Tyson Fury’s next fight was inching closer yesterday and it appears increasingly likely that Deontay Wilder in a third heavyweight title fight is on the verge of being signed as the ‘Gypsy King’ backroom team backroom staff have been asked to “get to Vegas”.
The promoter Bob Arum has already reserved the Allegiant Stadium of the Raiders American Football team – capacity 65,000 plus – for July 24 in Sin City for the fight and sources have suggested a deal for the World Boxing Council championship could be struck in 48 hours.
It leaves Fury versus Anthony Joshua for the undisputed title shelved, but still possible for Saudi Arabia in December, after Wilder won an arbitration case in the United States for a rematch with the British ‘Gypsy King’ under the terms of their contract after they fought in Las Vegas last February, in which the Briton stopped the Alabaman in the seventh round in a torrid fight. A judge ordered the rematch to take place by September 15, with implications of injunctions and proceedings without a resolution.
Three times last year their rematch was put off – July, October and December.
If Fury and Joshua do meet for all the belts (Fury WBC, Joshua, IBF/WBA/WBO) they will have to be victorious against other foes, with Joshua now set to face mandatory challenger for his World Boxing Organisation belt, Oleksandr Usyk, the former world undisputed cruiserweight champion. Usyk’s team are already in talks with Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter.
It has been a twisted narrative towards the settling of an undisputed champion in the sport’s blue riband division, and the story has been frustratingly elongated, in reality because of COVID-19 and not the sometime torturous negotiations that go on when the purses are astronomical. Just three days ago, after months of painstaking negotiations it appeared that Fury against Joshua, the all British match-up for the undisputed heavyweight crown, and the richest event in British boxing history tabled at £200 million in Riyad, Saudi Arabia was finally over the line. They were to earn at least £75million each, but if they both win in the interim, that came.
But then came the Wilder ruling and the assertion from his parties that the fight itself, and not a pay-off of million of dollars, was required. It brought venom from both sides, with Malik Scott, Wilder’s new trainer and a wizened traveller for over two decades who knows the nuts and bolts of the fight game, laying down the gauntlet. The former WBC champion’s trainer Scott took to social media to deny any desire for ‘step-aside’ payment reportedly for as much as $20 million, which might have, or still might, avert the trilogy fight.
“Wilder declined and had no interest in step-aside money,” he posted. “Y’all dealing with a whole different type m—–f—– over here. He want the blood, not that step-aside money. Retribution is upon us.” Fury, who is in Miami with his pregnant wife Paris, and their children, also posted, goading Wilder with a long list of excuses since he lost the title to Fury.
Fury had originally reacted to the news of the arbitration case on his Instagram account 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 had said. “Asked for $20m to move over, joker. Looks like I have to [fight him] again.”
Fury’s family travelled to Miami on Monday, where they will stay this week, the fighter telling The Telegraph yesterday that he was doing “chilling family time with the missus and kids” before heading to training camp in Las Vegas at the weekend. Fury’s promoter Frank Warren explained 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.” It will be a titanic trilogy fight in the huge new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip that has yet to house a major boxing moment.