IT’S ON! Lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury has vowed to knock out Deontay Wilder and take home his WBC belt after the pair confirmed the contest, live in Belfast last night.
Shortly after Fury had outboxed Francesco Pianeta, Wilder scaled the ropes and entered the ring to announce to the fans that one of the biggest fights in boxing had been arranged.
After a drab but functional 10 rounds from Fury the promotion got the shot in the arm it needed when two of the planet’s premier big men confirmed their end-of-year battle. It was pantomime, it was pure showmanship and the Belfast crowd, huddling in complementary plastic raincoats to avoid the pouring rain, lapped up every second of the theatre.
Promoter, Frank Warren, stated that full details of location, venue and date would be revealed next week, but Tyson did let slip during his tirade that he planned on travelling to Las Vegas to knock the Alabama man out. Fury also said in the post-fight press conference that he is going to America to fight Wilder.
BT interviewer, Ronald McIntosh, was twice forced to apologise for the language as Tyson dropped a couple of expected expletives during the post-fight shenanigans. With US powerhouses, Showtime, broadcasting the Fury and Frampton bouts live in the afternoon, Ron was trying to keep things as clean a possible.
“In an ideal world I’d take another 10-rounder but this isn’t an ideal world is it?” Fury said afterwards. Fury also mentioned Las Vegas repeatedly when discussing his previous knockout win over Steve Cunningham in New York.
“Frank Sinatra said that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere,” added Tyson. “I don’t need to be sparked in Las Vegas for money. I take fights to win, I don’t want to go to Las Vegas for the experience.
“They called, I answered,” bellowed the self-appointed ‘Gypsy King’.
“That is 10 rounds in the bank, that is exactly what he needed – it’s gold dust for him,” added Frank Warren, who was keen to keep the details of Fury vs Wilder under wraps — for the time being at least.
Before exiting the ring, Fury labelled a mystery heavyweight boxer a “chump”. A clear dig at Anthony Joshua who was in talks with Deontay Wilder for a prolonged period. Terms could not be met, both men went their separate ways, Joshua signed to fight Alexander Povetkin and Fury struck a deal with Wilder.
The main sticking point during the Joshua-Wilder negotiations was the contract itself. Was it sent, was it signed, was it ever written?! Semantics and counter shots spoiled the party and Wilder’s management team looked elsewhere.
Given that promoter Frank Warren, [Wilder’s manager] Shelly Finkel and the two respective boxers have managed to cross the I’s and dot the T’s in a relatively short space of time does not cast AJ or his promoter Eddie Hearn in a good light.
Warren has undoubtedly come out on top of this latest battle between rival UK promoters.
Wilder can sometimes be inconsistent and novice-like, Fury can sometimes be drab and functional. Their fight may turn out to be many things, but the build-up from this point onwards will certainly not be dull.