By Jake Donovan
Even without the certainty of when and where his next fight will take place, Tyson Fury has never had a clearer view of his boxing future.
The unbeaten British heavyweight has already returned to training camp, despite the only thing currently brewing are talks for a rematch with unbeaten titlist Deontay Wilder. The pair of heavyweight behemoths fought to a thrilling 12-round draw last December, with Fury (27-0-1, 19KOs) recovering from two knockdowns in an otherwise stellar boxing performance which most observers believed he deserved to win.
It would hardly be the first time a controversially scored contest served as grounds for an immediate rematch, but the real sell would come in the thrills that came with their Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner in Los Angeles.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39KOs) rallied to floor Fury in the 9th round and again in the 12th, the latter sequence putting the Brit flat on his back and seemingly out for the night. Somehow, Fury not only peeled himself off the canvas, but regained his senses enough to beat the count and reclaim momentum by fight’s end.
In scoring a draw that most felt should have been a win, Fury capped a remarkable 2018 campaign that will undoubtedly register as boxing’s Comeback of the Year. His mind and body now in a far better place than the same time a year ago when he was recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues, Fury now turns to the New Year in hopes of picking up where he left off.
“Hopefully I get the fight with Deontay Wilder, in America or in England,” Fury said during an interview with BT Sport. “I’m not really bothered by where it is. It could be in Australia or Antarctica, it wouldn’t be a problem to me. Wherever the fight would be, I’ll go.”
Talks have already begun between the two camps, with Fury training as if it’s next on the list. In the meantime, he’s also served notice to his team—which includes legendary promoter Frank Warren—to have a backup plan in place, as ring activity is his primary goal.
“On a rematch with Wilder, it’s down to them,” Fury insists, suggesting that he won’t be responsible for holding up such a contest. “If they want the fight, they want it. If not, it’s no big deal to me.
“They’re the ones who have to redeem themselves not me. I’ve done everything I should’ve done. I don’t need to redeem myself, a second chance at glory. I’m the lineal heavyweight champion. I don’t need a belt, an alphabet title.”
Fury claimed lineal status with his Nov. ’15 points win over Wladimir Klitschko, scoring the upset win on the road in Dusseldorf, Germany. The feat ended Klitschko’s 9 ½ year run of holding at least one alphabet title, while ending a lineal reign dating back to his June ’09 stoppage win over Ruslan Chagaev.
As for Fury, it was rough out the gate in his newfound status as heavyweight king. Not a single defense was made in a two-year span that saw him stripped of all of the alphabet titles he collected from Klitschko, with injuries and out-of-the-ring demons to battle twice postponing and eventually killing their scheduled rematch.
More than 30 months after scoring his career-best win, Fury enjoyed a triumphant ring return last June when he stopped Sefer Seferi in four rounds. The feat was followed with an Aug. ’18 points win over Francesco Pianeta in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the bout merely serving as a precursor to his eventual showdown with Wilder.
While a rematch with the unbeaten American would likely take place in New York or Los Angeles, Fury isn’t ruling out the possibility of an interim fight—or of not fighting Wilder for a second time at all, or at least not in 2019.
“I’d like a homecoming fight in April, whether Manchester or somewhere in the United Kingdom,” Fury notes. “Then I’d like to fight Wilder. If not that, then I’ll just fight Wilder.
“If not Wilder, then I’ll just have the homecoming fight.”