Deontay Wilder has exercised his right to a rematch with Tyson Fury and a third fight between the two heavyweights is tentatively slated to take place July 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Top Rank founder and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter told BoxingScene.com on Sunday.
The mega-fight will be a 60 to 40 percent purse split in favor of the recently crowned WBC and lineal champion Fury.
The Feb. 22 showdown, which Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) handily beat (42-1-1, 41KOs) via seventh round TKO at the MGM Grand, carried a bilateral clause that offered the losing fighter a 30-day window to call for a third bout.
The July 18 is the last Saturday allowable in the contract for the fight to happen. Before the rematch took place, Top Rank boss Bob Arum stated a third fight could take place in October in order to leverage the NFL calendar and co-promotional opportunities both networks provided.
The summer showdown will be a Fox and ESPN joint venture and pay-per-view, marking the second time the TV networks have collaborated for a boxing production.
The rematch yielded 750,000 PPV buys across Fox and ESPN, with the potential to reach 800,000. The first Fury-Wilder fight, a Showtime produced PPV at the Staples Center in 2018 and a controversial split draw, yielded between 300,000 and 325,000 buys.
On Friday, Wilder made his first public comments via video on social media since the end of his five-year heavyweight title reign.
"We ain’t going nowhere, for the war has just begun. I will rise again. I am strong. I am a king, you can’t take my pride. I am a warrior. I am a king that will never give up. I’m a king that will fight to the death," said Wilder. "And if anyone don’t understand that, don’t understand what it is to go to war, don’t understand what it is to fight, we will rise again. We will regain the title. I will be back. We will hold our heads up high. Your king is in great spirits. We will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and regain the title. I’ll see you in a few months, for the war has just begun. All my love to all my people."
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.