By Keith Idec
There’s nothing in Deontay Wilder’s contract that states he must grant Tyson Fury a rematch.
Three days after their controversial split draw, Wilder still couldn’t help but feel like he owes the courageous challenger a second shot at his WBC heavyweight title. Wilder revealed during a conference call Tuesday that he wants an immediate rematch with Fury.
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native has no intention of considering another opponent, not even what likely would be a more profitable title unification fight against British superstar Anthony Joshua, the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion.
“I’m willing and ready to give Fury the opportunity ASAP,” Wilder said. “If you have so many different sides, it’s only right to give Fury a rematch as soon as possible. I’m ready whenever to do it whenever he’s ready to do it. I’m ready to give the fans what they wanna see and end this talk once and for all.”
Since Saturday night, Wilder has heard and read some fans contend Fury won, whereas others have credited Wilder with winning. Other observers have informed Wilder they think a draw was the correct outcome.
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) feels he did enough to defeat Fury, yet understands that they need to fight again to produce a more conclusive result. The 30-year-old Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) also said in each of his two press conferences following their draw that he wants Wilder next.
“I think both sides definitely seriously want it to happen,” Wilder said. “I don’t see why wouldn’t we. You know, it was a great fight and the buildup is already starting right now. We can’t get away from this fight. The excitement, everyone is talking about this fight. It’s only right for us to go back in and do it again. And I don’t want no other fights to happen between him or I. He don’t have to worry about me moving past him, fighting anyone. And I hope he don’t have to go fight no one else. I wanna give Tyson Fury the rematch ASAP.”
Wilder scoffed at rumors that he doesn’t want to fight Fury again because the 6-feet-9 challenger clearly out-boxed him.
“Some people feel I don’t want no rematch,” Wilder said. “Why would I not? I’m the baddest man on the planet. I don’t know no one coming in, fighting a killer after a killer and trying to go back in. I fought Luis Ortiz when people avoided [him]. Nobody, still to this day, wanna fight him that’s at the top. I come back from fighting Tyson Fury, an undefeated fighter, a lineal champion that beat Klitschko, and do that after beating the Boogeyman of the division [Ortiz]. And now I’m willing to come back again [to fight Fury]. I’m not running nowhere. I’m excited. I’m more excited and motivated than anything.
“I had a taste of the pay-per-view. I loved it. Now I’m ready to do it again. And whenever he’s ready, I’m ready. Early next year, I’m ready to go. Maybe March, maybe April. I’m ready to go. I don’t want no one else but Tyson Fury. He deserves the rematch. It’s such a highly anticipated, talked-about fight. I think the fans deserve a rematch to settle this score, once and for all. I feel God lifted this man up, off that canvas, for the rematch.”
While Wilder declared himself ready to fight Fury as soon as possible, Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza indicated he wouldn’t rush to schedule an immediate rematch.
“For us, the overriding priority, really, is the health of the fighters,” said Espinoza, Showtime’s president of sports and event programming. “And that was a tough, tough fight. So we’re not gonna rush anything to fit anything into a specific timetable. Both of those guys earned a long, long rest. But you can hear in Deontay’s voice, that rest isn’t gonna last too long. So if they said May, [it] would be great. June would be great. If it’s later, after that, personally, April sounds a little quick to me. But if both of the guys feel like that gives them an opportunity to recover and go into it, [we could do it].
“But this is the kind of fight where we don’t need to schedule it around anything else. We saw this past weekend the type of energy and attention a big-time heavyweight fight between two undefeated champions, in their primes, will draw. So I’m not really worried about times of year and competitive programming, things like this. This is a fight that is strong enough to overcome all of that, so it will happen at its natural time.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.