By Keith Idec
The last two times Tyson Fury was supposed to participate in heavyweight title fights, neither bout took place.
Deontay Wilder isn’t worried that it’ll happen a third time. The hard-hitting WBC champion is confident Fury will get in the ring with him, as scheduled, once their contracts are finalized.
A deal is near completion for Wilder to defend his title against England’s Fury either November 10 or November 17. The venue for a Wilder-Fury fight hasn’t been secured, but it reportedly is headed to Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) has assured Wilder during their private conversations that he’ll be mentally and physically ready to challenge him come November. Their fight is contingent upon Fury defeating Italy’s Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) in their August 18 bout at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“It’s not a concern at all for me,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com regarding Fury potentially pulling out of their fight. “Me and Fury have been talking closely. We’ve been talking privately and we’ve been having long discussions about this fight. He’s been sincere. I don’t see him not taking this fight because what does Fury have to lose?
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for him, too. He’s never had the WBC title. He’s never fought for this. The WBC title is the title, so this is a major opportunity for him as well as I. Personally, I don’t think he would pass up this opportunity. I think he’s gonna show up and show out, and he’s gonna give fans what he’s been talking about.”
Fury has been talking, talking and talking some more about being able to out-box the undefeated knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. By battling Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), the extremely confident Fury also boasts that he is willing to do what the United Kingdom’s biggest heavyweight star, Anthony Joshua, is unwilling to do.
“He’s already put it out there,” Wilder said, “talking about saving face [for the United Kingdom], not being embarrassed, because Joshua embarrassed them. If he don’t fight this fight after saying all that, then that ain’t gonna be a good look for him.”
Fury’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko was scheduled twice, but postponed and ultimately canceled because Fury sought treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and depression. His serious issues caused Fury to give up the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles he won from Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) in their November 2015 bout in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The 6-feet-9 Fury ended a 2½-year layoff June 9, when he stopped Switzerland’s Sefer Seferi (23-2, 21 KOs) after four farcical rounds in Manchester, England.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.