On an electrifying night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Tyson Fury retained his WBC heavyweight title with a spectacular 11th-round knockout of Deontay Wilder. This was the third fight between two men, with British boxer Tyson Fury having now recorded two wins and a draw against his American rival, and it was a thrilling encounter.
After being knocked down twice in the fourth round, 20 months after dethroning the American, Fury had to show all of his grit and resilience to extend his undefeated professional record to 32 fights. What’s next for Fury after cementing his place at the top of the heavyweight rankings? Many have called for a unification bout, and while the hotly anticipated fight with Joshua no longer looks likely, it could be another Brit he ends up facing. More about various options available in Indiana can be learned here.
The Mandatory: Dillian Whyte
Dillian Whyte is the current mandatory WBC challenger after his win over Povetkin back in March, and he has high hopes that he’ll be next in line for a shot at the title. Currently, Whyte is booked to fight Otto Wallin, one of Fury’s previous opponents, at the O2 Arena in London on the 30th of October.
A win over Wallin would more or less cement Whyte’s place as the mandatory challenger, effectively forcing Fury to fight him or risk being stripped. When giving an interview on the subject, Whyte had the following to say:
“Hopefully now the WBC forces my position, and Fury has no choice. It’s a massive British fight, a major fight for Britain. Fury is an unpredictable man who might say: ‘I am done!’. I hope we can make a fight when I get past Wallin. But Fury is a difficult guy to plan. I haven’t heard a word from him about making a fight.”
However, when questioned on the subject before the fight with Wilder, Fury was fairly dismissive of the potential all British title match. “That’s something I’ve not been told or am even interested in right now. I’ve got Deontay Wilder to deal with first, and then we’ll sit down and make a decision on what’s next.”
The Unification: Usyk or Joshua
Of course, the WBC mandatory isn’t the only option on the cards for Fury. Earlier this year, there had been talks about a massive unification bout with British champion Anthony Joshua, who held the IBF, WBA and WBO belts until recently. When that fight fell through, Joshua ended up fighting Ukrainian former-cruiserweight Oleksander Usyk, who defeated the British champion in a unanimous decision.
Joshua and Usyk will now likely face each other once more after a rematch clause was triggered, and Fury will no doubt be watching. The unification fight is the big money fight, and most likely the option Fury would prefer if given a choice. Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, had the following to say about what’s next for the champion.
“Tyson would happily fight Joshua, but it looks like the Usyk rematch is on. I don’t see Joshua winning that – it’s Usyk again for me – but that doesn’t mean the Joshua fight can’t happen. It’s a fight people want to see.”
Ultimately, it seems as though Fury has three major options for his next fight. However, if the WBC get involved, he could risk losing his title if he fails to accept the mandatory fight. It will be interesting to see what happens and whether any super fight between Fury and Joshua ever materialises. It’s one the fans definitely want to see whether they have the belts or not, and it could be British boxing’s biggest ever event.