Former heavyweight contender and Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison believes that Tyson Fury will struggle against the explosive power and quickness of Deontay Wilder.
Fury is set to face the WBC heavyweight champion Wilder in a colossal showdown at Staples Center, Los Angeles on Saturday night. Both fighters will put their undefeated records on the line as boxing fans will witness an almighty clash of styles.
On 27 April 2013, Harrison stepped into the ring with the unbeaten American prospect Wilder, who had a record of 27-0, with every victory coming by the way of knockout.
The bout lasted a mere 70 seconds, as Wilder landed a huge right hand which knocked Harrison down to the canvas.
The Brit courageously managed to beat the count, however, the referee still stopped the fight, as the 41-year-old was in no shape to continue. Wilder won via TKO and earned a 28th consecutive knockout.
It would prove to be the London southpaw’s final fight and wrapped up a mostly disappointing professional career in the ring, which started with so much promise when he won gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Since his demolition of Harrison at Sheffield Arena in 2013, Wilder has won 12 more fights — 11 inside the distance — and claimed the WBC title.
Harrison is well placed to voice his opinion on the upcoming mega-fight considering he was victimised by Wilder and has revealed his concerns that Fury may not quite be ready for the tall task of the ‘Bronze Bomber.’
“With Wilder, it’s not just that power but it’s the explosive speed that he has that can just send you to sleep,” Harrison told The Independent.
“He’s very ungainly and it’s hard for you to close him down. I think Deontay Wilder is, at some point, going to catch Fury whereas I don’t think Fury can knock out Wilder.
“He’s a dangerous heavyweight. Not only is he a quick, concussive puncher but with Mark Breland in his corner he’s got a beautiful jab.”
This week marks three years since Fury travelled to Düsseldorf and shocked the world by defeating unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko via a points decision.
The giant Mancunian then battled depression and drug addiction for years which saw him stripped of his titles, causing him to spiral into both a dangerous psychological and physical state.
The ‘Gypsy King’ returned to the ring this year and brushed off farcical opponents Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta. Harrison has concerns that the 30-year-old giant might have jumped the gun when booking his super-fight with Wilder.
“Obviously Deontay Wilder is an active champion who has sent everybody to sleep including me….although I did beat the count,” Harrison continued.
“I just don’t think Tyson Fury, coming off the two fights he’s had, is enough to walk through him. I think he could outbox him if he was a bit sharper and he didn't have the ring rust.
“It’s going to be an interesting, intriguing match-up but I think Deontay, at some point, is going to land and as we saw with Steve Cunningham, Tyson Fury can get up.
“He’s got the biggest balls in the game when it comes to heavyweights. He’s got no fear, he’s got confidence and swagger but he’s not been active enough. That could be the difference.
“Deontay Wilder is coming to set you up with the jab, looking to land the right hand and it’s going to be hard to stay away from it for the whole 12 rounds.
“Ring rust is something you can only get rid of by having real active bouts. It’s all been a bit rushed but Fury is daring to be great. He’s giving it a shot and he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”