The news every boxing fan was dreading came to fruition on Tuesday as the World Boxing Council made a ruling on a mandated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Due to Fury signing a deal with ESPN and complicating a TV deal, the original May 18 Showtime date was scrapped.
There was hope the second bout could be resurrected. Although Top Rank boss Bob Arum’s words last week were a clear indication.
Arum had told The LA Times: “We envision this (Wilder v Fury 2) can reach one to two million homes. The only way to do that is to allow the general sports fan to really get to know these guys.
“If that takes each of them fighting another opponent first, then rolling them into a September fight, the money on the table then would be more than they can conceive of. That’s the way I look at it.”
On acquiring Fury, Arum added: “They (Frank Warren and UK team) realized for him to be a star in the U.S., he’s going to need ESPN.
“Now, they have the biggest platform in sports. They can fight anybody to achieve that exposure.
“Even Deontay Wilder should be celebrating this. It shows how sincere the involvement of ESPN in boxing is. They’re in with both feet.
“Those people who have a percentage of Wilder’s earnings should be overjoyed. This arrangement will drive him to more (PPV) buys. He’ll make even more.
“If Wilder allows ‘loyalty to Showtime’ to be an issue, he’s a fool. Wilder should only be looking at how much he can make.”
After speaking with both sides, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman could offer no guarantees on the encounter.
Sulaiman confirmed it was Fury who was pulled from the fight. Which is another huge blow for Deontay Wilder.
“Deontay Wider vs Tyson is officially not happening next. The WBC has received communications as our process. And while WBC Champion Wilder confirmed his willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do the rematch at a later date,” he said.
Wilder could now turn to original mandatory Dominic Breazeale. Fury, on the other hand, has a plethora of options.
Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas or Bryant Jennings will immediately be in the frame for Fury due to their ongoing ties to Arum.