Fury outboxed Wilder for large parts of the bout and was ahead on two wild cards heading into the 12th round, despite being knocked to the canvas in the ninth.
Wilder, however, rallied in the final round, flooring the Briton again, only for Fury to somehow beat the count and finish the round.
Fury’s performance in December 2018 was even more impressive considering he had only returned to the ring six months earlier after a three-year hiatus.
Since the draw with Wilder 15 months ago, Fury defeated Germany’s Tom Schwarz by TKO in two rounds in June last year and Sweden’s Otto Wallin by unanimous decision three months later.
Wilder, meanwhile, stopped Dominic Breazeale in one round in May last year and Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in seven rounds three months ago, ultimately defending his WBC title.
Forty-one of the Alabama native’s 42 wins have come by KO and he hinted he was determined to avoid the fight going the distance on Saturday.
“I am not concerned with what he [Fury] says, I am more focused on what he does. I am a man of action,” the Bronze Bomber said in his final press conference on Wednesday.
“I am planning for everything, but I think when coming forward doesn’t work for him, he will resort to what he knows. He may try to come forward at first, but once he feels my power, that will stop quickly.”
Meanwhile, Fury, who has won 29 of his 30 professional bouts, insisted Wilder’s only chance of winning was to knock him out, but he said he was confident he could outbox the American on Saturday.
“Wanting to go head to head with him is a bold move, but we fight fire with fire,” the Briton explained.
“When I went at him in the first fight, though, he could not contain me. If I start doing that in round one, then he will be gassed by round five and hanging on for dear life, if he even gets that far.
“He could not keep me down in the 12th round [in the first fight], so now I want to see if he is able to get up off the floor. I don’t think he has the guts to get up.”
Here’s all you need to know about the rematch.
When is Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II?
The rematch between WIlder and Fury takes place on Saturday, February 22. The undercard gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the main card set to start at 9 p.m. ET.
Wilder and Fury are expected to make their ring walks between 11 p.m. ET and midnight.
Where is Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II?
The fight takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The arena has hosted a number of high-profile bouts, including the rematch between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1998 during which Tyson famously bit off part of Holyfield’s ear.
Oscar De La Hoya’s fights against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2007 and 2008, respectively, were both staged at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, as was the bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao in 2015.
The preliminary bouts will be broadcast on ESPN News and Fox Sports 1 from 7:30 p.m. ET, before moving onto ESPN and Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET.
The main card will be available on a ESPN+/Fox joint pay-per-view for $79.99.
A live stream of the rematch between Fury and Wilder and the main card bouts will be available via ESPN+ and the Fox Sports app for a price of $79.99.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II odds
The bookmakers expect the rematch to be a close affair.
According to Oddschecker, Wilder is a 43/50 favorite, with Fury at 49/50 and the draw at 22/1.
Wilder is 10/1 to win on points and 13/4 to win the fight between Round 7 and Round 12, while Fury is 8/5 to win by decision or technical decision and 19/2 to win between Round 7 and Round 12.
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