The third matchup between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will not be Fury’s next fight, according to Top Rank Boxing CEO and founder Bob Arum.
After Fury defeated Wilder back on Feb. 22, it was widely reported that there was an agreement for them to meet again in a trilogy bout later on in 2020. Fury and Wilder fought to a draw in December 2018 in their initial meeting. A July date was scheduled but was then called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fury-Wilder III was then penciled in for Dec. 19 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. But when the decision was made to move off that date as well, circumstances shifted drastically.
“We couldn’t get an appropriate date, until it was next year. Tyson said, ‘No, I want to fight in December,’ and so that’s what we arranged in England,” Arum told ESPN. As for Wilder and the clause for the third meeting, Arum said simply, “We had a contract, but it expired.”
When ESPN contacted Shelly Finkel, who represents Wilder, he responded to Arum’s comments by stating, “He’s entitled to his opinion, he can think anything he wants.” Finkel says that Wilder is currently training and getting prepared for his next bout.
“Deontay and I would like to have the next fight, as planned, against Fury. We’ll fight him any date, any place,” Finkel said. When asked if Fury-Wilder III could take place in the first half of 2021, Arum said, “Sure. [Kubrat] Pulev is going to knock out [Anthony Joshua]. Then Wilder’s the best opponent next up for Fury.”
Pulev is the IBF mandatory challenger to unified heavyweight champion Joshua. They are reportedly set to meet on Dec. 12. But should Joshua, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles, get past Pulev, it would set the stage for Fury and Joshua to meet in an all-British battle for the undisputed heavyweight championship, which could also stand in the way of making Fury-Wilder III in the immediate future.
“It’s the biggest fight in the history of English boxing,” said Arum, who said that particular matchup would land ”wherever it’s the most lucrative to make it happen.”
As for whom Fury could fight on Dec. 5, Arum mentioned that within the WBC top 15, about 10 of the listed boxers are unavailable. Fighters including Agit Kabayel (WBC No. 15), Efe Ajagba (WBC No. 14) and Oscar Rivas (WBC No. 8), who are all promoted by Top Rank, are under consideration.