Deontay Wilder hasn’t expressed any interest in accepting what would have to be an eight-figure fee for stepping aside to allow an Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury fight to happen next.
Even if Wilder were open to letting Fury out of his contractual obligation to an immediate third fight, Fury’s preference is to fight the former WBC heavyweight champion next.
“I wouldn’t pay Wilder 10 grand to move him aside,” Fury told IFL TV in an interview posted Tuesday to its YouTube channel. “I would rather, I swear to God, I would rather go in there again and give him a good hiding again. Because he never just got a boxing lesson last time. He got a mullering, didn’t he? He got absolutely mullered. So, I’m not paying anybody to step aside. I’m knocking out all bums – all of ‘em.”
England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) stopped Alabama’s Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in the seventh round of their rematch February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Fury floored Wilder twice – once apiece in the third and fifth rounds – and was battering an exhausted Wilder when his assistant trainer, Mark Breland, threw a towel into the ring during the seventh round.
Fury-Joshua would be the biggest fight in British boxing history, but the 34-year-old Wilder wants his shot at redemption next.
Wilder initially was supposed to fight Fury again July 18 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, but their third bout was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was tentatively rescheduled for October 3, but it has been delayed indefinitely.
“If the lockdown finishes and the coronavirus gets a vaccine,” Fury said, “and the world goes back to normal, then I can see two fights with Joshua next year, for sure, providing I get past Deontay Wilder this year. Which is not a given, considering when you’ve been beat for the first time in your life, it either can do two things to you – it can make you break. As we’ve seen many, many times, the bubble bursts. Or it can give you that bit between your teeth, where you wanna get back and smash the guy’s face in who beat you. So, you know, if I don’t prepare like I did last time for Deontay Wilder, like a trojan warrior – with no Diet Cokes and no distractions and big Shane [Fury] there, not doing no interviews or nothing … then I can see meself winning again.
“If I don’t do that strict attitude and strict lifestyle, if I go into this camp taking it lightly, to think, ‘You know, I’ve already knocked him out. It’s an easy fight. Yada, yada, yada,’ Deontay Wilder will most probably knock me into next week. I’ve gotta approach this fight as if I’m still the lineal champion, as if I didn’t beat him the first time or the second time, and I’m still very, very, very, hungry. I’ve gotta put on a fantastic display because at this level now, there’s no room for error. One mistake could cost you big time.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.