Tyson Fury has promised WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will meet “the best Tyson Fury” when the pair do battle for a second time in Las Vegas on February 22.
Since the first fight in December 2018, when ‘The Gypsy King’ had to settle for a controversial split decision draw, the 31-year-old has extended his unbeaten record to 30 fights.
While Fury had to haul himself off the canvas twice 14 months ago, he entered the bout not long after ending a two-and-a-half-year exodus from the sport in the wake of his stunning victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
In the time after he outboxed Wilder, the Briton has beaten Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin and changed trainer from Ben Davison to SugarHill Steward ahead of the rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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Fury said: “I have never ever been as focused or ready for one fight as I have been for this fight. I have pulled out all the stops that anyone could ever pull out for a training camp.
“Every box has been ticked. We are going to see the best Tyson Fury that Tyson Fury can be.”
The decision to team up with a new trainer in December, two months before the rematch, was a big surprise but Fury explained why he has joined forces with the nephew of the late trainer Emanuel Steward.
He added: “I had a good defensive coach in Ben Davison. We worked a lot on defence every single day for two years. He is the best defence so I needed an aggressive trainer.
“I worked with SugarHill in the past, I knew he was a good guy and we got on well. Communication is key to any relationship and that is why I brought him in and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Earlier this year Fury insisted he would knock Wilder out in the second round and explained why he had changed his strategy from the first contest.
Despite last time outboxing Wilder, who is unbeaten, the judges’ scorecards read 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.
“It was almost a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get the decision,” the lineal heavyweight champion of the world stated in a conference call.
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) February 6, 2020
“I believe I can outbox Deontay Wilder very, very comfortably but the fact of the matter is I believed I outboxed him last time and it is no good me believing it, the judges have to believe it.
“To guarantee a victory, I have got to get a knock-out. I don’t want to leave anything unturned this time and I don’t want another controversial decision. I want it to be defining either way.”
If Fury was to defeat Wilder once and for all, it would mean the Manchester-born boxer would finally win the WBC belt, after holding the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring magazine belts after beating Klitschko in November 2015.
“I always like challenges,” he said. “The WBC is one that has escaped me over the years.
“For whatever reason I have not got my hands on it yet and it would finish off my collection of all the belts out there. It would be nice to finish the collection off for sure.”
Back in October, Fury told the PA news agency he would retire from the sport after three more bouts starting with his second clash with Wilder.
A potential third contest could be on the cards regardless of the result on February 22, but the British fighter is not interested in his legacy.
Instead, he pondered the prospect of being known as the best of his era if he can get the better of the 34-year-old.
Undefeated heavyweight Tyson Fury has said he expects to retire from boxing after three more fights pic.twitter.com/6EM88dT2mh
— PA Sport (@pasport) October 26, 2019
Fury insisted: “When I am finished with boxing, I don’t care about legacy, but the fact of the matter is I care about being active and I care about what is happening now.
“I think winning this fight would make me the best of my era. No more to prove.
“Everyone else has been defeated because it’s only me and Deontay Wilder who are left unbeaten after 12 years as professionals. It is all on the line for this fight and it is a massive bust to win.”