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Two of the hardest men in the world, ‘The Gypsy King’ and The Bronze Bomber’ will meet head on at Sin City’s T-Mobile Arena in a bid to settle their long-standing feud.
Wilder is well-schooled in the art of a finish, having recorded a stoppage in all but one of his 42 wins.
The Alabama native has two stains on his professional record though – and both have come at the hands of Fury.
In their first encounter in December 2018, the duo engaged in a stamina-sapping 12-round majority draw. Wilder believed he had done enough to get the job done when he put Fury down in the final round.
However, the American hadn’t reckoned on Fury’s powers of recovery as the giant Brit somehow made it back to his feet and managed to go the distance. As the judges couldn’t separate the pair that night, a second go-around was always on the cards
When Fury got his opportunity to tangle with Wilder again in February 2020, he made sure he had plenty of new moves to surprise his opponent with.
A dominant all-round performance from Fury saw Wilder’s corner call a stop to the rematch in the seventh round, rightfully convinced that their man could take no more punishment.
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The result saw Wilder surrender his WBC heavyweight crown to Fury, but the 35-year-old always insisted that he would be back for a crack at redemption.
On Saturday night, the two dance again for a third time in one of boxing’s rare trilogy fights.
Opponents hooking up for a trio of instalments is not a frequent occurrence in the sport, not least because it’s tough to keep the intrigue alive for the viewing audience once they’ve seen a contest twice previously.
With that said, here are five previous examples where fans just couldn’t get enough of a rivalry, resulting in a trilogy of fights.
5. Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward
There was some serious intensity on display each time these guys shared the ring. Going at it three times in just 13 months between May 2002 and June 2003, sparks flew in each outing.
Ward got on top early in the trilogy, winning the initial scrap, which was voted Ring Magazine Fight of the Year in 2002.
An encore performance was inevitable, with Gatti pulling out all the stops to claim victory in the rematch
Gatti and Ward saved the best for last, indulging in a back-and-forth climax (won by Gatti) that again took home Fight of the Year honours.
4. Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe
As we’ll witness this weekend with Fury vs Wilder 3, a fight has that little bit of extra spice to it when the world heavyweight title is at stake.
Bowe thrust himself into the spotlight in November 1992, when he outmanoeuvred Holyfield to claim the unified heavyweight crown via a tight decision verdict.
Holyfield took victory in their return meeting, though, which even saw a fan parachute into the ring to involve himself in the action.
Locked together at one win apiece, Bowe hammered Holyfield inside eight rounds in their final encounter to end one of boxing’s strangest trilogies.
3. Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley
Going into his first fight with Bradley in June 2012, Pacquiao had already long been considered a pound-for-pound great. For Bradley, it was time to see if he could measure up.
Pre-fight, most pundits had predicted a Pacquiao win. However, those calls proved to be premature as ‘Desert Storm’ took home a split decision win.
The American, though, failed to come through with the goods on the next two occasions he faced the Filipino warrior, with Pacquiao standing tall in their second and third bouts in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
2. Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales
These two Mexican warriors earned the right to call themselves Trojans as they waged war at close quarters in three epic showdowns.
Another trilogy which picked up multiple Fight of the Year awards, there was rarely a break in the action when these two were across the ring from one another.
Barrera ultimately won their series by two fights to one, but it was boxing fans around the world who were the true winners. Packed with pulsating drama, this rivalry from the early 2000’s had it all.
1. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier
One of the most legendary sporting names of all time, Ali delivered for his fans both in the ring and on the microphone.
His third career bout with Frazier, known as the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ is an iconic bout in boxing history.
With each man having a victory over the other to his name, their deciding meeting could not have been any more anticipated.
Ali wasn’t favoured to emerge with the bragging rights, but produced a come-from-behind victory to delight his army of supporters.
Fury and Wilder could well add their names to this list in just a few short days as they look to bang each other out in pursuit of heavyweight supremacy. Whichever way it goes, it’s sure to be a night to remember.News Now - Sport News