If Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder win their upcoming fights, Wilder will get another opportunity to knock out Fury in their rematch.
They’re contractually committed to another fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title, which could take place February 22 at an undetermined venue. Wilder, who’ll fight Luis Ortiz next, still is angered by Fury’s refusal to meet him in the immediate rematch Wilder expected following their split draw December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Alabama-based knockout artist thought they would box again May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Fury walked away from those negotiations in February, just before a deal was finalized, because he signed a multi-fight agreement that made Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. his co-promoter and assured ESPN the rights to televise and stream his fights in the United States.
“I don’t know with these characters,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t know what they’re thinking. You know, it’s all fun and games to Tyson Fury. If it wasn’t fun and games for him, he would’ve rematched me instantly. If he had the heart of a warrior and a mindset of a warrior and a champion, he would’ve rematched me instantly. Not waited until someone came and saved him, so he can have an excuse to cop out of the rematch.”
Once Wilder’s deal for an immediate rematch with Fury fell apart, it led to much lower-profile fights for each of them.
Wilder satisfied his mandatory obligation by knocking out Dominic Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) in the first round May 18 at Barclays Center. England’s Fury fought anonymous German Tom Schwarz (25-1, 17 KOs), whom Fury stopped in the second round June 15 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) will face another unknown, unbeaten opponent Saturday night, when he’ll encounter Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder criticized Fury for fighting another huge underdog and questioned the reported value of Fury’s contract with Top Rank and ESPN.
“He knows he’s not getting $100 million, not even $80 million,” said Wilder, who floored Fury twice nine months ago. “And it probably ain’t even $70 million. His promoter [Arum] even said that himself. So, he wanna run around here like he getting a $100 million contract. That’s not true, but he wanna use that as a copout to not fight me. That’s a coward. That’s a f***ing coward if I’ve ever seen one. I’m just happy to be who I am. I can’t worry about these other fighters, or what they’re doing or what they’re thinking. Boxing, I love this sport, but you just don’t know what’s gonna happen until it happens.”
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) knows he’ll face the Cuban-born Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) in his next fight. Their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event, scheduled for November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, could be officially announced sometime this week.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.