WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes a fight with Tyson Fury will be secured for 2018 as the American bids to enhance his worldwide reputation.
The 32 year-old saw impossible negotiations with Anthony Joshua fall apart over the summer and has now turned his attention to the Briton’s compatriot Fury.
Unlike Joshua, Wilder’s team and Fury’s representatives are seemingly on the same page and remain hopeful a deal can be completed for a massive Showtime Pay-Per-View event in Las Vegas by the end of the year.
“I believe 100 percent that this fight is going to happen and it’s going to get done,” Wilder told Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger.
“We’re very, very close. Very, very close. Closer than Joshua and me could ever get in a lifetime. It’s definitely gonna happen, there’s no doubt. There’s just a little more work to be done.
“Me and Fury, we talked with each other back and forth; I think he’s a great guy, we have a relationship together, and my team has a relationship with his team.
“This is going to be better than Joshua when it all boils down to it … and we know Tyson Fury, in many eyes, is still the champ, he hasn’t been defeated. He’s still undefeated. He’s still the lineal champion. Once I knock him off, I become that man who beat the man.”
On Fury having just one fight in almost four years, Wilder says a second bout on August 18 in Belfast will be enough to fine-tune the one-time unified world title holder.
“He’s a guy that’s ready to go, he’s seen what’s been happening to me with this whole situation, and he’s disgusted because Joshua is British as well, and they see he didn’t want to fight. So he’s being a man, stepping into my backyard and doing something their other so-called champion wouldn’t do, so mad respect from me.”
“He’s ready now, I’m still ready and we’re going to put on one of the biggest heavyweight title fights in boxing. We got two talkers that’s going to promote the sh– out of the fight.
“Maybe the knockout of the year and the fight of the year all in one night. I’m going to have to figure him out at first, but I’m going to knock him out of there for sure — mid-round stoppage. I gotta keep the streak going. Bam, good night,” he added.
Wilder v Fury would be a huge event on both sides of the Atlantic, with BT Sports set to claim UK TV rights for what will be one of the most entertaining build-ups of the year.