According to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), a deal to fight former division king Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) is very close to getting done.
Earlier this week, Fury created shockwaves when he revealed that his team was in serious negotiations to fight Wilder at the end of the year.
Fury returns to the ring on August 18th, when he faces Francesco Pianeta in Belfast. The contest will be the second for Fury in 2018 - after snapping a long layoff from the ring.
Prior to returning to the ring earlier this year, Fury had been inactive since November 2015 - when he shocked Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight gold. It was Klitschko first defeat in over a decade.
Fury then stepped away from the ring while he battled depression and substance abuse issues.
He believes a deal to fight Wilder is "99%' done.
Should Fury win his next fight, as everyone expects, Wilder believes the fight will happen in the fall.
“I believe 100 percent that this fight is going to happen and it’s going to get done. We’re very, very close. Closer than Joshua and me could ever get in a lifetime. It’s definitely gonna happen, there’s no doubt. There’s just a little more work to be done," Wilder told Mike 'Copp' Coppinger of The Ring.
“Me and Fury, we talked with each other back and forth; I think he’s a great guy, we have a relationship together, and my team has a relationship with his team. This is going to be better than Joshua when it all boils down to it … and we know Tyson Fury, in many eyes, is still the champ, he hasn’t been defeated. He’s still undefeated. He’s still the lineal champion. Once I knock him off, I become that man who beat the man.”
During his time away, Fury became severely overweight. He shed over a 100-pounds for his return. And recent photos suggest that he shed off more weight.
“I’m super excited, I can’t wait for this thing to be official and we can get the promotion going and get the fans riled up for it,” said Wilder.
"I feel he’s going to be back into his top form, he’s in shape, he’s slimmed down, he’s been a champion before, he knows what it takes to be a champion, to adjust to other fighters. Once you’re a champion, there ain’t no excuses. It’s going to be a helluva fight, this guy’s not scared, he’s coming to America to fight in my house."
Should the fight come down, it would take away the two most lucrative options for WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO world champion Anthony Joshua, who returns on September 22nd against Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua and Wilder were in serious negotiations a few months ago, but they were unable to reach a deal. There is a new deal on the table, for Wilder to receive a guarantee of $15 million for a fight with Joshua on April 13th at Wembley. But, Wilder is not satisfied with the financial terms and some of the other aspects of the contract.