Deontay Wilder’s confidence must be shot, but he still has a chance against Tyson Fury, according to Eddie Hearn.
Matchroom promoter Hearn believes that Wilder must be struggling to recover from last February’s defeat to Fury but his sheer power leaves him with a chance.
Hearn had expected to be preparing for a fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia next month, but Wilder won his arbitration case to force a trilogy rematch in an attempt to win back the WBC belt.
Since his defeat, the Bronze Bomber has come out with a string of scarcely credible accusations and excuses to explain away the defeat, including Fury tampering with his drugs, and Wilder’s own water being spiked.
BoxingScene.com reported Hearn as predicting a Fury win while speaking in Las Vegas.
“I think [Fury will win], but anything can happen,” Hearn said.
“I mean, I think Wilder is so limited, but hits very hard and he’s always live and can beat anyone, for the fact that he has tremendous power. But he’s so limited, so limited. And I think his confidence must be absolutely shot to pieces because he came out with 642 excuses why he lost the second fight. He now has a completely different training team, and I don’t know what‘s going through his head.”
Hearn warned against complacency and compared the situation to Joshua’s own first fight with Andy Ruiz, where he lost all his belts in an upset defeat, before winning them back at the tail end of 2019.
“Listen, Fury may, and I don’t know if you saw John Fury’s interview [recently] – it was quite good,” Hearn said, “where he sort of said, ‘It’s very difficult. You’ve been training for an AJ fight and then, all of a sudden, you’re told in eight weeks you’re fighting this other person that you actually don’t wanna fight, you already beat twice.’
“We made that mistake against Andy Ruiz. AJ wanted to tear Jarrell Miller to pieces. And then, when it all fell through, I think we felt that he was invincible at that stage and we looked to the options, we all agreed, ‘Andy Ruiz, great fight. Let’s do it.’ And it was three-and-a-half weeks [away]. And we switched the sparring. And when I look back now, I think, ‘I can’t believe we did that.’”
Hearn does not think that Joshua will make the same mistake when he has to recalibrate against his WBO mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk.
“Whereas now, the good thing AJ’s learned from that is when the Fury fight fell through, rather than making a fight again for the end of July or early August, he just wanted a couple of weeks to reset mentally and reset camp. Because you’ve gone from this 6-foot-9, orthodox guy who’s, you know, running around everywhere, to a 6-foot-1 southpaw in Usyk that boxes in a completely different style.
"So, that’s why the fight will happen a little bit later… because he says, ‘No, this is a serious fight. I’m not taking this fight and f— it up. I’m gonna make sure I’ve prepared properly for this fight.’ Whereas Fury’s just gone crash, bang, wallop, straight in. And, you know, it all seems to be happening too quickly. I don’t know.”