The prospect of Tyson Fury’s rematch with Deontay Wilder still happening has been revived
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman insists they have a moral duty to come to terms
The prospect of Tyson Fury‘s rematch with Deontay Wilder still happening has been revived by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman insisting that they and Anthony Joshua have a moral duty to come to terms for super-fights to find the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
High expectations of Fury reprising his epic draw with Wilder and the winner then fighting Joshua receded as Manchester’s Gypsy King announced his massive £80 million US television deal to box on ESPN under the promotion of Frank Warren and his American partner Bob Arum.
With the three giants of the heavyweight division now linked with different TV networks on both sides of the Atlantic the May 18 date for Fury to challenge again for Wilder’s WBC title remained unconfirmed.
But Sulaiman has responded by saying: ‘These important fights which the public are demanding must take place. The priority for the WBC is boxing and the fans, over television rivalry.’
Then he went so far as to call the promoters to account: ‘It is their responsibility to make the necessary deals.
‘Anyone who prevents these matches being made will have to live with the consequences of depriving the sport and the people.
‘We are entering a different era in boxing with the major investment through ESPN and DAZN bringing a change in broadcasting platforms.
‘Hopefully the internet will put an end to the way in which so many big fights have failed to happen in the past, to the detriment of boxing.
Expectations have been high for Fury reprising last year’s epic draw with Wilder
‘Given the huge public interest following the first fight for our heavyweight belt between Wilder and Fury, we mandated the rematch and extended the time for the parties to negotiate before going to purse bids.
‘After being told on Friday evening about Tyson Fury’s contract with ESPN I have spoken with both parties about the rematch.
‘The WBC will follow the proper protocol to examine what steps we can take to help the fight go ahead.’
Sulaiman hopes, also, for the winner to fight WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Joshua to find the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
The time scale may be delayed, even though Wilder is indicating that he is not personally contracted to the Showtime cable network in America and may be able to fight Fury on ESPN there as well as BT Sport in the UK.
Anthony Joshua against the Wilder-Fury winner would be a more complicated transaction
Wilder refers to the proposed date, saying: ‘I will still be ready for Fury on May 18.’
That is more likely to be put back to September, with Fury promoter Frank Warren’s US partner Bob Arum preferring both men to have warm-up fights there in May ‘to build up even higher audience interest in America’.
Joshua against the Wilder-Fury winner would be a more complicated transaction. Joshua, who defends his belts against Jarrell Miller in New York on June 1, is contracted to Sky in the U. K., and DAZN in America.
But Sulaiman says: ‘While it is not for me to comment on shared broadcasting rights in this case, that has happened before.
‘What matters most is that we are beginning to bring back the old glamour and glitz to the heavyweight championship.
‘It will be a pity if the interested parties do not find a way to come together.’