Scott said. "I didn't give him the toolbox. I went in (his toolbox) and I pulled everything out and … I made sure we didn’t do it from a subconscious standpoint. He didn’t do it by accident, and the ways we made sure it wasn’t done from a subconscious standpoint was constantly (doing) it and drill it over and over and over again."

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At age 35, this is Wilder's first time using a different approach in a fight on a big stage. Athletes changing styles isn't rare. Basketball players alter shooting motions. Baseball players tweak their batting swings. Football quarterbacks tighten their windup.

The difference with Wilder is he's changing everything. Those are singular parts of other athletes' game. Wilder likely needs to be different every second of every round. He'll still use the right-hand bomb, but he can't rely on it. He will attack Fury's body and use jabs, Scott said.

Fury's trainer Sugar Hill Steward, someone Scott respects, believes Wilder will try new things. That hasn't stopped Fury from saying he will knock out Wilder again.

"I’ve seen some of their clips," Steward said. "It makes me more excited to get up and to get Tyson going even more just like myself since we’re so much similar. ... Just expecting nothing but the same."

Many believe there is pressure on Wilder to have a good showing, saving his legacy, because of how clearly he lost the last fight. In the aftermath, he unloaded unproven allegations of cheating against Fury.

Wilder, however, explained there is no pressure because he already has nothing to lose. He said his legacy can't die because he still loves the sport.

Wilder and Fury are scheduled to begin at approximately 10:30 p.m. CT. ESPN and Fox are offering the fight on PPV.

"At this point in time, it’s all action for me," Wilder said. "Action, action, action. I don’t have many words to say."

Contact Jerell Rushin at 205-600-4015 or jrushin@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JerellRushin_.