Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III planned for July 18 in Las Vegas
By Tim Royner: Bob Arum of Top Rank has confirmed that heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will be fighting on July 18 in trilogy match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will once again be shown on ESPN and Fox Sports pay-per-view like with their rematch that took place on February 22. This is the same venue as the second Wilder-Fury 2 fight.
Wilder’s management wasn’t going to wait to exercise the rematch clause, even though they officially had 25 days to do it from the date of the second fight.
It’s going to be difficult to sell the Fury-Wilder III fight on pay-per-view because of the outcome of their rematch last February. Fury blew the hapless 6’7″ Wilder out of the water, dropping him twice, and beating him until his trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel in the 7th.
Wilder then made the loss much worse by coming up with the excuse of blaming the loss on his ring-walk outfit. He says his legs were weakened from the 40-lb outfit he wore. The excuse has resulted in Wilder being ridiculed in the boxing world by fans, fighters, and some promoters.
Fans wanted Wilder to take a step aside payment so that Fury could face Anthony Joshua in a fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship this summer. Wilder would then face the winner of the Fury vs. Joshua fight in the fall. However, that would have been a potentially bad idea for Wilder because if he Fury were to beat Joshua, he’d likely retire. He’s made it clear that he only has 2 fights left, and he wants to fight Dereck Chisora before he hangs up his gloves.
Arum made the suggestion of pushing the Fury vs. Wilder III fight to the fall, but Deontay wanted the fight in the summer in July, according to ESPN. Fury’s promoter thinks July will be a good time for the third fight to take place between the giant heavyweights because it’s a “dead” period in which other sports won’t compete against the fight.
“Now we will sit down and go through all the details for the fight,” Arum said t ESPN.com in talking about negotiating the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight. “I figured he would do it because I have had enough experience with rematches to know that anything can happen and guys can change their strategy and want the opportunity to [avenge] the loss.”
The purse split for the third fight will be Fury getting 60% and Wilder 40%, which is part of the original contract. It was written in the contract that the winner of the second fight would get a 60/40 deal for the trilogy match.
There will be a lot of boxing fans that won’t want to pay to see the third Fury vs. Wilder fight on PPV, but it’s likely that the fight will still do respectable numbers given all the noise that will be created with the marketing by ESPN and Fox. As of now, there aren’t any big fights that are scheduled for July that will take away interest from the Fury vs. Wilder III fight. Canelo Alvarez is fighting on May 2, so he won’t be competing with the Fury-Wilder 3 fight.
If Wilder gets knocked out again by Fury, his career could be over as a major player in the division. Wilder likely won’t retire after a second defeat against Fury, but it’ll be tough for him to try and come back from the loss. Where would Wilder go from here? IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua might give Wilder a chance, but he may need to rebuild himself a little before he gets that opportunity.
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