Warren says he wants Wilder vs. Fury rematch this year
By Tim Royner: Promoter Frank Warren says he believes Showtime has offered WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder two fights before he faces Tyson Fury in a rematch, which means the two of them won’t be able to fight each other until early 2020.
Warren says they want to see the Wilder-Fury rematch take place in 2019, but given Wilder’s situation with Showtime with them offering him fights, it’s possible that they won’t see the rematch take place until the first quarter of next year.
In the meantime, Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) will be fighting highly ranked #2 WBO Tom Schwarz (24-0 16 KOs) on June 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For his part, Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will be defending his World Boxing Council heavyweight title against his WBC mandatory Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) on May 18 on SHOWTIME at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. If the two-fights that Showtime supposedly has offered Wilder, 33, to take before he faces the 6’9″ Fury in a rematch, then the Breazeale fight would be the first of two.
It’s unknown who the second fight would be for Wilder. Given the interest U.S boxing fans have in seeing sluggers, it’s quite possible that Wilder’s second fight of the new contract with Showtime would be against either #5 WBC Adam Kownacki or #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. Both of those heavyweights have a lot of punching power, and they would attract a lot of interest as potential opponents for Wilder.
“I think Showtime have offered him a couple of fights before he gets back in the ring with Tyson,” Warren said to metro.co.uk about Wilder having been offered two fights by Showtime before the Fury rematch. “If that is the position, then yes, it would be early next year [for the Wilder vs. Fury rematch]. All of us want to see it this year, and we’ll see what happens.”
Arum has been talking about wanting the Wilder vs. Fury II rematch to take place in early 2020 before news of Wilder looking to sign an extension with Showtime. It appears that it’s always been Top Rank’s plan to have the Wilder-Fury II rematch marinate until the first part of next year.
What some fans fear is that Top Rank, who now co-promote Fury, will choose to let the Wilder rematch marinate far into the future by putting Fury in a series of matches against guys with a padded record, inflated ranking, and little in the way of actual talent. The fans fear that Top Rank will try and create a star out of Fury by using skillful match-making in putting him in against similar fighters as Schwarz without much talent or punching power to speak of.
“Schwarz was chosen because he was ranked No.2 with the WBO and he’s got an undefeated 24-0 record,” Warren explained. “Coincidentally, that is the same record Tyson had when he fought, and beat, Wladimir Klitschko.”
Fury’s record may have been similar to that of Schwarz when he beat past his best Klitschko in 2015, but there’s obviously a big difference in talent between Fury and Schwarz. No one has been saying that Schwarz is a major talent on the same level as Fury. One only has to watch Schwarz’s fight against Senad Gashi last year to spot how flawed he is. Schwarz looked poor against Gashi in that fight. There were moments there where it looked like Gashi was going to bang Schwarz out when he had the big 6’5″ German fighter trapped against the ropes and was hammering him at will. For some reason, Gashi got a little carried away while teeing off on Schwarz and wound up head-butting him. This led to Schwarz falling down on the canvas in what some boxing fans saw as a deliberate flop on his part in order to get a disqualification victory. Schwarz has looked a lot better since then, beating Christian Lewandowski, Julian Fernandez and Kristijan Krstacic. However, like most of the guys on Schwarz’s 24-fight resume, those were all obscure fighters and not world class. Schwarz’s career record looks entirely built up from poor opposition instead of talented fighters. The WBO’s decision to give Schwarz a #2 ranking is a strange one based on his poor record.
It’s going to be complicated to try and get the Wilder vs. Fury rematch made now that Top Rank has signed the British fighter and has him fighting on ESPN. Wilder is managed by Al Haymon, and it could be a real problem getting the second fight negotiated. It’s perhaps not a big deal for Fury, given how much money he’s being given by Top Rank to fight for them. With the money Fury is being paid by the American promotional company, he might not be too upset if he doesn’t fight Wilder ever again. It’s just not a good deal for ESPN if they don’t get the Wilder-Fury rematch, because that fight will bring in a massive amount of viewers. ESPN might not be too happy at having Top Rank match Fury against Schwarz level fighters for the next several years. If Top Rank fails to match Fury against Wilder, then they’ll likely put Tyson in with Kubrat Pulev, Bryant Jennings and Oscar Rivas in his next three fights.