Just 24 hours ago, Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua was “100 percent on” for Aug. 14, 2021, in Saudi Arabia. Now the fight is looking like it will be delayed until Fury fights Deontay Wilder for a third time.
Fury and Wilder have fought twice before: a draw in 2018 and a technical knockout win for Fury in 2020. A rematch clause was included in the second fight, but seemed to expire, with Team Wilder asking for a 2021 date and Team Fury moving on to a “super” fight with WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Unfortunately for Fury, a legally-binding arbitration ruling states he must face Wilder by Sept. 2021 or be in breach of contract.
“We’re not paying Wilder to step aside,” Fury’s promoter Bob Arum told ESPN. “It’s better to get rid of him and go about our business. We can make Fury-Joshua fight for November or December.”
Arum has already gone ahead and booked Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 24, 2021, for the third fight between Fury and Wilder. But, is it just a bluff to try and bump down the cost to get Wilder to step aside until after the Joshua fight? A contractual feint to make Wilder’s team turn down another date?
Fury’s other promoter, Frank Warren, sounded ready to dish up some serious bucks ... up to $20 million. Is this good cop, bad cop?
“It is really simple now Tyson now either goes immediately to the fight with Deontay Wilder or we try to reach and accommodation with Wilder,” Warren said in an interview with BBC radio. “It will cost quite a bit of money. Until we reach an accommodation with Wilder’s people I can’t say the fight will definitely happen. But we are working hard to get that over the line. We were talking last night. If we can’t get it done Tyson will go to the fight with Wilder.
“We are going to do our best to get it over the line,” he continued. “That is what everyone has been working toward for a long time now. There is a cut off point one when a decision has to be made and which direction Tyson goes in. I hope Deontay will accept less than $20 million.”
As for which way “The Bronze Bomber” is swinging, he sounds more interested in fighting Fury than taking the money.
Deontay Wilder’s new trainer Malik Scott: “Wilder declined and had no interest in step-aside money. Y’all dealing with a whole different type motherf***er over here. He want the blood, not that step-aside money. ‘Retribution is upon us’.”— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) May 18, 2021
But why not take the money and THEN fight Tyson Fury ... quite possibly for all the belts? Wilder works in mysterious ways sometimes. Whichever way you’re hoping this turns out, we wouldn’t book any plane tickets to Las Vegas — or Saudi Arabia — just yet.
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