By Lem Satterfield
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder said he would take “a rematch immediately” of last Saturday’s draw with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury “nine times out of 10” over a unification with IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO counterpart Anthony Joshua” in a video interview produced by Premier Boxing Champions and FOX.
The 6-foot-9 “Gypsy King” (27-0-1, 19 KOs) of England rose from ninth- and 12th-round knockdowns to finish the stalemate against the 6-foot-7 “Bronze Bomber” (40-0-1, 39 KOs), who failed to earn his eighth knockout in as many title defenses at The Staples Center in Los Angeles on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Judge Robert Tapper scored the fight for Fury, 114-112, Alejandro Rochin had it for Wilder, 115-111, Phil Edwards had it even, 113-113, and a poll of 14 insiders by BoxingScene.com broke down as six for Fury, three for Wilder and five even.
“Same location, same venue and [for] the same money, it’s definitely Fury,” said Wilder, 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “This fight that we had on Saturday was so controversial that it’s gotta happen again and it’s gotta happen immediately. I’m willing and able to give him a rematch immediately, and he deserves it.”
Wilder and Fury believe their battle and the subsequent attention it has received has raised their stock above that of the 6-foot-6 Joshua (22-0,21 KOs) as the world’s top two heavyweights.
“I’m just trying, along with a lot of other fighters, to put heavyweight boxing back on the map,” said Wilder, whose fight with Fury was swiftly agreed upon following months of failed negotiations in June for Wilder to make a unification bout against Joshua.
"I’ve been trying with all of my might to bring it back here in America. So it means a lot to me. The fight on Saturday meant a lot to me, and if I have the choice between Fury or Joshua? Tyson Fury, nine times out of 10.”
Wilder was coming off a two-knockdown, 10th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten southpaw Luis Ortiz in March, and was ringside in April 2017 at London’s Wembley Stadium as Joshua stopped 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua rose from the canvas in the sixth round against Klitschko, scoring knockdowns in the fifth and two more in the 11th for a TKO win. Joshua’s victory came 17 months after a 39-year-old Klitschko was dethroned by Fury, a unanimous decision making “The Gypsy King” the lineal and IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO champion.
Wilder was also ringside in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in August for Fury’s unanimous decision over Francesco Pianeta, representing the 30-year-old’s second fight since Klitschko following June’s fourth-round stoppage of Sefer Seferi.
Wilder and Fury announced their clash in the ring post-Pianeta during a profanity-laced face-off similar to Fury’s disrupting Wilder’s interview after his ninth-round stoppage of southpaw Artur Szpilka in January 2016 in Brooklyn, New York.
Joshua did not attend Wilder-Fury.