Fury vs Wilder 3 had been expected to be the biggest fight to take place anywhere in the world in the remainder of 2020.
But it will not take place until early 2021 at least after several postponements due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And possibly not at all.
There is though at least some hope now that these two men will lock horns in the ring for a third time. A week ago, with Fury instead set to fight on December 5 in the UK, and Wilder slinging insults at him on social media, that hope didn’t exist.
Now Fury’s December 5 date is off, and reports suggest both camps are looking to a legal process to decide whether Fury is still contractually obliged to to fight.
Fury and Deontay Wilder had already met twice for the World Boxing Council (WBC), Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight titles.
Their first meeting came soon after Fury’s astonishing comeback from mental health issues and ballooning in weight to 400lbs.
The bout ended in a controversial draw at Staples Center in Los Angeles in December 2018. This despite Fury having to get off the floor twice.
‘The Gypsy King’ made no mistake second time round though as he battered Wilder to a seventh-round TKO at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in February 2020. That was he first defeat of Wilder’s professional career.
There was much surprise given the manner of his defeat that Wilder immediately exercised his right to a third fight.
Fury vs Wilder 3 date, time and venue
The trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will not now happen in 2020, and maybe never.
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel said his team were still working to put the bout on in December 2020, but they simply ran out of time and available dates.
On Monday October 12, Fury told The Athletic he had “moved on” from Wilder and would instead fight a different opponent in a homecoming bout in the UK on Saturday December 5.
His co-promoter Bob Arum explained that the planned December 19 date for Fury vs Wilder 3 had been scuppered by a huge slate of American football games that day on US TV.
Wilder’s network (Fox) and Fury’s (ESPN) were both reticent to stage the bout then, going up against five major college championship games and two NFL games.
Arum said dates in late January and late February were offered as alternatives, but with no further contractual obligations Fury had decided to move on.
Now at least though that potential mediation and the cancellation of Fury’s December 5 date offer some hope. It is reported that Fury vs Wilder 3 could still happen, in the United States in February or March 2021.
Fury vs Wilder 3 TV channel and live stream
Fury vs Wilder 3, if and when it goes ahead, is likely to be another joint pay-per-view production in the United States between ESPN and Fox Sports.
ESPN has a five-fight deal with Fury worth a reputed £80million while Fox has a deal with Wilder’s promoter, Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
The fight is likely to be shown by BT Sport Box Office in the UK. The network has shown all of Fury’s recent fights and has a strong relationship and contract with Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
Fury vs Wilder 3 odds
Not surprisingly given the manner of his victory in the rematch, Fury is a strong favourite to defeat Wilder again.
UK bookmakers have ‘The Gypsy King’ is as short as 1/4 to retain his titles. Wilder meanwhile is very much the outsider and as big as 3/1 in places.
The draw – obviously not impossible given the outcome of the first fight – is a best-priced 27/1.
Meanwhile in the United States Fury is a best-priced -270 to prevail again, but as short as -350 in places. The best price about Wilder is +275.
Fury vs Wilder 3 weights
The weigh-in for Fury vs Wilder will be held 24 hours ahead of the eventual fight date. It will provide a real clue to what might happen on fight night.
Fury vs Wilder 2 brought plenty of interest at the weigh-in as both men came in significantly heavier than they had for the first meeting. Fury was 273lbs – 17lbs than the first meeting and the third heaviest of his career.
Wilder meanwhile weighed in at 231lbs – the highest of his career to date.
Clearly the extra weight suited Fury better as he showed off a more aggressive game plan than in the first bout, while Wilder appeared listless in comparison.
Fury vs Wilder 3 purses
While the final PPV buy figure of 850,000 in the United States for the rematch was seen as slightly disappointing to many observers given the might of a joint ESPN/Fox promotion, the fighters still did pretty nicely out of it.
According to Forbes’ list of the biggest-earning athletes in the last 12 months, Fury took home a whopping $26million (£21million) for a very successful night’s work. The majority came from PPV upside. Wilder meanwhile pocketed around $25million (£20million).
In theory – despite the one-sided nature of their second fight – the trilogy when it happens should rake in even more revenue with Fury having only boosted his profile in the United States.
Tyson Fury record and profile
Tyson Luke Fury was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester on August 12, 1988 and now resides in Morecambe, Lancashire. He has enormous physical tools (amazing when you consider he weighed just one pound at birth).
He now stands 6ft 9ins tall with reach of 85 inches. His father John, also a boxer, named him after former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
Fury has lived up to his name and remains unbeaten as a pro at 30-0-1, 30 victories and one draw in a total of 31 bouts. Twenty-one of Fury’s victories have come inside distance.
There are two distinct segments to Fury’s career – the first going from his debut on the undercard of Carl Froch vs Jean Pascal back in December 2008 right through to that epic victory over Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf in November 2015.
‘The Gypsy King’ upped his record to 25-0 that night and the world looked to be his oyster.
Instead he was on the brink of boxing oblivion.
Mental health issues and thoughts of suicide, and massive weight gain up to 400lbs, left many experts wondering if he would ever fight again. What followed is one of sport’s greatest comeback stories.
Almost three years after that night in Germany, Fury began the long road back.
Within two bouts he was back in the firing line at the very top level. And taking on the man widely acclaimed as the most devastating puncher in the sport – Deontay Wilder.
Despite still not being back to prime fighting shape, Fury performed highly creditably in outboxing his opponent.
He got off the floor twice to hear the final bell before being handed a draw. Many experts were convinced he won comfortably.
Two more interim fights followed as he christened his five-fight £80million US TV deal with ESPN. They brought wins over Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin (despite a horrible cut) in Las Vegas.
And then – on February 22, 2020 – Fury crowned his incredible comeback story. Under the tutelage of Kronk disciples Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward and Andy Lee for the first time, he shocked the world. Wilder was battered to a seventh-round TKO.
Now the trilogy with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ awaits. And after that the enormous carrot of a potential unification double-header with Anthony Joshua in 2021.
Deontay Wilder record and profile
Deontay Leshun Wilder was born on October 22, 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama – the place he still calls home. He now stands 6ft 7ins tall with reach of 83 inches.
Despite that devastating defeat by Fury in February, Wilder still boasts a stellar resume. He has a professional record of 42-1-1, 42 victories, one draw and one defeat.
Wilder has often come in for criticism from experts. They believe he is not only unorthodox but also technically a very limited fighter.
But he has always possessed a pretty decent cure for that – dynamite in both fists.
Deontay is one of the biggest punchers around – notably putting Fury on the floor twice in their first meeting.
On more than one occasion Wilder has gone into the later stages of fights needing a knockout.
Until the rematch with Fury, he had always managed to find it.
Wilder became WBC world heavyweight champion on January 17, 2015 – outpointing Bermane Stiverne in Las Vegas.
He would retain the belt for a total of 11 defences – culminating in the defeat by Fury.
Now the experts who doubted his boxing ability all along are asking an even more searching question. Has he been exposed for ever at the very highest level? Or can he adapt and come back stronger…