Deontay Wilder’s co-managers expect that he’ll exercise his contractual right to an immediate third fight against Tyson Fury.
(photo by Ryan Hafey)
According to terms of the two-fight contracts Wilder and Fury signed last year, Wilder is owed a third bout versus Fury without any bouts for either boxer between their second and third encounters. Wilder has 30 days from the night of his seventh-round, technical-knockout defeat to Fury to exercise that contractual right.
A third fight is supposed to take place by August, but even a tentative date for a potential third bout between Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) hasn’t been determined. Wilder didn’t attend their post-fight press conference Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena because he went to a local hospital to get checked out.
“My guess is knowing him like I do that he will absolutely want to rematch,” Jay Deas, Wilder’s head trainer and co-manager, said during the press conference. “And, I mean, these guys have put on two tremendous fights already. So, I certainly think that the public will want it. And I think we’ll want it. And I think [Fury’s team will] want it. And so, it seems a natural. So, I think that’s what you’ll see happen.”
Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, acknowledged earlier in the press conference that it’s entirely up to Wilder whether their third pay-per-view fight occurs next. If the 34-year-old Wilder were to pass on that contractual right to their immediate third fight, there’s no guarantee that the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native would land a third shot at Fury.
A domestic showdown between the undefeated Fury, the WBC champion, and Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), the IBF/WBA/WBO champ, would be such an enormous event in England, thus declining an immediate rematch would strip Wilder of his leverage and cost the former champion an eight-figure payday.
“Well, going in and contrary to what Fury said last fight and continues [to say], I think he knows that I have a lot of respect for his ability, always did,” said Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager. “And Deontay will take the time, but you will see these guys in the ring again. Everyone was saying, ‘A rematch.’ This is it. The winner of that [third fight] will then decide how it goes, right?”