LOS ANGELES—Deontay Wilder is pointing to his fight against Tyson Fury that any match can be made in boxing.
Wilder is a PBC fighter with network affiliations to Fox and Showtime. Wilder is a Top Rank-promoted fighter with network commitments to ESPN domestically.
“You have Fox working with ESPN, Bob Arum working with Al Haymon. We are an example that any fight can happen and everyone can come together on the correct terms. All of the best fighters are not going to be on the same platform and stable,” said Wilder. “You have to go through life and control only what you can control. That’s why I’m so happy with my career. I’ve put myself here with the right decisions.”
Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) meets Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) on Feb. 22 in a highly anticipated heavyweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as part of an unprecedented Fox Sports and ESPN pay-per-view promotion.
Arum has previously echoed Wilder’s sentiment and pointed to his rekindled relationship with longtime rival Haymon that more meaningful fights should take place in the future between both parties, specifically a super fight between welterweights Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
For a moment, boxing politics aside, Wilder thought the rematch with Fury would be in danger altogether after the British boxer suffered two cuts over his right eye in September against Swedish slugger Otto Wallin. Fury’s cuts eventually required 47 stitches, and Wilder believes the gash was so bad that Fury should not have been allowed to continue.
“I thought the Wallin fight should have been stopped, although this is a big money fight for me,” said Wilder. “A lot of guys would beg to differ. But I understand what they’re looking at. They wanted to make sure he got to me. If I open the cut up, his life will be up in the hands. If he can’t see my punches, it’s not going to be good. Because I’m coming with bad intentions.”
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 [email protected]