Issue Opinion Premium

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III – on again, off again…

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The third instalment of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder continues to draw contrasting reports, writes George Gigney as he rounds up the week’s leading stories from the boxing media

Websites

So, the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder trilogy fight is… off? On? Does anyone actually know?

According to a report from MailOnline, Wilder’s contractual obligation to a third fight with Fury – who stopped him in their rematch earlier this year – is just a few weeks away from expiring.

The report also states that, after suffering a bicep injury that required surgery, Wilder will not be ready in time to finalise this trilogy, citing “sources on both sides of the Atlantic” confirming that part three is off.

With this conclusion, the article celebrates the fact there are now no clear obstacles in the way of a Fury-Anthony Joshua megafight, provided they both win in their respective bouts later this year.

Hold those celebrations – Wilder’s co-manager, Shelly Finkel, told World Boxing News that these reports of Wilder’s rematch clause soon expiring are simply not true.

“Deontay Wilder is fighting Tyson Fury in December. We are working on the fight. We will update soon,” he said.

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder

Now, there were no other details given in the report, though Finkel had previously noted that Wilder – who has remained uncharacteristically quiet in recent months – will soon break his silence about what is going on.

Wilder has previously claimed/confirmed that he did suffer a nasty bicep injury, so we know that at least is true. The rest is anyone’s guess at this stage.

If Fury and Wilder are indeed going to meet in December, neither man has very long to prepare. That’s an eight-week training camp at best. If Wilder is still recovering from an injury – or only very recently fully recovered from one – how can he possibly get prepared for a fight he will be a hefty underdog in?

It also leaves little time for the promotion of what will surely be a pay-per-view event in the UK and the US. The end of the year looks set to be crammed with PPV shows and big cards – in both boxing and the UFC – and Fury and Wilder won’t come cheap. One would think the promoters and broadcasters involved would want a much longer lead time for Fury-Wilder III.

After Bob Arum went off the handle about the fact no major UK broadcaster picked up his Vasyl Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez fight, it’s since been confirmed that it will air on Fite TV on PPV on these shores. That’s the same channel that picked up the Charlo doubleheader a few weeks back, and based off of that broadcast, they have a decent setup.

It’s by no means ideal that UK fans will have to pay extra for this fight, despite it being an excellent one, especially as it’s on ESPN in the States, but at least there’s an option to watch it.

BT Sport and Queensbury Promotions officially announced the Daniel Dubois-Joe Joyce clash for November 28 – and it will not be on PPV. It’s a sign of the times that I instantly assumed this would be a PPV show, and I was genuinely surprised when it was revealed it would air on BT Sport 1 instead.

Now, broadcasters shouldn’t be praised for making decisions they should normally be making anyway, but with the state of the industry and the deluge of PPV shows thrown at fans, it is worth appreciating this move. Neither Dubois nor Joyce are household names worthy of topping a PPV yet, but the same argument could also be made for Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora who, although undoubtedly more famous, are fighting in a PPV main event on Sky Sports later this month.

We’re now one step closer to seeing an undisputed super-lightweight champion as Jack Catterall – the WBO’s mandatory challenger – has agreed to step aside to allow champions Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez to fight each other under the agreement that he’ll get the winner.

It’s a sensible move for all involved and will hopefully provide us with a standout fight to kick off 2021. It’ll also give the 140lb division yet another undisputed king after Terence Crawford achieved the same feat a few years ago.

It also looks like we’ll be getting a rematch between Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada next year after the Nicaraguan confirmed to ESPN Deportes that the fight is “80-90 per cent done.”

They’ve both got to get through their respective fights later this year, but should they both win it seems they’re all set to square off once again. It’s an excellent fight; a treat for boxing hipsters.

The WBC announced that they are postponing the purse bids for Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim. In other news, I’ve postponed my decision to shut my private parts in a fridge door.

Podcasts

Callum Johnson – the same Callum Johnson who happily walked into a ring with wrecking-ball Artur Beterbiev – was recently accused by Johnny Nelson of avoiding a fight with domestic rival Joshua Buatsi, and was given his right to reply on Sky’s Toe2Toe podcast.

“I’ve heard some crazy things said on TV in my time, but that’s up there with the craziest I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said.

“I don’t know if he’s being paid to say stupid things like that or what?”

Well, yes, Nelson is paid for his punditry on Sky Sports and while clearly not stupid, I do empathise with Johnson’s incredulity here. Buatsi is no doubt a fierce talent, but Johnson has shared the ring with more accomplished fighters and it seems bizarre to claim he would shy away from fighting his fellow Brit.

Still, fair play to Johnson for speaking his mind and to Sky for allowing direct criticism of one of their pundits for comments he made on one of their broadcasts.

Boxing news – Newsletter

Current Issue