By Matt Lieberman: Promoter Frank Warren says Tyson Fury doesn’t want to wait until February 2021 before fighting Deontay Wilder again in their contractually bound trilogy match.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) wants to fulfill his contractual commitments against former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) by facing him this year in 2020.
Warren says if the Fury-Wilder III contest can’t happen this year, then he wants Fury to face Anthony Joshua. That’s the fight that boxing fans want to see, and there’s nothing else out there that can compare to it right now.
According to Warren, he was taken by surprise by the news that Fury vs. Wilder 3 could be moved to February 2021. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is reportedly interested in pushing the fight to take advantage of crowds, possibly being allowed back into boxing events by early next year.
IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) can’t fight Fury in 2020, as he needs to defend against his WBO mandatory Kubrat Pulev before the end of the year. Joshua doesn’t want to vacate his title or have it stripped from him by the World Boxing Organization.
If Fury chooses not to wait until 2021 before fighting again, then Warren will need to start looking for an opponent soon for him to face this year. It won’t be Joshua.
Fury won’t wait until 2021 to face Wilder
“I spoke to him this morning. That ain’t happening,” said Frank Warren to BT Sport about Fury not wanting to wait until February 2021 before facing Wilder in their trilogy match. “He’s [Fury] fighting this year.
“He doesn’t want that, and I don’t want it for him, and he certainly doesn’t want it. He wants that fight [against Wilder] to happen this year by hook or by crook or another fight. We’ll see what happens.
“Obviously, you want to fulfill his contractual commitment, but he’s NOT going to wait until February. That can’t happen,” said Warren.
What we don’t know is if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum will be able to persuade Fury and Warren to wait until February 2021 before fighting Wilder due to the likelihood of fans being allowed back into events by that time.
Arum is a persuasive person, and if he insists on Fury waiting until February of next year before fighting Wilder, it’s hard to see that not happening. It would be risky for Fury to compete this year against another champion because the boxing public would expect him to fight a good contender.
As the WBC heavyweight champion, Fury couldn’t take on a scrub for his next fight in 2020. It would have to be a contender ranked in the top 15, and preferably a popular one that American boxing fans have heard of. In other words, Fury, 31, couldn’t face another Tom Schwarz or Sefer Seferi if he wants to fight on pay-per-view in the U.S.
Tyson wants to honor his contractual commitments
“Yeah, I was quite frustrated when that came out,” said Warren on the news of Fury vs. Wilder III being moved to February 2021. “I was unaware of it. It came out of the blue, but he doesn’t want it, and we don’t. He said to me, ‘I want to fight this year,’ so that’s my job to make sure that he fights this year.
Again, whether Fury fights Wilder in 2020 or 2021 could come down to what Arum wants to do with him. Fury has to understand that if he faces Wilder in 2020 without fans, he’ll be giving up a tremendous amount of money from the gate.
If Fury doesn’t care about money, then that’s fine, but Wilder likely will care. He’ll want to make as much as he can because this might be his last hoorah for his career.
WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte complicates things, as he’s been told by the World Boxing Council that he’ll be allowed to fight for the title by February 2021. Assuming that Fury vs. Wilder 3 does get moved to next February, then what happens with Whyte?
Will the WBC allow Fury and Wilder to be advanced, or will they put their foot down and insist that Whyte get his mandated title shot by next February?
If Fury agrees to wait until early next year to face Wilder, he’ll have been out of the ring for 12 months. That’s a long time for any fighter to wait, especially one that has a history of letting his weight get out of control by eating fatty foods and not exercising.
“No, we didn’t even get there [potential naming opponents for Fury’s next fight]. He wants to honor his contractual commitments [to Wilder]. That’s what he wants to do,” Warren said.
Frank wants Fury vs. Joshua in 2020
“Anthony Joshua,” said Warren when asked who he would like to match Fury up against in 2020. “Yeah, [straightaway]. Let’s through it. What’s the fight that everybody wants to see?”
Joshua won’t be available to fight Fury in 2020, and his promoter Eddie Hearn likely won’t even consider it. That’s too big of a fight for it to take place without a massive crowd unless a foreign country like Saudi Arabia steps up to the plate.
You can’t rule that out, but it doesn’t seem likely. Joshua and Hearn want to take care of WBO mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev this year and then look to face Fury twice in 2021.
“I don’t want to hear about Dillian Whyte or all these guys. The fight that everybody wants to see. That is the fight. Any world boxing or certainly British boxing, that’s the fight that we want to see. All the others if you’ve got a list and you put a poll on BT and said, ‘vote for what fight,’ no one would vote or hardly anyone for the other fights.
“And if we did that, let’s get Dillian Whyte against Daniel Dubois, and let’s get Joe Joyce against Dereck Chisora. Let’s give the fans what they want.
“This is the world we’re in, and sometimes fights can disappear. They don’t happen for various reasons. Let’s see what happens,” said Warren.
Dubois vs. Whyte would be a great fight, but it’s also one that won’t happen in 2020 or 2021. Whyte wants his mandated crack at the WBC belt, and he’s not going to risk that against the 6’5′ Dubois. It’s one thing for Whyte to take on the 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin, but it’s an entirely different thing in going against Dubois.