Deontay Wilder is not giving up on the dream of a trilogy fight with Tyson Fury despite its apparent collapse last month.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ had been due to face ‘The Gypsy King’ in their third fight after a draw and a defeat in their first two meetings.
First of all though, potential dates in July and October were scuppered by the global COVID-19 pandemic. And then a plan for December 19 fell through, due to a very competitive US TV schedule that day per Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum.
That led to Fury announcing that he was “moving on” from Wilder and would instead have a UK homecoming bout on December 5. It appears likely that unbeaten German Agit Kabayel (20-0) will be in the opposite corner.
Wilder responded to that news with a furious outburst on social media (his first for months). He made a number of wild claims about the Fury rematch in February and urged ‘The Gypsy King’ to go through with the trilogy fight.
Now his team – per Mike Coppinger of The Athletic – has initiated dispute resolution provision in a bid to get the third bout back on track. Coppinger says Fury’s team however says its contractual obligation for the fight ended in mid-October.
Fury and Wilder teams set for mediation
The first step of this new process is mediation. Wilder’s co-manger Shelly Finkel told The Athletic: “We’re going into it very optistmically this week”.
Fury (30-0-1) is currently expected to have just one fight before he looks to meet Anthony Joshua in a massive unification clash. The pair have already agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal.
For Wilder meanwhile, time is of the essence here. If he cannot face Fury swiftly, then his hopes of a shot at the WBC title any time soon would appear limited. It is likely, as already stated, that a Fury vs Joshua pact would be two fights, likely ruling out 2021.
Joshua meanwhile also has a decision of his own to make. If he defeats Kubrat Pulev on December 12, he may be forced to defend his WBO belt against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. So he would have to fight Usyk, or vacate the WBO belt to meet Fury.
That of course would scupper Joshua’s dream of becoming undisputed heavyweight champion, at least via any meeting with Fury next summer.