Fury vs. Schwarz Heading to PPV on BT Sports in UK
By: Shane Willoughby
Oh Frank Warren, you’ve only gone and done it! After his constant claims that Eddie Hearn is ‘robbing’ the fans, Frank Warren has only gone and put Tyson Fury (27-0-1) vs Tom Schwarz (24-0) on pay-per-view on BT Sports.
Fury is set to defend his lineal championship on the 19th June, in Las Vagas. The Gypsy King’s return to the States was expected, especially after his new American T.V deal with ESPN.
However, what was surprising was when it was announced that he was going to take on Tom Schwarz. WHO?!
In the eyes of many Fury should be the WBC champion after arguably beating Deontay Wilder last December.
The self-proclaimed lineal champion looked to be ready for the top fighters in the division; done with the likes of Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta. Unfortunately not!
Tyson Fury will be facing German heavyweight Tom Schwartz. If that wasn’t a hard-enough pill to swallow for the English fans, not only do you have to wake up at 5am to watch the fight, but you also have to pay.
Mr Warren what have you done? It was only last year the Hall of Fame promoter stated, ‘I wouldn’t pay 99p for Whyte vs Parker’; which turned out to be one of the best fight cards of the year. Now he has put Fury vs Schwarz as PPV on BT Sports.
If Whyte vs Parker wasn’t worth 99p, Frank Warren, you must be selling this fight for at least 50 pence.
Interestingly, no fights have been yet added to the undercard. Warren might have to make Eubank Sr vs Nigel Benn III to have this card qualify as a PPV.
It’s difficult to see how Fury vs Schwarz keeps people awake in the first place, not to mention the fight being in the early hours of the morning, and when you add the barrier of PPV, it’s hard to see how this PPV will sell.
Fury Open to Facing Whyte for WBC Diamond Belt
By: Michael Kane
Last week WBC supremo Mauricio Sulaiman suggested that he wanted to make an interim title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Dillian Whyte was quoted as saying he didn’t think Fury would accept.
Well Fury has responded, he doesn’t want an interim title fight, he wants the fight to be for the WBC Diamond belt.
Both Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Whyte have fights scheduled for the next couple of months. Fury takes on German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in the first fight of a big TV deal with Top Rank and ESPN on June 15th in Las Vegas.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) will face Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) in London in July, a fight he had wanted to be confirmed as mandatory for the WBC title.
Fury took to Instagram to set his only condition on accepting the Whyte fight.
“I propose that we make me and Dillian Whyte for the WBC Diamond belt and not the interim belt.”
“I’ll take care of Dillian Whyte,” he continued, “and knock him out within six rounds. I accept the challenge, thank you very much.
“I’d fight Dillian Whyte and day of the week and twice on a Sunday . Make it for the Diamond belt, not the interim version and you’ve got a deal. Let’s get it on!”
Whyte was quick to reply on the post by saying, “Let’s do it then, Tyson Fury. I’d fight you anytime, anywhere, seven days a week and five times on a Sunday. I look forward to putting you to sleep. Let’s go baby!”
Both fighters need to get past their immediate opponents before any such fight can take place.
WBC Wants Fury to Face Whyte in Final Eliminator, Whyte Says He Will Face Anyone
By: Michael Kane
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is interested in making a final eliminator bout between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Sulaiman said in a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice that Whyte’s team have rejected that proposal.
Whyte has replied saying he will fight anyone including Tyson Fury.
“I’m the ‘can man’ whoever wants it can get it,” Whyte told Talksport.
“I’ve been trying to fight Tyson Fury for a number of years now. We’ve made multiple attempts and it never happened.
“If Fury wants to fight, he knows where I am. But I can’t see the fight happening.
“If Tyson Fury can walk away from a rematch with Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight world title, why would he fight me for the ‘interim’ title? It doesn’t make sense.”
Whyte feels he has been harshly treated by the WBC having been expected to face Dominic Breazeale in a final eliminator for the ‘interim’ title. The plans for this fight were scrapped once Breazeale stepped in to face champion Deontay Wilder on May 18th.
Breazeale was deemed to be the mandatory after winning a final eliminator in 2017 against Eric Molina.
