If one thought the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight could not get bigger, they were wrong, by about 35 pounds. Both men came into the packed MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Friday afternoon heavier than in their previous fight in December 2018.
This is not unexpected. In the lead up to this fight, both men predicted a heavier weight. Fury thought he would come in at around 270 pounds and Wilder claimed he would be in the neighborhood of 230 pounds.
Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) walked to the weigh-in area first, preceded by Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, which the pro-Fury crowd enthusiastically sang along with before he made it into the arena. The environment could not have been better for a man fighting so far from home. He stepped on the scale and weighed in at 273 pounds, or 19.5 stone for our British readers. Fury weighed 16.5 lbs. more than in the previous Wilder fight and 18.5 more pounds than he weighed in his last fight against Otto Wallin in September 2018. The last time Fury weighed this much was when he started his comeback in June of 2018 when he carried 276 pounds.
Wilder arrived at the scales with LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” filling the arena. The crowd was hostile, as boos louder than the cheers for the current champion rained down. When Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett read out the weight, the scale had Wilder at 231 pounds. Wilder has never weighed this much for a fight. The last top weight for Wilder was 229 lbs. in June 2015 against Eric Molina in his first title defense. In the first Fury fight, he weighed 212.5. Against Luis Ortiz this past November, Wilder weighed 11.5 pounds less at 219.5.
These weights beg new questions. Wilder claimed the flu sapped his strength in the first Fury affair, explaining the low weight in that fight, which was his lowest since his pro debut. Did Wilder increase his strength? Most likely. Visibly, Wilder didn’t look to be out of shape, keeping his excellent physique.
Fury’s weight gain brings up far more vital questions. He’s not at his heaviest in his career, but being heavier against Wilder may very well affect his mobility, which he will desperately need against Wilder. Fury claimed he was building strength by adding the weight and he has, by all accounts, been eating healthy. He cut out diet coke for this fight (which he said he was consuming between 20-30 per day before camp) and made other nutritional adjustments.
Though Fury has never had the look of a bodybuilder, Fury also stepped on the scales with his shirt on. A far cry from 2018 when he proudly took his shirt off. Stamina will be another issue with Fury as most believe he will try to win a decision and he will need to carry around the extra weight for twelve full rounds to do so.
The weigh-in added intrigue to what is already the biggest heavyweight fight in Vegas since the Lennox Lewis era. It only adds to the anticipation of much anticipated event!