Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury clash on December 1 in Los Angeles in a fight that will go a long way to defining the greatest heavyweight on the planet. In the aftermath of the Klitschko era, no one man has gathered all of the hardware and then gone on to dominate in any sustained fashion. After an epic night in Germany, Tyson Fury was expected to be that man. A plethora of reasons pushed him to the wayside – until now. Standing in Fury’s way is WBC king Wilder. Anthony Joshua holds all of the other meaningful heavyweight straps. The big question after Saturday night will be: does the winner of Wilder vs Fury box Joshua next? The answer appears to be a resounding no.
Victory for Fury immediately puts a spanner in the works regarding a Joshua fight. Fury holds no love for Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, and the Wythenshawe warrior is a maverick on both sides of the ropes so is unlikely to walk straight into a money-spinning all-UK clash. If Wilder beats Fury, then the hype train will be well and truly in motion over the next year to 18 months regarding the biggest fight in world boxing. There’s virtually no chance that it happens in April 2019 though, as some still anticipate.
Victory for Wilder does start him on the course for a big Pay-Per-View showdown in either late 2019 or 2020 with Joshua. An agreement for Wilder to make the considerable money he craves, and validate his team’s sensible decision to turn down a “career high offer” of $12million from Joshua’s representatives, would push pen closer to paper.
The winner of Wilder-Fury facing off against AJ represents a true Box Office attraction. Both men would hype the fight up exponentially to drive their percentage cuts of PPV booty through the roof. No wonder Wilder was not amused at Hearn’s flat-fee offer when he could potentially come to the table using the leverage that a win over Tyson Fury would afford him. Under those circumstances, a Wilder-AJ fight would roll well above the $100million mark, making the 12 million offer pale in comparison.
The negotiation team
Eddie Hearn will either have old UK rival Frank Warren sitting across the negotiation table or experienced manager Shelly Finkel, combined with the faceless presence of US powerhouse Al Haymon. Each respective team will consider their man the draw, the attraction, the cash cow in the fight, and will angle for a higher percentage portion.
Joshua will argue that he holds the WBA, IBF and WBO belts is clearly an established superstar in the UK and can sell out stadiums. Joshua holds a win over the legendary Wladimir Klitschko (so did Fury for that matter), the Watford man beat Joseph Parker for the WBO title to unify and generally makes a strong argument for heavyweight hegemony.
Conversely, the winner of Wilder and Fury will have the WBC title and will boast the best win of all three of them. If Fury wins, he also has the currency of being the man who beat the man (he got to Klitschko first, when Wlad held all the titles) and in the process became a lineal, undisputed ruler. Definitively beating Wilder shows he is still in step with the division. If Wilder beats Fury, he takes all of those points and stacks them in his advantage.
If Fury vs Wilder ends on a close, disputed or controversial conclusion then where does a rematch fit in contractually? They could do it in April when Joshua is busy entertaining one of Chisora, Whyte or “Big Baby” Miller. Whomever Joshua is defending against next; it won’t be Fury or Wilder.