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The ‘new’ Deontay Wilder set to face Tyson Fury for the third time

Former World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder said he’s not the same man who was beaten by Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury in February 2020.

The Tuscaloosa native said he is new and improved as he looks toward his third meeting with Fury in a live pay-per-view event Oct. 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight is available via ESPN+ PPV and Fox Sports PPV.

“You’re looking at a rejuvenated Deontay Wilder, a reinvented Deontay Wilder,” the 35-year-old said in a virtual press conference promoting the fight. “The old Deontay Wilder is no longer there. It’s something that I can’t explain to you, but only will show you come Oct. 9.”

Wilder, known as the Bronze Bomber from his bronze-medal effort in the 2008 Summer Olympics, fought Fury to a draw in their first meeting in December 2018. In that bout, Wilder knocked down the man from Great Britain, but Fury kept getting up.

In February 2020, the pair squared off again with Fury scoring a seventh-round technical knockout.

This time, Wilder said, “I want payback back in blood. On Oct. 9, I will get my revenge. It’s an eye for an eye.”

The 6-foot-7 Wilder brings a 42-1-1 record into the fight, with 41 knockouts. The 6-foot-9 Fury is 30-0-1.

Malik Scott, a former heavyweight who lost to Wilder in March 2014, is head trainer in the camp of the former champ.

“Malik Scott is a wonderful person and trainer,” Wilder said. “We met years ago sparring with Tomasz Adamek. We clicked right away and we’ve formed a real bond and brotherhood. I have so much love around me in this camp that I’m not dwelling on anything negative.

“We’re having fun while learning and creating things together during training camp,” Wilder continued. “That’s just the passion that we have to become two-time heavyweight champion of the world.”

Wilder said his training camp for this fight has been amazing. “Hands down,” he said, it’s been the best training camp in his career.

“This is the first time where I had all my guys with me at all the times with no distractions of the outside world or anything,” he said. “I’m just in a happy state. I’m in a happy place. My mindset mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, I’m ultimately, ultimately happy. It has been a blessing.”

The Tuscaloosa native said he’s “super focused … more focused now than I’ve ever been in my entire career. This is the second phase of my career. I had fun winning and defending the title for five years. At this point, we’re just serious about everything. I’m in a happy place and I’m glad that I’m here.”

The third fight of this trilogy has been delayed several times after having been initially scheduled for July 18. Now, Wilder calls the delays “a blessing.”

“The more they delayed it, the more time we had to work on my craft and art, along with strategically going over the game plan we’re going to have on Oct. 9,” he said. “It was obviously frustrating, because I was ready to go, and this is the longest I’ve been out of the ring. There’s something about the ring that calls you and draws you back. But I’ve used the time and benefited tremendously.

“They say that things happen for a reason and that we don’t understand that reason until we get to a certain place in life; then we understand it,” Wilder continued. “My whole team understands everything that has happened and we’re looking forward.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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