In Depth

Wilder vs. Fury II: WBC champion ‘can’t wait’ for rematch

But the American is also very interested in a fight with Joshua

WBC champion Deontay Wilder “can’t wait” to face Tyson Fury in a rematch after the first bout between the heavyweight duo ended in a controversial draw.

Last Sunday’s title fight in Los Angeles saw American Wilder knock Fury down twice during the 12 rounds. But many boxing pundits and fans believed that British fighter Fury should have won the contest on points.

Wilder retained his WBC belt after the three judges at ringside called it a split decision draw. Mexico’s Alejandro Rochin scored it 115-111 to Wilder, Canada’s Robert Tapper gave it to Fury 114-112 and Phil Edwards of the United Kingdom scored it 113-113.

Quoted by the BBC, “Bronze Bomber” Wilder said of a potential rematch: “You saw the best Fury but you did not get the best Wilder and I still managed to get the job done. At the end of the day, boxing wins. The fans are the real winner and I can’t wait for Wilder Fury 2 to end the controversial talk around the world once and for all.”

But speaking after the draw in LA Fury said that Wilder will try to avoid a rematch. The “Gypsy King” said: “I’ve got a funny feeling he’s going to get his running shoes out and stay away from me.”

It could be a classic

Sunday’s fight will go down as one of the best heavyweight contests in years but ESPN’s Nick Parkinson believes a Wilder vs. Fury rematch could be a classic.

“Some of boxing’s biggest ever fights have been world heavyweight title rematches and both Wilder and Fury will earn more from their sequel with more people tuning in on pay-per-view television around the world,” said Parkinson.

“Wilder-Fury II will be bigger than last weekend’s clash, just as most rematches are, but not many live up to expectations and go down in history for the right reasons.

“Can both Wilder and Fury improve again to feature in an era-defining rematch better than [Sunday’s] encounter which goes down in history alongside the likes of other significant sequels like Tunney-Dempsey, Louis-Schmeling, Ali-Frazier and Lewis-Holyfield?”

The AJ factor

While there’s a lot of talk about a Wilder-Fury rematch there is another British heavyweight waiting in the wings: Anthony Joshua.

According to Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel the American fighter is also open to a blockbuster title clash with WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO champion Joshua. But only as long as details of negotiations with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are kept private.

Speaking to Sky Sports about a possible unification bout for all the belts, Finkel said: “We’re very interested in the fight. If he wants to be professional and keep it in a private discussion, I’m open to it. If everything is in the paper, I have no desire to discuss anything, and let him go fight who he wants.”

Joshua’s promoter Hearn added: “Let’s see what happens.”

Meanwhile, British star Joshua says he would fight either Wilder or Fury in 2019. It was announced earlier this year that Wembley Stadium has been booked for Saturday 13 April but no opponent has been confirmed.

In response to the Sky Sports story about Wilder being “very interested” in a fight, Joshua replied on Twitter: “What took this fool so long? Like we ain’t been interested?!!”

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