Tyson Fury expects Deontay Wilder rematch rather than Joshua showdown


Tyson Fury is “almost sure” he will face Deontay Wilder for a third time rather than Anthony Joshua in an all-British four-belt unification fight that would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion for the first time in two decades.

Fury administered a shocking beatdown of the favoured American knockout merchant to capture the WBC’s version of the heavyweight championship on Saturday night in a return meeting of their split draw 15 months ago, flooring Wilder in the third and fifth rounds before the badly wounded champion’s corner threw in the towel midway through the seventh.

The contract for Saturday’s blockbuster rematch called for a 50-50 purse split, with Fury and Wilder each guaranteed $25m in addition to a cut of the pay-per-view receipts. The deal included a rematch clause which gives Wilder’s team 30 days to exercise their option for a third fight, where the purse would be divided 60-40 in Fury’s favour.

Fury expressed confidence a third instalment with Wilder will be next, suggesting it be staged at the new 72,000-seat NFL stadium presently under construction along the Vegas strip.

“The spoils of war have just happened,” said Fury. “I need to enjoy this victory and Deontay will need time to recover from the fight, but I’m almost sure that he will take a rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher. At any time he can take somebody out. With that danger, then you’re always in a fight. I’m pretty sure we’ll run it back again if he wants to. But if he doesn’t want to, these are my promoters and whatever they want to do, I’m happy with. Whoever’s next will get the same treatment, that’s for sure.”

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Wilder, who was taken directly to a local hospital afterwards for stitches in his ear and precautionary observations, missed the post-fight press conference and was not at hand to comment on a prospective third meeting. But Jay Deas, the American’s longtime trainer, said his fighter will “absolutely” want to run it back.

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“These guys have put on two tremendous fights already, so I certainly think that the public will want it,” Deas said. “And I think we’ll want it and I think they’ll want it, so it seems natural. I think that’s what you’ll see happen.” Added Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel: “You will see these guys [together] in the ring again.”

Bob Arum, the Top Rank supremo who co-promotes Fury, said they would honour the option if Wilder wants to fight a third time. “[Wilder] can opt out of a third now and get himself together and do it again next year in which case Tyson Fury will keep himself busy with other opponents,” Arum said. “If [Wilder] wants to go ahead, that’s what the contract says and we will honour that.”

Tyson Fury knocks down Deontay Wilder in the fifth.



Tyson Fury knocks down Deontay Wilder in the fifth. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Should Wilder decline to exercise the rematch option, the obvious alternative is Joshua, who holds the other three major title belts in the heavyweight division, which Fury won from Wladimir Klitschko four years ago before surrendering them amid public battles with depression and addiction. Joshua went on to consolidate those vacant IBF, WBA and WBO straps, before losing and regaining them in a pair of outings with Andy Ruiz Jr last year.

A summit meeting between the two British giants would determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, and surely threaten the box-office records set with the 2015 showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, was clear in his desire to make it happen. “I don’t think anyone wants to see a third fight, it was that conclusive, but we will see if he wants to exercise that,” Hearn said. “I probably expect Wilder [to take the rematch]. I don’t see where else he has to go.”

He added: “Our preference is to go straight into it because it would be undisputed. We will never get the opportunity in this sport to do it again with two Brits. I have already spoken to AJ, he wants this fight. He has zero fear of fighting Tyson Fury and he wants to be undisputed.”

Whoever faces Fury next will face a difficult night against a newly-crowned champion who insisted he’s only scratched the surface of his potential. “I’m my own worst critic,” he said. “I know I can do better. I’ve only just started with this style. It takes years to perfect, but I’m a quick learner, don’t forget. He said I can’t punch. He said I have two pillow fists, so not bad for an old fat guy who can’t punch!”

He added: “With this technique, we can knock out anybody. When I jumped on the scales and weighed over 270lb, people said I had underestimated Wilder. Tonight in there I felt like a beast.”



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