By Keith Idec
Barclays Center lost out on the first Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight.
It won’t happen again.
Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that a deal to bring the immediate heavyweight championship rematch between Wilder and Fury to the Brooklyn venue is nearing completion. MGM Grand Garden Arena is the other site under consideration among organizers of that Showtime Pay-Per-View event, but a deal to announce Barclays Center as the venue for Wilder-Fury II is expected within the next couple weeks.
The Wilder-Fury rematch will be scheduled either for April 27 or May 18.
If the fight is scheduled for April 27, it would be the second pay-per-view boxing show on as many Saturdays. The Terence Crawford-Amir Khan welterweight fight will headline an ESPN Pay-Per-View show April 20 from Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
If Wilder-Fury II is scheduled for May 18, it would place essentially a month between boxing pay-per-view shows. That’d likely result in a higher buy rate for the rematch of a fight that reportedly drew approximately 325,000 buys December 1 from Los Angeles.
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the 30-year-old Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), of Manchester, England, fought to a controversial draw that night at Staples Center.
The 6-feet-9 Fury survived knockdowns during the ninth and 12th rounds versus Wilder to make it to the final bell.
The lineal heavyweight champion fought for the third time in a little less than six months when he challenged Wilder. Before returning to the ring June 9, though, Fury hadn’t boxed in 2½ years because he battled alcoholism, depression and cocaine addiction.
Wilder has headlined three cards at Barclays Center since January 2016 and often praises the venue publicly. He sat ringside there Saturday night to watch a “PBC on FOX” tripleheader and expressed appreciation for Barclays employees in a subsequent Instagram post.
Fury has fought in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, but never at Barclays Center. The closest Fury came to fighting at Barclays Center was when the colorful former champion confronted Wilder in the ring following Wilder’s ninth-round knockout of Artur Szpilka three years ago.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.