Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Wilder vs Fury 2: Tyson Fury could be more than three stone heavier than Deontay Wilder… who will that favour?
"We want Deontay to be bigger and stronger," says Wilder's trainer Jay Deas ahead of Friday night weigh-in
Last Updated: 21/02/20 11:07pm
It was quietly uttered to Sky Sports that Deontay Wilder was so fraught with emotion before his first fight with Tyson Fury that he wasn't eating properly, and stepped into the ring too light.
Clues about world heavyweight championship outcomes can sometimes be sensed at the weigh-in, but especially when one of the division's lightest (Wilder) faces one of the heaviest (Fury).
The numbers posted on the scales can often be linked to their respective game-plans and, this week, both boxers have dropped hints about notable changes to their physiques.
Wilder's recent weigh-in results
|Ortiz||15st 9lbs (219lbs)|
|Breazeale||15st 13lbs (223lbs)|
|Fury I||15st 2lbs (212lbs)|
Fury's recent weigh-in results
|Wallin||18st 1lbs (254lbs)|
|Schwarz||18st 11lbs (263lbs)|
|Wilder I||18st 4lbs (256lbs)|
Fourteen months ago before they fought to a draw, Fury (18st 4lbs/256lbs) was a massive three stone heavier than Wilder (15st 2lbs/212lbs). Wilder, in his 41st fight, was at his lightest since his professional debut a decade earlier.
"One of the problems with the first fight is that Deontay was so excited that he wasn't eating right. He came in unusually light," his trainer Jay Deas told Sky Sports.
"He was 209lbs (14st 13lbs) on fight night - by the time he knocked Fury down in the last round, he would have been a 200lbs (14st 4lbs), essentially a cruiserweight."
Wilder is always at the lighter end of the heavyweight scale but this admission was telling. Perhaps a fraction more weight on his bones would have added a fraction more weight to the punch in the 12th round that floored Fury but ultimately didn't knock him out.
At this week's press conference, Wilder's trainer Deas put on a poker face: "We don't worry about weight regardless. We don't even use the scale! As long as he's eating and training hard. He is a freak of nature.
"Whatever the other guy does is not a concern from a strategy point of view. Deontay is always the lighter guy. It's normal. He has fought guys 100lbs heavier - it has never been an issue, and has been advantageous."
But days earlier, to Sky Sports, he confessed that Wilder needs to be heavier at Friday night's weigh-in: "We want Deontay to be bigger and stronger."
Wilder estimated his weight would be 225-230lbs (16st 1lbs to 16st 6lbs), nearly a stone heavier than the first fight.
Fury's weight has also fluctuated since his comeback from a two-and-a-half-year hiatus.
Against Otto Wallin in his most recent fight, he was at his lightest since beating Wladimir Klitschko in late 2015. But Wallin was an arduous night for Fury and it has been considered that he removed too much weight from his natural frame.
His new trainer Sugarhill Steward suggested Fury could be a stone heavier, above the 19st mark, which might make him four stone heavier than Wilder.
Steward explained: "Fury is 6'9'', not 6'5''. He can carry that weight along with the power. He is a big, strong heavyweight and the weight won't hurt him. He will still move like a super-middleweight.
"He has the ring IQ to set things up, and we have added some punching power to his arsenal. 270lbs (19st 4lbs) is not a problem."
Fury's bold prediction of a two-round knockout win, which Wilder thinks is a bluff, might benefit from extra weight behind his punches.
Fury's uncle and ex-trainer Peter told Sky Sports: "If Wilder comes in at the same weight he did in his last fight, I think that's a big advantage for Tyson
"I think Wilder came in under weight for that fight.
"If Tyson could just keep out of trouble early, get in close, rough him up a bit. Take him out of his stride, rather than give him the leverage to put the power in.
"Take him into a bit of a dogfight and sap his energy, especially in the second half of the fight.
"He's got to use his size, he's got to use his weight, especially if Wilder is coming in roughly the same weight he was.
"You're looking at [three] stone advantage there. He needs to use that and that's where he went wrong in his last fight for me. He was doing the same thing round after round, but after the sixth round, he should have turned his advantages to that.
"Whether it's ugly or whatever it is, I think he should just sap the energy out of Wilder."
Shopping to feed Tyson Fury
A curry every day (yes, seriously) is giving Fury the energy to fight Wilder again.
Sky Sports spoke to Fury's nutritionist and chef, George Lockhart, as he shopped at the supermarket...
He likes a fruit bowl. I’ll give him Greek yoghurt with lots of berries in the morning. The berries have antioxidants which help with recovery.
Every day he has at least one salmon for the Omega-3s. I want everything to be anti-inflammatory.
I cook a lot of curries for him. He usually has something with turmeric. He has one curry per day. I introduce red meat every other day. Red meat is nutritionally dense but takes a long time to break down.