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  • Wilder vs Fury 2: Why Deontay's left hook (not famous right hand) may end matters

Wilder vs Fury 2: Why Deontay's left hook (not famous right hand) may end matters

Lee Cleveland Updated
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WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's outstanding record of 42 wins 0 losses 1 draw and 41 knockouts has a lot of people talking about that nasty right hand he possesses.

Deontay Wilder is the hardest puncher in heavyweight championship history and his right hand might be the most feared punch in the entire history of the sport, in any division.

Comparisons with Mike Tyson: Offense and punching power
Many are comparing Wilder's power to Mike Tyson's but there is no comparison. Not only has Wilder knocked out 41 of his 42 opponents, most of his foes have been stopped within four rounds. After Mike's first 42 opponents, he registered only 37 knockouts.

Tyson was a devastating puncher as well but even a young and furious Mike was forced to go the distance with Mitch Green and James 'Quick' Tillis as well as a full 15 rounds with Tony Tucker and Bonecrusher Smith and  a full 12 with Razor Ruddock.

Wilder vs Fury 2 (Fight Page)
WBC/RING Magazine Heavyweight Titles
February 22, 2020
MGM Grand Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, USA

And many of his knockouts came from either a) a wicked combination or b) unleashing nasty combinations after getting an opponent hurt with one big shot.Many of Wilder's knockouts, however, are generated by a single punch. In fact, his last two bouts against top 10 contenders Luis Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale ended with a single Wilder right hand.

And if you still think Wilder's power is overrated, Deontay has either knocked down or knocked out ALL 42 of his professional opponents.


What made Mike Tyson so much bigger back then versus Deontay today is exposure. Not only had Mike fought a few times on network television, he did so at a time when boxing was more popular in the United States. By the time a 20 year old Tyson challenged for his first world title, he was practically a star already.

Wilder hasn't been showcased anywhere near to the degree as Tyson at a comparable stage in the latter's career. As a result, it is easy to downplay Deontay Wilder's accomplishments in relation to Mike's.

A big right hand
Like Tyson, Wilder's best punch is his right hand. But unlike Mike, the right hand has been Wilder's 'bread and butter' offensively, thus far. Tyson was much better at mixing up his shots. Although his right hand was his most dangerous punch, Tyson's left hooks and right and left uppercuts were also responsible for ending many of his fights.

So, while Wilder's right hand is more powerful than any punch Tyson possessed, Mike was a bigger threat offensively because he had several weapons at his disposal.

Wilder, to date, has only that wicked right hand.

The left hook
Wladimir Klitschko's best punch, like Tyson's, was the right hand; Yet, like Mike's, Wlad's  left hook was pretty lethal too. See Klitschko vs Austin highlights or below. 

Lennox Lewis also had a mammoth right hand and when he faced Frank Bruno in October 1993 the latter had done his homework and was well-prepared for it.  But, it would be Lennox's left hook that would rescue him from danger and ultimately win the fight. (Fast forward to 2:50)

Tyson, Klitschko and Lewis are not exceptions to the rule. In boxing, most heavy-handed punchers have power in both fists despite usually having a preference for one punch.

If Deontay Wilder and trainer Mark Breland are wise, they've prepared to knockout or sting Fury with big left hooks and not focus so much on the famous right hand Wilder has been so dependent on.

Thus far, Deontay Wilder has been one-dimensional, offensively, as nearly all of his 41 knockouts have been generated by his favorite punch, the right hand. And when Deontay Wilder faced Tyson Fury in December 2018, we saw the former load up and telegraph his favorite punch all night. 

And we saw Fury, sans a few times, make Deontay miss with it repeatedly. He missed... and missed... and missed. Until finally, Wilder landed it flush in Round 12 and Fury went down like a ton of bricks. That punched would have knocked down a tree but Fury, showing tremendous grit and heart, arose to finish the round.

For Wilder vs Fury 2, not unlike like the first fight, rest assured Tyson will be prepared for Wilder's monstrous right hand.

And that might be all he's prepared for. But Wilder, if he's the rule and not the exception, probably has a sick left hook. Check out his first knockdown of a durable Carlos Molina compliments of a lead left hook. (Fast forward to 20 seconds).

It happens in boxing... An opponent is well-prepared for a knockout artist's favorite punch and is subsequently knocked out by a different shot.

Again, most knockout artists are heavy-handed in both fists.

Wilder can increase his chances of winning exponentially by adding another weapon, the left hook, to his offensive arsenal

Don't be surprised to see Deontay employ left hook leads in between an occasional right hand.

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Check Left Hook may be key against Tyson Fury in rematch
While most seem to believe Fury is simply playing mind games with Wilder by announcing pre-fight that he plans to implement a more offensive-minded strategy in the rematch, I believe he is being honest with this declaration. I think a quick, check left hook might be Deontay's "ace in the hole" if Tyson attempts to lunge in with the straight right hand from mid to long range. If he can catch Fury while coming in with the sneaky lead left hand, it could win him the fight in the mid to late rounds.
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