Promoter Frank Warren has warned Deontay Wilder to be prepared for a better version of Tyson Fury when the pair meet in a rematch early in the new year.
Wilder hung on to his WBC heavyweight championship with a hard-fought draw against Fury in their wold title fight in Los Angeles last December.
An agreement is in place that will see the duo square off again in 2020 if both are successful in their upcoming bouts – Fury against Otto Wallin on Saturday and wilder against Luis Ortiz later in the year.
Warren says Fury was underdone for the first fight but a busy schedule this year has the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ approaching career-best form.
“He will be in much better shape than he was the first time around,” Warren told the Daily Star. “That time he was basically training to make weight rather than training for the fight.
“Anything can happen though, we saw what happened with Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz.
“Even when Tyson fought Wladimir Klitschko, he was a big underdog in that fight, so anything can happen with these big guys. He cannot take his eye off the ball at all.
“Tyson is busy doing what he needs to do and that is stay busy. He needs to stay active so he doesn’t put weight on, mentally he needs to be on the money too.
“He is going to be more dangerous than ever. This is Tyson Fury with 18 months behind him in the gym rather than a six-month crash course.”
Last week Wilder suggested he would pursue the winner of the rematch between IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua, scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Warren is cautiously optimistic that won’t happen
“I would hope not because we have an agreement. I think he will be a man of his word. It is the fight the fans want,” Warren continued.
“Tyson against Deontay Wilder rematch is going to be huge, there is not a bigger fight than that. Ruiz against Wilder is not a bigger fight.”
Joshua failed in his US debut when he was upset by Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York in June, going down in seven rounds to the late replacement who stepped in after original opponent Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test.
Despite the high-profile nature of the bout, Warren believe Fury – who signed a multi-fight broadcast deal with ESPN earlier in the year – is the bigger drawcard stateside.
“Now Fury has built up his profile on ESPN, he has a bigger profile than Joshua has got in America,” Warren said.
“First of all, he has got a big personality. He has been involved in the big fights. He went to Germany to fight Klitschko and he went to America to fight their champion. That sums him up.
“Joshua took a long time to go to America and when he went he was going to fight Jarrell Miller and then he picked Ruiz. In both of those fights he was a huge favourite.
“Fury went and fought the best American heavyweight out there, that says something about him.”
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