Tyson Fury likely to fight in December but not against Deontay Wilder
By Kenneth Friedman: Tyson Fury won’t be fighting Deontay Wilder in December, according to promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. Arum says that scheduling problems make it impossible for him to match WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0, 21 KOs) and former champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) on December 19th as he had hoped.
What’s really interesting is that Arum is saying that once Fury fights in December, his next bout in 2021 will be against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. In other words, Wilder won’t be in the picture for Fury in early 2021. Whether Fury will fight Wilder later in 2021 is unknown.
Arum says he wants to make the first Fury vs Joshua fight in the spring of next year, assuming that both fighters win their preliminary fights. Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) will need to win his December 12th fight against Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), who Top Rank promotes.
Wilder out of the picture
Arum has been saying for months that the 39-year-old Pulev will defeat Joshua. If that happens, it’s going to create a mess in 2021. Fury vs. Pulev won’t sell to the U.S boxing fans in the same way that Fury-Joshua will, and it’s to cause headaches for the promoters.
Arum won’t admit it, but there will be a lot less money to be made in a fight between Fury and Pulev rather than one with Joshua.
That’s not likely to happen, though, seeing that Joshua and Fury are signed to fight twice in 2021. If they’re fighting twice, when will Fury have time to defend against Wilder in 2021? The answer is, he won’t. Wilder will have to cool his heels until 2022 for his trilogy match against Fury if he still wants it, and who knows if he does at this point?
In an interview with Talksport, Arum said there are five college football games that will be taking place on ESPN on December 19th, which will make it impossible for him to schedule the Fury-Wilder trilogy match for that date.
Arum states that Fury could still choose to fight in December, but it would be against another opponent that would be needed to be decided. Presumably, Fury would be defending against a contender in a fight that would be put together in a hurry.
Fury will decide if he fights in December
“That’s up to Tyson because if we can’t, as appears to be the case, put on Wilder vs Fury this year, Tyson wants to keep busy and we are going to accommodate him,” said Arum to Talksport about Fury possibly fighting in December.
“December 19 can’t occur and there are no other available dates where a Wilder vs Fury fight can happen in December.
“He [Fury] should do a fight in December in the UK against an opponent that will be selected and we will get ready for April or May for the great showdown that everyone wants to see, which is Fury against Joshua,” said Arum.
So there it is. Fury won’t be fighting Wilder in December, and that match won’t take place in early 2021 either. Fury is going to be moving on to battle Joshua in the highly anticipated unification match between the two giantly popular British heavyweights.
It shouldn’t be a problem for Top Rank to find a contender from the to 15 in the heavyweight division to step up and challenge the highly popular Fury for his WBC title. At this point in Fury’s career, boxing fans would be eager to see him fight even against a bottom fringe contender that they’ve never heard of.
Knowing how the boxing politics go, we have to assume that Fury WON’T defend against former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr in December, as he’s with PBC. Although the fans would love to see Fury defend against Ruiz in December, it’s not going to happen.
Is Deontay being forgotten?
If Fury does fight in December, hopefully, it’s not against one of Top Rank’s older past their prime heavyweights like Bryant Jennings. However, it’s unclear if Top Rank still promotes Jennings. He doesn’t done anything with his career since losing back-to-back fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz in 2015.
Even with Fury as popular as he is, a fight between him and 36-year-old ‘By-By’ Jennings wouldn’t fly with boxing fans. But if Top Rank is looking to do an in-house match, then Jennings would be fine.
Arum didn’t say why Wilder won’t be getting a shot against Fury in early 2021. If it’s a scheduling problem involving ESPN with college football games getting in the way of the Fury vs. Wilder fight on December 19th, then why would Deontay not be in the picture to face him in the fall of 2021?
The way Arum is talking, Fury will be moving on to face Joshua and he’s no longer mentioning Wilder. Are the rumors true about the rematch contract between Fury and Wilder having expired?
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel said that he’ll still be fighting Fury in December, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen based on what Arum is saying.
Wilder and Finkel won’t be pleased if Fury is going to be moving on in 2021 without giving him his contractually obligated trilogy match. Unless Wilder is too injured to return to the ring to fight Fury again, it doesn’t make sense for him to be moving on to face Joshua in early 2021.
Fury vs. Oscar Rivas in December?
You can only imagine who Arum will dig up for Fury to fight in December as a replacement opponent. His choices of Otto Wallin and Tom Schwarz left a lot to be desired, but it’s quite possible that it could be someone worse than that who faces Fury in December.
Possible options for Fury’s December fight:
- Agit Kabayel
- Efe Ajagba
- Oscar Rivas
Those three heavyweights are all promoted by Top Rank, and they’re conveniently ranked in the top 15 with the World Boxing Council. This means that if Fury does fight in December, his next opponent will be one of those three.
‘Kaboom’ Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) is ranked the highest of those three at #8 in the WBC’s rankings, and he previously gave Dillian Whyte a tough time in losing to him by 12 round unanimous decision in a title eliminator in July 2019 in London, England.
The 33-year-old Colombian knocked Whyte down hard with an uppercut in the ninth round, and he had him hurt in the 12th round. If Fury does fight in December, Rivas has the best chance of being his next opponent.
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