Approximately one year ago Tyson Fury weighed in excess of 400 pounds, he had no boxing license, was submerged in legal wranglings with UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) following the reported presence of elevated levels of nandrolone metabolites from a test taken in early 2015. On top of this Fury had more recently tested positive for cocaine use, was battling depression and mental health issues, drinking heavily and from his own omission no longer wanted to continue to live life.

A year later and after what can only be described as two tune-up fights this year against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta.back in June and August of this year ‘The Gypsy King’ returns to the ring to face the most devastating puncher in world boxing right now, WBC champion Deontay Wilder, in a bid to claim back his throne. The fight will take place in Los Angeles at the Staples Centre and will be broadcast by BT sport box office in the UK and Showtime Boxing in the US.

Whatever the result this weekend, Tyson Fury has achieved what many said a year ago was impossible, Fury was never expected to step in a ring again let alone compete for a world title. If Fury wins this weekend it will cement not only one of boxing’s greatest comebacks but one of the greatest comebacks in sports history,

However, a tough challenge lies ahead in Deontay WIlder who himself has had to overcome many life adversities to reach the top of the heavyweight division, the Olympic bronze medallist has knocked out every opponent he has faced and possesses incredible one-punch knockout power that has put many big men to sleep.

Wilder’s unorthodox and wild style has been criticised plenty but despite his technical flaws he remains unbeaten and is coming into this fight off the back of his best win to date, a knockout victory against highly regarded Cuban Luis Ortiz, however, Wilder did have difficulties in that fight and was nearly stopped himself so there is plenty to exploit for a man as skilled as Fury.

The big question about Tyson Fury is exactly how close is he to the fighter that recorded one of the best wins on the road in British boxing history when he defeated 11 years reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany. If he is that man then this fight for me would be an easy one to call. That man beats Deontay Wilder and quite convincingly in my opinion.

However, the truth is, it is very unlikely Fury is even close to that level right now, after abusing his body for so long with alcohol and illicet substances, after the long lay off, after dropping in excess of 150 pounds in a year, the combination of all these things is going to surely have taken its toll on Fury both mentally and physically. The two tune-up fights against both Seferi and Pianeta showed us Fury could still move well for a big man, it showed us he can still put some rounds in the bank against very modest opposition, however, it showed us next to nothing regarding where he is at this kind of level, the world stage.

Fury disclosed to IFL TV that he is currently weighing in at 257 lbs in fight week, which is an incredible transformation and only 10 lbs shy of the night he beat Klitschko in Germany. Technically Fury is one of the most naturally gifted heavyweights we have seen for many years, a heavyweight that moves like a middleweight, an excellent boxing IQ, Fury has everything except for the devastating punch power of his opponent, however this is heavyweight boxing and 19 knockouts from 27 fights suggests Fury can punch harder than he is given credit for.

Wilder will always be dangerous while he is in the ring, Fury has to avoid Wilder’s right hand for 12 rounds or do what no one expects and knock Wilder out himself, so after such a long lay off and all the troubles outside of the ring, the odds do look stacked against him. However I am of the opinion if Fury is just seventy percent the man he was when he left, he will pull off the upset this weekend.

Fury is too technically skilled for a guy like Wilder, the only questions that need to be answered for me are one is Fury fit enough and two can his body still do what his mind tells it, if the answer to both questions is yes then a new WBC world heavyweight champion will be crowned this weekend, if the answer to either is no, then Tyson Fury will very likely be knocked out.

However, I am not going to bet against a man who has already won his hardest fights outside of the ring, I expect Fury to outsmart and frustrate a game and determined Wilder to pick up another win on points, on the road, against all the odds.

Prediction: Fury by unanimous decision 

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