By Keith Idec
The long-awaited announcement of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is imminent.
Multiple sources informed BoxingScene.com on Friday that Wilder-Fury will be announced early next week. Their heavyweight title fight, which will be the main event of a Showtime Pay-Per-View card, likely will take place December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
An official announcement has been delayed while representatives for Wilder and Fury finalized details in their contracts. Once the announcement is made next week, press conferences are expected to be scheduled for the following week.
Executives for MGM Resorts International wanted to bring Wilder-Fury to Las Vegas, while Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark wanted Brooklyn’s arena to be the site for it. T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand Garden Arena, MGM’s two most prominent Las Vegas venues, and Barclays Center aren’t available December 1.
Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, also owned by MGM Resorts International, isn’t booked for December 1, but a deal to bring Wilder-Fury to Staples Center was nearing completion Friday afternoon. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report in recent days that Staples Center emerged as a viable venue for Wilder-Fury.
Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has fought in Los Angeles or its surrounding area three times. Fury, of Manchester, England, has fought in the United States just once, 5½ years ago in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) both have spoken for a month-and-a-half as if the deal for their heavyweight title fight is done. It wasn’t until Friday, however, that Fury confirmed through his Instagram account that he has signed his contract for a shot at Wilder’s WBC title.
The 30-year-old Fury, who’s still considered boxing’s lineal heavyweight champion, has won two fights against average competition or worse since ending a 2½-year layoff June 9 in Manchester. Fury and Wilder went face to face to hype their fight in the ring following Fury’s 10-round, unanimous-decision victory over Italy’s Francesco Pianeta (35-5-1, 21 KOs) on August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The 32-year-old Wilder will fight for the first time since he withstood serious trouble in the seventh round to knock out previously unbeaten Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs, 2 NC) in the 10th round March 3 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.