Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury facing off in Vegas
It’s as much a part of Vegas’ cultural fabric as the one-armed bandit, the all-you-can-eat buffet and Elvis at the International. We’re talking about Championship Fight Night, when the world’s spotlight shines on the Las Vegas Strip as two highly skilled combatants slug it out in the squared circle.
While the buzz is palpable for any title fight in the Boxing Capital of the World, nothing matches the edge-of-the-seat excitement that’s generated when two larger-than-life athletes go toe-to-toe for boxing’s top prize: the world heavyweight championship.
Over the past half-century, Las Vegas has hosted numerous heavyweight title bouts that still rank among the greatest of all time, many involving some of boxing’s most iconic fighters. Muhammad Ali’s stunning loss to Leon Spinks in 1978? It happened here. So did Mike Tyson’s 91-second knockout of Spinks’ brother, Michael, a decade later. And all three epic battles between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe. And both Holyfield-Tyson clashes (including the infamous ear bite heard ’round the word). And George Foreman’s knockout of 26-year-old Michael Moorer that made Foreman, at age 45, the oldest man to ever win the heavyweight title. Las Vegas is firmly part of boxing history.
Which brings us to this weekend, when Las Vegas once again takes center stage for the highly anticipated rematch between heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and ex-titleholder Tyson Fury at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Both men are imposing (Wilder stands 6-foot-7, Fury 6-foot-9), undefeated (combined record: 71-0-2) and devastating punchers (combined 61 knockouts, including 41 by Wilder in 43 fights). And both have a score to settle: Back in December 2018 in Los Angeles, the duo fought to a 12-round draw.
Given the high stakes, the dramatic buildup and the crushing punching power, Wilder-Fury II just might be another heavyweight fight for the ages. At the very least, it’s destined to be another spectacular Fight Night on the Strip. Be part of boxing history.
MGM Grand, 2 p.m. Feb. 22, starting at $154 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000