An epic showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had been set for the 18th of May and was set to be a vast crowd pulling pay-per-view event.
However, news broke recently that the deal had collapsed and before the players and managers had signed on the dotted line Fury had been lured away. investigates what has happened to cause the match to fold.
Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s manager, has broken the silence on the surrounding circumstances and to say he is livid is undoubtedly something of an understatement.
It seems that Fury has been offered a lucrative five-fight deal with ESPN and Top Rank that also includes a warm-up fight, and this contract is to be fulfilled before any rematch with Wilder can be pencilled in.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News, Finkel said: “We were ready to do the rematch next and they obviously weren’t. It seems Top Rank didn’t want Fury to fight Deontay next, and so we move on.”
Holding a professional level of dignity, he shrugged off the decision, but fans and the Wilder camp will all be deeply disappointed by the decision.
It seems that Finkel had regular contact with Frank Warren, Tyson Fury’s UK promoter, so the decision appears to have come as even more of a shock as it is understood that they were in agreement and happy with the plans.
There had even been talk of a co-promotion with the sports channel ESPN for a two-fight deal with the rematch, but Finkel seems at a loss as to why this was not considered before the new plans were made.
He also explained that Top Rank had made him a second offer for a multi-fight deal with his charge Wilder, but he felt that this was too much as in his words
“The deal effectively meant signing Deontay over to them and included a purse for a fight before the Tyson Fury rematch. But we didn’t want to – and are not going to – give up our fighter up to them. If we wanted to do a fight beforehand, we would do it ourselves.”
He confirmed that Wilder will still fight in May and that the fight will be in Las Vegas or New York, but at this stage, the opponent has not been finalised, but he remained unrepentant that he will not be changing his plans in response to this bitter blow.
So fans are apparently not going to experience any rematch for the foreseeable future, and the response from the Fury camp has been aggressive in nature, so clearly, they do not believe themselves to be the at-fault party.
Fury released a Twitter statement which simply claimed that boxing politics were the reason behind the failed meeting, and placing the blame in the Wilder camp saying: “I will fight anyone in world boxing.
“Don’t use boxing politics as an excuse not to challenge me the lineal heavyweight champ!”
It seems clear that this saga is far from over and tempers might be running higher than average when the pair finally meet again.