Ever since their classic, controversial draw last year, boxing fans have been waiting for a rematch between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and former champion Tyson Fury.
At first, it looked like the fight would happen immediately due to the first bout’s close result. However, that fell by the wayside when both men signed streaming deals with different companies. Fury signed with ESPN, while ‘The Bronze Bomber’ re-upped with SHOWTIME Sports.
So each man moved on to face a new (and less high-profile) challenge. Wilder infamously knocked out mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn, New York, last weekend. Fury, meanwhile, will face Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas.
“The Gypsy King” responded to Wilder’s win before issuing a warning to all top heavyweights. He also appeared on today’s episode of ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show’ to discuss Wilder’s win and his own fighting future. He reiterated that he was impressed by Wilder’s win, and that anyone who stood directly in front of the ‘Bronze Bomber’ would be knocked out:
“Very impressed. You know Deontay Wilder’s got a lot of power, and if you stand in front of him, he will knock you out. That’s what Breazeale did, and he paid the price.”
Asked if the fact that Wilder knocked out Breazeale and not him made him look better, Fury insisted it didn’t matter much:
“Um, not really, because styles do make fights. You can’t really go too much on the performance over Dominic Breazeale compared to mine because Dominic’s got a totally different style to me. Like I say, one style might work for Dominic Breazeale might not necessarily work for someone like myself.”
Fury was then questioned about Wilder’s pre-fight statement about adding a ‘body’ to his record and killing Breazeale in their fight. Fury chalked it up to simple promotion:
“I didn’t buy into too much because a lot of fighters have to create opinions and try and sell their selves and get people talking about their stuff. So they do crazy things. So I know Deontay Wilder’s a family man, he doesn’t want to kill anybody, so I don’t read too much into it. But nevertheless, it is a combat sport, people do happen to die in the ring now and again. It’s not a nice thing to do because, when two men are in there fighting for their life the last thing you need is someone to get severely injured or worse.”
The discussion then predictably moved on to Fury’s expected rematch with Wilder. He said they were close to a rematch, but his own ESPN deal, as well as Wilder’s plans, got in the way:
“We were very close to a rematch. We had contracts, they had contracts, we were trying to agree to terms. But all of the sudden, I had a massive offer from ESPN; they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, no pun intended. That would have been in May, I believe. Deontay Wilder apparently signed a three-fight deal before I signed an ESPN deal. So this was all done before we even put pen to paper.”
Helwani posed the concern that he, Wilder, and Anthony Joshua may never meet due to their fight deals. Fury said that was nonsense and that a deal could be reached. He pointed at his first fight versus Wilder as an example:
“Oh no. If the fighters are willing to fight, then why should the network get in the way? Fighters use that as an excuse. A.K.A. Anthony Joshua. He uses that a lot as the excuse. But I believe if the fighters really want to fight each other – as I proved, I was on BT Sports; I came over to the United States and fought on SHOWTIME – these fights can happen. Why can’t they not do a dual broadcast? It’s been done before, it’ll happen again. Deontay Wilder cannot run from Tyson Fury forever.”
“The Gypsy King” then said his rematch with Wilder simply has to happen. He pointed to next spring as the targeted date:
“This rematch has gotta happen. Gotta happen. But it won’t be in May, June, July, or August. This fight, I’m being told, is likely happening March or April of next year.”
Fury said he had no location for the bout:
“I’ve no idea, but that’s the dates I’ve been given.”
He said he would most likely take another fight or two in between his match-up with Schwarz and his rematch with Wilder. He wants to stay active, and won’t wait around for certain fights:
“I’ve no idea. I’ll probably have another couple of fights in between then if all goes all. I want to be active. I’m not playing anybody else’s games. You know, I’ve got to think about me and my career, and my family, and my life. I’m not going to put my career on hold because I’m waiting for X, Y, Z people to take fights. I’m taking my career in my own hands, destiny, I hold ‘em in both hands. And when the time’s right, we’ll do the fight.”
Finally, Fury was asked if he was concerned about Joshua and Wilder facing off next, leaving him the odd man out. He said he wasn’t concerned, as neither could be considered the best unless they beat him:
“I’m not worried at all. I’m “The Gypsy King,” and the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. All roads lead to Tyson Fury. C’mon. Who wins out of them two, they can never be considered the best in the world unless they beat me. I hold the lineal championship of the world. To be the man of the era, they have to beat Tyson Fury. And no one’s been able to do it in 29 fights so far.”