Fury and Wilder both hit the canvas earlier with their trilogy fight descending into a brutal “all out war”.
Wilder was knocked down in the third round before the American fought back to floor Fury twice in the next round and turn the fight on its head. Both men have looked out on their feet, with Fury dishing out most of the punishment but unable to finish his foe heading into the 11th round.
Fury is defending his WBC heavyweight boxing crown, facing Wilder in Las Vegas for the third — and probably final — instalment of their three-year ring rivalry.
The two heavyweights fought to a bruising draw in their first fight in Los Angeles in 2018, when Fury overcame a crushing 12th round knockdown after outboxing Wilder for much of the contest.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) then defeated Wilder in February last year via a seventh-round knockout that ended Wilder’s five-year reign as WBC champion.
Wilder’s walkout to the fight was delayed because Wilder was still having his gloves fitted after the national anthems were sung.
Neither man has fought since that fight 20 months ago, and Fury was forced to move on from a highly-anticipated bout with former WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua after an independent arbitrator in May ruled that Wilder was instead entitled to a rematch for a third fight.
An outbreak of Covid-19 in Fury’s camp, which affected the British champion and several members of his entourage, forced the fight to be delayed further from July to October.
Wilder was full of excuses for why he lost the second fight, from glove-tampering to having his water spiked from his former trainer.
Now the pressure is on for him to prove he is a different fighter and take down Fury.
“It means everything,” Wilder said as he arrived at the arena. “It means all I’ve been training for, everything I’ve been preparing for the last 20 months. The sacrifices, the dedication, the heartaches and pain — somebody gotta pay for this. It wasn’t free.”
Now a fresh drama has emerged, with Wilder complaining about the horse hair used as padding inside Fury’s gloves.
Wilder was certain it did not provide enough padding, although the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NASC) confirmed his gloves were permitted for use.
That was after NASC cut one glove open to check the padding.
“We had a little situation with the gloves,” Wilder told 78SportsTV.
“I already got word of some funny stuff going on in the back of the gloves.
“When I got into the room I immediately asked about the gloves and was telling them about certain things that happened in the first event with his gloves being funny, how they were bending and folding, even showing certain clips of it.
“They [NASC officials] said they’ve been around boxing 25, 30 years, everybody feels since they’ve been around it they are some type of expert.
“But if you haven’t put a glove on and hit someone in the face to understand what type of amage it could do, or how mechanically a glove can work, it’s 25, 30 years down the toilet.
“You can cut open a glove all day and look inside and still not know what’s going on.”
Story first published on Foxsports Australia