The deal for a Las Vegas meeting with Wilder could be finalised this week after the American fighter won his arbitration case
Tyson Fury is likely to fight Deontay Wilder, rather than Anthony Joshua, this summer, with a deal for a bout in Las Vegas on July 24 possibly finalised this week.
Fight promoter Bob Arum has reserved the 65,000-capacity Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team, for a block-busting third encounter between Fury and Wilder.
The latest twist came after Wilder won an arbitration case in the United States earlier this week for a rematch with Fury, based on the terms of the contract of their fight in February 2020.
A judge ordered the rematch to take place by Sept 15, with implications of injunctions and proceedings without a resolution.
It had been suggested that the judge’s order would result in financial negotiations to remove Wilder from the equation, clearing the way for Fury to take on Joshua in July.
Fury had originally reacted to the news of the arbitration case by accusing Wilder of chasing a $20 million fee to step aside and allow the Joshua bout to go ahead. “What a joke the Bronze Bomber has become,” Fury said on INstagram. “Asked for $20m to move over, joker. Looks like I have to [fight him] again.”
It now appears Wilder is keen on a lucrative third match-up with Fury, who stopped him in the seventh round of a torrid fight in their last encounter. Their first fight was drawn.
Malik Scott, Wilder’s vastly experienced new trainer, said of his fighter: “He wants the blood, not that step-away money. Retribution is upon us.”
Fury’s back-room staff have been asked to “get to Vegas” as a deal for the World Boxing Council championship bout looks close to being signed.
Joshua, meanwhile, is now set to face a mandatory challenger for his World Boxing Organisation belt, Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion. Usyk’s team are already in talks with Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, for a fight that could take place in Britain or the United States.
The Fury-Joshua fight, which would unify all the belts in the division, would only go ahead if both come through their summer engagements intact. It has already been the subject of complicated and protracted negotiations but at stake is the richest event in British boxing history. Each fighter would reportedly pocket around £75 million from the £200 million fight.
Fury’s family travelled to join the fighter in Miami on Monday. Fury told Telegraph Sport on Tuesday that he was doing “chilling family time with the missus and kids” before heading to training camp in Las Vegas next weekend.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, said yesterday that the fighter “just wants to fight” and was adamant that his heavyweight should “take to Wilder where he left off last time; I think Tyson wins comfortably.”
Joshua also took to social media on Wednesday with a swipe at Wilder and Tyson Fury: “I’m thinking about starting a GoFundMe to raise money for Wilder’s step-aside. So I can smoke that fat guy with skinny legs from Manchester. These heavyweights need a podcast, they do more talking than fighting.”