WBC to order Wilder vs. Fury rematch
By Jeff Aranow: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and lineal champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) will soon have a chance to face each other in a rematch following their 12 round split draw last Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The World Boxing Council is poised to order Wilder, 32, and Fury to face each other a second time. For Wilder, he’ll need to go along with whatever the WBC says, since he’s their champion. As a contender, Fury can do whatever he wants.
If Fury decides it’s in his best interest to fight Wilder a second time, then that fight can and will get made. Fury has options though. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he’d like to put together a fight between his fighter IBF/WBA/WBO Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) and Fury. There’s more money for Fury in taking on Joshua than there is for him to fight Wilder again. Even if Fury is only given a small percentage cut of 70-30 for the Joshua fight, he’ll likely wind up with more money than he’ll get in a rematch with Wilder.
Fury surprised the boxing world by out-boxing Wilder in many of the rounds last Saturday to earn a 12 round split draw. While some boxing fans thought that Fury deserved a victory, Wilder’s two knockdowns in the later rounds helped him salvage a draw. Those two knockdowns put the judges in the position where they needed to make a decision whether to give a challenger that had been dropped twice during the contest a victory. Since it’s almost unheard of for a challenger to win after they’ve been knocked down twice by a champion, the judges chose to score the fight a 12 round split draw.
The World Boxing Council’s board of governors will be voting on the proposal to order an immediate rematch between Wilder and Fury. It’s expected that the WBC will vote unanimously in favor of ordering the rematch.
If Fury decides he doesn’t want to take the remtch, then Wilder will likely wind up defending his WBC title against his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale next. The WBC hasn’t ordered that fight yet, but if the Wilder-Fury rematch doesn’t take place, then we’ll likely see the WBC order Wilder vs. Breazeale. Wilder is still technically in the running for a unification fight against Anthony Joshua for April 13, but the way that AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn is talking, it doesn’t sound like he’s seriously interested in making the Joshua-Wilder fight in April of next years. Perhaps in the second half of 2019, Hearn will show interest in making the Joshua vs. Wilder fight. Most boxing fans believe Hearn is going to continue to kick the Joshua vs. Wilder fight down the road until he feels it’s time to make it. No one knows for sure what Hearn wants to see before he’ll be ready to match Joshua against Wilder. Currently, Wilder is 32 and Joshua 28. If Hearn can wait four years until Wilder is 36 before he makes the fight, then it could favor Joshua.
Golden Boy Promotions waited until Gennady Golovkin was 35 before they let their fighter Saul Canelo Alvarez fight him. It worked out well for Golden Boy in Canelo getting a draw and then a win over GGG. It could workout the same way for Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn if he waits until Wilder is 35 or 36 before he puts together a fight between him and Joshua. It’s not a good idea for Hearn to put the Joshua vs. Wilder fight off too far into the future if he doesn’t want to have AJ look like he’ ducking the fight, but the casual boxing fans will likely never know that he’s purposefully delaying the fight in order to age Wilder.