Here’s a look at tonight’s order of play. We’ve only got one undercard bout left before the main event with Efe Ajagba and Frank Sanchez due to enter the arena for their 10-round heavyweight scrap any moment now. Then it’s chapter three of Fury and Wilder, who should make their ringwalks shortly after the top of the hour.
Here’s a look at the preliminaries that are in the books. They have included a minor upset as Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez won a split decision over Philadelphia’s Julian Williams, who not that long ago defeated Jarrett Hurd for the unified junior middleweight title only to lose the belts in his first defense.
• Robert Helenius DQ 6 Adam Kownacki, 12 rounds, heavyweights
• Jared Anderson TKO 2 Vladimir Tereshkin, eight rounds, heavyweights
• Edgar Berlanga UD 10 Marcelo Esteban Coceres, 10 rounds, super middleweights
• Vladimir Hernandez SD 10 Julian Williams, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
• Robeisy Ramirez UD 10 Orlando Gonzalez, 10 rounds, featherweights
• Bruce Carrington UD 4 Cesar Cantu, four rounds, featherweights
• Viktor Faust KO 3 Mike Marshall, eight rounds, heavyweights
Hello and welcome to the Las Vegas strip for tonight’s showdown between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title. We’re ringside at the T-Mobile Arena for the third fight in 34 months between this very odd couple, who are set to punctuate only the fifth trilogy between champions in boxing’s prestige division after Patterson-Johansson, Ali-Frazier, Ali-Norton and Bowe-Holyfield.
When they first crossed paths in December 2018 for the WBC title then held by Wilder, Fury spent most of the evening boxing the heavy-handed Alabaman’s ears off with erratic feints and deft upper-body movement belying his towering 6ft 9in frame. Even after suffering knockdowns in the ninth and 12th rounds, the latter of which left him seemingly unconscious on descent, Fury came off the floor each time and finished the round getting the better of the exchanges before settling for a disputed split draw.
Fifteen months later, Fury delivered the definitive outcome their first encounter failed to produce with a masterclass of come-forward violence, dropping Wilder in the third and fifth rounds before pouring on the punishment until the champion’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh.
“You’re a weak man and you’re getting knocked out,” said Fury during Wednesday’s final press conference. “Your legacy will be in tatters. Torn to bits. Finished.”
Said Wilder, who has mostly kept his silence during the run-up: “I’m in a great place, a great state of mind. There’s nothing to prove at all. This right here is redemption, retaliation and retribution.”
It’s just after 7pm in Las Vegas and the undercard is swimming along. The main event is expected to begin in roughly one hour. Plenty to come between now and then.