By: Sean Crose
It may have taken a bit to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, but the heavyweight title bout between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is finally signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered on December 1st. WBC champ Wilder and former division king Fury have wanted to fight for a while. They even got in a ring together last month and declared their fight was happening. Then came a waiting game, with some eventually beginning to wonder if the heavyweight super showdown would occur at all. By Friday evening, however, the matter had been settled and made public.
“THE CONTRACTS ARE SIGNED & THE FIGHT IS ON!” read a press release. “The promotional tour will kickoff in London on Oct. 1 and continue with stops in New York City and Los Angeles.” Oddly enough, no location was named for the fight. The announcement made clear the bout would be aired on pay per view, but there was no mention of who would be handling the PPV services. Most striking of all, however, was that the news was made public Friday evening, American time, just hours before heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua was set to defend his crown in London on Saturday against Russian contender Alexander Povetkin. Perhaps PBC, which promotes Wilder, and Frank Warren, who promotes Fury, decided to go the Floyd Mayweather route by making a major announcement before a major fight.
Despite the reason for the timing of the news, word that Wilder, a 40-0 force of destruction with 39 knockouts to his name, would be facing the slick big man Fury, 27-0, added to an already big year for boxing, a year that has seen the sport spread across cable, social media and streaming services at a rapid pace. “This fight is definitely on and I can’t wait, man,” Wilder said on Instagram. “It’s going to be an exciting fight; it’s going to be an explosive fight.”
On top of being undefeated as professionals, both Wilder and Fury have outsized personalities, which make for good publicity, especially in the era of Mayweather and Conor McGregor. They are also both over six and a half feet tall, which makes them giant fighters, as well as giant characters. The winner of this match will surely have to face Joshua in the future (provided Joshua gets past Povetkin) in order to bring clarity to what is now a very interesting heavyweight division.