To Deontay Wilder’s certain dismay, and fresh from his Las Vegas outing against Otto Wallin being confirmed for September 14, Tyson Fury has announced a third bout for 2019.
The newly-turned 31 year-old is heading back to Las Vegas after his June debut win over Tom Schwarz. Fury then wants a homecoming in England.
It had been thought Fury would be getting ready for a February clash with WBC ruler Wilder. ‘The Gypsy King’ confirmed the rematch earlier in the year.
Fury even stated contracts were signed with Wilder for a specific date.
He said: “The rematch has been confirmed and signed, 22 February. It’s on – the rematch.
“This time I haven’t been out the ring for three years. This time I haven’t been abusing too much alcohol,” he added.
WBN knew that date wasn’t the case immediately after bumping into Luis Ortiz at McCarran Airport in Nevada during Manny Pacquiao fight week.
Ortiz and his team informed WBN of a November 9th date for their own return with Wilder.
This made February 22nd an unworkable confirmation by Fury due to time constraints of two such high profile encounters.
March or April would have been more likely dates. But Fury’s new wish to fight in the UK would push that back until at least May or June.
Outlining his alternate plans, Fury stated to BT Sport’s No Filter Boxing: “I want to fight back in England in December!”
"I want to fight back in England in December!"
"I'll get one in England because my Uncle Frank will make that happen…"
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) August 13, 2019
“I’ll get one in England because my Uncle Frank (Warren) will make that happen. I’m allowed in my contract to have a fight in England.”
What Wilder will make of this further delay is anyone’s guess. The American has already been forced to push back the fight almost a year.
The second instalment was all set for May 18 in New York until Fury decided to sign with Top Rank and ESPN. Advice received from new US promoter Bob Arum was then to hold off on Wilder.
Back in April, Fury pointed out that he’d be looking for three bouts before battling Wilder again, which coincides with this new information.
World Boxing Council chiefs will be disappointed by the news. They had hoped Wilder v Fury II would take place as soon as possible.
Fury’s decision could now mean Wilder is free to fight again by in the spring. The number one and stipulated WBC challenger would be expected to be in the opposite corner.
At present, Dillian Whyte is suspended from participating as the mandatory. This is due to an adverse finding in a test sample prior to his victory over Oscar Rivas.
Should Whyte clear his name, the WBC would be able to ratify his opportunity whilst Wilder waits for Fury.
All would depend on whether Fury follows through with a December UK event and leaves Wilder hanging around until the summer.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay