WILDER vs FURY
We’re still waiting on the venue but it looks like we’re all set for the most intriguing heavyweight ght of the year, writes Elliot Worsell
All the news as a date is set for the WBC heavyweight title blockbuster
DETAILS of the impending WBC world heavyweight title showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are being dripfed to us on a weekly basis and another piece of the puzzle was put in place on Saturday (September 22). We now have a date: December 1. It doesn’t complete the puzzle – we’re still waiting on a venue to be announced – but it’s a move in the right direction at least.
The date of the fight, revealed to an expectant audience on the day Anthony Joshua was due to box Alexander Povetkin for three of the four world heavyweight titles, has been a long time coming. Six weeks ago we watched Wilder, the WBC champion, in Belfast, have a food fight with Billy Joe Saunders in a Nando’s and then go head-to-head with Fury, fresh from an easy win against Francesco Pianeta, in a boxing ring. We were told, “It is on!” There was a mockup poster. It would be on BT Sport Box Office.
Yet, since August 18, the two heavyweights have posted plenty of videos on social media – training videos, call-out videos, videos of them driving – and talk of an announcement press conference has remained just that – talk. Moreover, despite initial rumours of two dates in November and venues in Brooklyn (Barclays Center) and Las Vegas (T-mobile Arena), it would now seem Wilder vs. Fury is in fact headed for a December date and possibly Los Angeles (Staples Center).
Following the date reveal, Fury said in an Instagram video: “Deontay Wilder, you are going to get it and you are in big trouble.
“I have never met a man I couldn’t beat in the boxing ring or outside on the street. I know you have a big punch and I know you are unbeaten. I know you have got a big mouth and I know you want to win. But you don’t want it like I do. You can’t beat me. I will force my will upon you until you quit, and that is a promise.”
Wilder, meanwhile, later posted a video to his Twitter account and said: “I can’t wait. It is going to be an exciting fight, an explosive fight, and one for the legacy. Definitely one for my legacy.
“You’ve got the WBC heavyweight champion of the world versus the lineal champion. It is going to be a pleasure. It’s the two best heavyweights competing against each other – the best fighting the best – and giving the people what they want. This is what we’re doing.” It sounds official enough. Wilder and Fury are saying all the right things, showing signs of intent, and seemingly preparing to meet on December 1, somewhere in America. It’s been a little unorthodox in its construction, but, when dealing with mavericks like Wilder and
‘I HAVE NEVER MET A MAN I COULDN’T BEAT IN THE RING OR ON THE STREET’
Fury, isn’t that to be expected?
Certainly, by the time it comes around, anticipation will be at fever pitch and the path required to get there will be long forgotten. It’s a fight as good as any in the heavyweight division right now. Better yet, thanks to Fury’s two-and-a-half years in the wilderness, and the subsequent splintering of world heavyweight titles, it has been (irrespective of the announcement delay) a relatively straightforward fight to make.
The same cannot be said for Anthony Joshua potentially fighting the winner. Unfortunately, Joshua, the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion, has a number of mandatory obligations to fulfil, all of which keep him away from Wilder and Fury, while an April 2019 date at Wembley Stadium is unlikely to feature either of the two undefeated heavyweights in the opposite corner for reasons outlined by Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, on pages 12-15.
Time’s a precious commodity in the heavyweight division, as indeed it is whenever big money is involved. Get the timing right, and a fight, just like the delivery of a perfectly executed right cross, can land flush on the button and cause maximum impact. Get it wrong, however, and it can all look a little messy.
The hope is that once Wilder vs. Fury is officially announced (Boxing News understands this will happen on Monday, October 1) and then goes ahead without any hitches and is everything we’re told it’s going to be. After that, the picture will be a little clearer, Joshua will have discovered the identity of his foremost rival, and the only things stopping order and clarity in the heavyweight division will be the very things that have always prevented order and clarity in the heavyweight division: ego, greed and politics.
‘IT’S GOING TO BE A PLEASURE. IT’S THE BEST FIGHTING THE BEST’
BRAVO: Fury is to be applauded for accepting this ght so soon into his comeback
THE FAVOURITE: Early odds place Wilder at 8/11 with Fury the outsider at 11/10