LAS VEGAS —
The Latest from the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury (all times local)
The fighters are in the ring and the heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is about to begin.
The two heavyweights fought to a draw in a dramatic fight 14 months ago, and a sold out crowd is on hand at the MGM Grand arena to watch them do it again.
Fury is the bigger man in the ring, a towering 6-foot-9 and 273 pounds. But it is Wilder, who is 6-foot-7 and 231 pounds who owns the big knockout record, stopping 41 of his 43 opponents.
Fury, the Gypsy King, entered the arena held aloft on a throne by handlers, a royal robe around his shoulders and a crown on his head as the song “Crazy’’ by Patsy Cline played. Wilder followed a few minutes later, his face hidden behind a glittery mask and a rapper in front of him.
Both fighters are guaranteed $5 million for the bout but could make $40 million or so if the fight performs well on pay-per-view.
Fury is the crowd favorite, entering the ring to roars from the crowd, including many British fans who made the trip overseas to root on their fighters.
Oddsmakers in this gambling city see the heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury as a real tossup.
Wilder was a slight favorite in the hours before the fight, but the odds were about as close as they could be. Wilder was minus-120 and Fury even money to win, though there were plenty of other bets to keep bettors happy.
Among them was an 18-1 bet that the fight will end in a draw, like the first fight between the two heavyweights did 14 months ago in Los Angeles.
Bettors could get 8-5 that Wilder will win by knockout, while Fury was a 5-1 longshot to win inside the distance. Should the fight go 12 rounds, though, Fury is at 7-5 to win to 7-1 for Wilder.
The most bang for the buck at the MGM Grand sports book was 75-1 odds that Fury would win by a first round knockout, and 60-1 that he would win by a 12th round knockout.
Wilder, who has scored knockouts in 41 of his 42 wins, is 40-1 to win by first round knockout but the odds narrow to 15-1 for a knockout in rounds 5-7.
The celebrities have started to arrive at MGM Grand arena for the hyped heavyweight rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury with Michael J. Fox, Triple H of the WWE, Magic Johnson and Gordon Ramsay all shown in the crowd.
Jerry West was seen talking to Steve Harvey, while Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis and coach John Gruden were interviewed ringside.
Athletes from various other professional sports were making their way through the concourse into the arena, including seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who races Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Styles make fights, leading a lot of people in boxing to think the second heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will be like the first.
That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, because Wilder and Fury put on a show the first time they met in a dramatic fight that ended in a draw.
But heavyweight title fights usually stand on their own. And rematches can go awry, as a trio of heavyweight contests in the 1990’s demonstrated.
Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe put on great fight when they met in November 1992, the first of what would be three fights between the two heavyweights. Bowe came on strong in the late rounds to take the title from Holyfield in a bruising 12-round fight of two boxers in their prime.
When they met a year later, the fight was good enough. But then the so-called Fan Man, flying in a motorized paraglider, swooped into the outdoor arena at Caesars Palace, landing in the ring ropes during the seventh round.
It took 21 minutes to restore order and resume the fight. When it was over, Holyfield had a narrow win, though Bowe would complain that the Fan Man sapped his momentum and cost him the bout.
The next year, Oliver McCall knocked out Lennox Lewis in the second round in a stunning upset at Wembley Stadium in London. By the time they got together in 1997 for a second title fight, McCall started behaving bizarrely, refusing to go back to his corner at the end of the third round and throwing only two punches in the fourth round.
McCall had tears streaming down his face, finally prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight and award the win to Lewis.
Perhaps the most famous of recent heavyweight rematches took place the same year, when Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield met for the second time in what became the infamous “Bite Fight.’’
Holyfield had stopped Tyson in the 11th round of their first fight, and Tyson was upset because he thought he was being head butted. When he and Holyfield went at it in the rematch, Tyson thought the same thing and retaliated by biting Holyfield’s ear.
Referee Mills Lane allowed the fight to go on but Tyson then bit Holyfield’s other ear, forcing Lane to disqualify him in a bizarre finish to one of the biggest fights ever.