Tyson Fury says Deontay Wilder rematch is “confirmed and signed” for Feb.22
By Charles Brun: Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury announced last Saturday night that his rematch with WBC champion Deontay Wilder is “confirmed and signed” for early 2020 on February 22. Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) says this time he’s going to knockout Wilder to make sure there’s no doubt. This might be a case of wishful thinking by Fury.
It’s highly unlikely that Wilder’s management would sign this early for a rematch with Fury before the dust settles on the Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 rematch. It would be a big mistake for Wilder to sign for a smaller money fight with Fury before the Joshua-Ruiz rematch plays out. Wilder would certainly strengthen his position in the negotiations for the Joshua-Ruiz 2 winner if he were to knockout Fury in rematch before then, but it’s unlikely that he would agree to take that path. That would be a rookie move, and Wilder’s management are too smart to make a blunder like that. If Fury were to pull off an upset over Wilder, it would ruin the Bronze Bomber’s shot at a bigger payday against the Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 winner.
Fury says rematch with Wilder is a done deal for February 22
“The rematch has been confirmed and signed. 22nd of February, it’s on, the rematch,” Fury said. “This time I haven’t been out of the ring for three years, this time I haven’t been abusing too much alcohol, and this time I am going to knock him the f–k out.”
Deontay Wilder NOT confirming Fury rematch is signed
Wilder hasn’t said anything about the rematch with Fury being signed. It makes no sense for Wilder to sign for a rematch with Fury right now before the rematch between Joshua and Ruiz Jr. takes place. Is Fury jumping the gun to say the fight with Wilder signed when it actually hasn’t? It wouldn’t be surprising. Tyson needs the rematch more than Wilder does right now, because he doesn’t possess a world title unless you count his lineal heavyweight strap? Unfortunately, that invisible title holds very little weight compared the real belts held by Andy Ruiz Jr. and Wilder. Fury might be trying to get attention from the media any way he can by saying the rematch with Wilder is signed. It’s creating big news for Fury, but it could blow up in his face if turns out that he was crying wolf just to get boxing fans to react to him.
You must believe that Wilder wouldn’t sign for a rematch with Fury at this time, because he can make more money fighting the winner of the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch. That’s not a knock on Fury, but he’s arguably not as popular as Joshua or Ruiz in the United States right now. It’s not even close.
Fury’s ratings and ticket sales for his recent fight against Tom Schwarz were less than overwhelming. As such, Wilder can make more money fighting the Joshua-Ruiz 2 winner than he can facing Fury. One reason for that might be Fury’s style of fighting. He’s a spoiler type of fighter, and not thrilling to watch. American boxing fans like entertaining fighters that mix it up. Fury is entertaining outside of the ring, but he fights in a boring manner that involves a lot of movement and slapping punches.
Fury thinks he’ll be better for Wilder rematch
Fury expects to be better for the rematch with Wilder than he was in their first fight. ‘The Gypsy King’ blames his inability to beat Wilder on him being out of the ring for three years, and drinking too much alcohol. It looked more like a case of Fury not being able to take the punching power of Wilder once he started landing cleanly. The shots that Wilder was hitting Fury with in the second half of the fight would have given problems earlier in his career.
The excuse-making by Fury will likely continue if he fails to beat Wilder in the rematch. Fury is a good defensive level fighter, but his punch resistance has never been great. He was knocked down hard by cruiserweight Steve Cunningham in 2013. Canadian heavyweight Nejan Pajkic knocked Fury down in the second round in 2011. Nicolai Firtha had Fury hurt in 2011. The fact is, Fury got knocked down by Wilder because he couldn’t handle his power. It likely had nothing to do with Fury’s three years out of the ring or all the alcohol that he consumed. Fury’s best hope for a rematch with Wilder is to have another referee work the fight that will potentially give him a count if he gets knocked unconscious again.
Fury was supposed to have fought Wilder in a rematch on May 18, but he signed with Top Rank Boxing, and they chose put him in with #2 WBO Tom Schwarz instead in a fight designed to increase his visibility in the United States. Top Rank boss Bob Arum believes that the Wilder vs. Fury fight will bring in over 4 million pay-per-view buys between ESPN and Showtime. Given the low number of buys for the Wilder-Fury fight last December, it’s highly unlikely the rematch will bring anywhere close to 4 million buys. You can argue it’ll be lucky if it does 500,000 buys. Fury hasn’t beaten any credible to make a name for him yet. You can’t count his win over Wladimir Klitschko from 2015, because he fought a guy that was over-the-hill at 40, and he wasn’t throwing punches. By that point in Wladimir’s career, he could no longer pull the trigger on his shots. He was done as a fighter.
Fury says he’s going to confront Wilder
“He’s coming to Birmingham, when? 27th? I’m going to be there.,” said Fury about Wilder as quoted by Michael Benson. “I’m going to get right in his face and ask, What happened to you, Bomb Squad, you bum dosser? He hasn’t replied to [me] since the fight, that tells me he’s a f—–ing s—house.”
So in other words, Fury is going to try and get some attention in the media by confronting Wilder when he comes to the UK on the 27th. It’s unclear why Wilder would choose to come to the UK now, because he’s got a rematch against highly rated former world title challenger Luis Ortiz on September 28 in Los Angeles, California. That’s the fight that Wilder needs to focus on. And if not that Ortiz fight, Wilder should be keeping his eye on the winner of the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch. Fury’s poor ratings from his recent fight against Schwarz, which were far lower than the Joshua-Ruiz match, would make it clear that he’s not someone that Wilder should be paying attention to right now. Until Fury proves he’s a draw in the U.S, Wilder should focus on other fighters like Joshua, Ruiz Jr., Dillian Whyte and Adam Kownacki.
Will Fury take tune-up in October or November?
If what Fury, 30, says is accurate about the rematch with Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) being signed for February 22, then it leaves open the question of whether his co-promoters at Top Rank will have him fight another tune-up. Fury’s U.S promoter Bob Arum said that he’ll be fighting in New York next at Madison Square Garden. He didn’t say who Fury will be facing though. The fact that Arum is talking about Fury having another tune-up suggests that the contract for a rematch with Wilder ISN’T signed for February 22. If it was, Arum likely wouldn’t risk putting Fury in with anyone before then unless it’s another Tom Schwarz level fighter. But that won’t work, because the American boxing fans don’t want to see Fury face dreadful opposition. They know a showcase [mismatch] fight when they see one.
The general idea for Fury is he’s supposed to be fighting someone better than his last opponent Schwarz, who he destroyed in two rounds on June 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. That was a horribly poor opponent, and not surprisingly the ticket sales weren’t what many thought it would be. It’s likely that Top Rank won’t take the risk of having Fury take another tune-up fight of his rematch with Wilder is signed for February 22.
Top Rank realizes now that they can’t just put Fury in with fodder level opposition in the U.S and expect the American fans to want to tune in or come see him fight live.
Fury and Wilder fought to a 12 round draw in Los Angeles, California last December. Although Fury appeared to be knocked cold in the 12th, the referee stood and counted while he laid on the canvas with both closed tightly until the count of five. Fury beat the count, but some boxing fans feel that the referee bent over backwards to give a chance to survive. For the rematch with Wilder, Fury cant count on a referee giving him a similar count if he gets knocked unconscious again by Wilder. He’s got to stay on his feet this time, because getting dropped TWICE by Wilder isn’t the way you beat an undefeated world champion. Fury has got to be able to stay vertical this time for the entire 12 rounds if he wants a shot at beating Wilder. The excuse Fury made about his time off from the ring and the alcohol he consumed won’t work a second time around.