“There’s a lot of things going on with the WBC at the minute,” Whyte explained.
“Everyone knows I’m very angry at them and the way I’ve been treated.
“Everyone knows Deontay Wilder should’ve been fighting me and not Domonic Breazeale. But for some reason the WBC insist on protecting him.
“It’s a funny subject, I can’t really say too much, a lot of these boxing authorities are very touchy.
“The public can see what I’ve done, how many WBC title fights I’ve had, how many times I’ve defended my number one position. Its crazy, I don’t understand it.
“Now, with the WBC, I think it’s just delaying tactics by them. It’s frustrating, it’s stressful, it’s a but disheartening to be honest.
“Tyson Fury could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, Anthony Joshua could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, look who they’re fighting.
“It just goes to show there’s only one man who’s willing to fight anyone. I’m not losing faith in boxing because I know this sport I’d just full of nastiness, man.
“It’s part of the game, you’ve gotta take the ups and the downs. My time will come. I just keep working, they can’t hide forever.”
TGB Promotions President Tom Brown Discusses the Heavyweight Landscape
By: Hans Themistode
The Heavyweight division is about to heat up in the next few weeks. Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) will make his Heavyweight debut when he takes on Carlos Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs). Unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time as he battles against once beaten Andy Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs). The “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury also takes his undefeated record and Lineal crown on the line when he takes on the obscure Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in Las Vegas. All of these men will be fighting in close proximity to one anther, and will be looking to make a statement.
Before any of these fighters step into the ring however, WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will grace the ring first as he takes on Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) in what is certain to be a barn burner of a fight.
With so many intriguing matchups taking place in the Heavyweight division, who better to ask on their opinion of the Heavyweight landscape than TGB Promotions President Tom Brown. He gave us his thoughts on several of the top names in the Heavyweight division.
The reign of Wilder began in 2015, since then he has continued to dominate his opposition. Outside of a draw against Tyson Fury, Wilder has stopped every opponent he has stepped inside of the ring with. He has been a world champion for over four years which marks him as the longest current world champion.
His level of dominance has lead many to believe that he is in fact the best Heavyweight in the world. Count Tom Brown as one of those that believe’s the Tuscaloosa native is indeed the best Heavyweight fighter out there today.
“I think Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world. He’s a great fighter and I believe he is the best.”
Brown’s thoughts are shared by many. The Heavyweight division is known for its big men with explosive power. Any fighter in the division can end a fight with one punch. Wilder’s power seems to boarder around a freakish level.
His adversary come May 18th, Dominic Breazeale, has only tasted defeat once. He has collected wins against solid opposition such as Carlos Negron, Eric Molina and Amir Mansour. Still, Breazeale is considered a long shot to defeat Wilder come fight night. Brown on the other hand doesn’t agree with that opinion.
“Breazeale is a terrific fighter. He’s only lost once and that was to Anthony Joshua who is another great fighter. People have to remember that Breazeale didn’t start boxing until he was 23 years old. He was good enough to make the 2012 olympic team. Do people understand how difficult it is to make that team? Especially without much amateur experience. He’s only going to get better and he’s going to give Wilder a very good fight come May 18th.”
Wilder vs Breazeale has all the makings of a great fight. These two also have a heated history outside of the ring which is sure to add fuel to the fire. As mentioned previously, many of the top Heavyweights are slated to enter the ring soon after Wilder.
Former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will be looking to make a statement as he enters the ring one week after Wilder.
“I think Usyk is unbelievable. He’s always impressed me, I think very highly of him. I think he’ll be a threat to anyone in the division because he’s so talented.”
Usyk, is on many if not all pound for pound lists. His introduction in to the Heavyweight division will make it an interesting one. He dominated the Cruiserweight division but will he able to do the same as he forays into the land of the big men is a question he must answer.
One fighter who will have his own questions to answer is Anthony Joshua. The unified champion won’t have a soft touch for his U.S. debut as his opponent Andy Ruiz, is as talented as they come.
“I think Joshua has a really tough fight ahead of him against Andy Ruiz. He has really fast hands, very skilled and the heart of a real warrior. I give him a real chance in that fight.”
As for how exactly Brown would go about ranking all of the Heavyweight’s he made sure to not mince words.
“Listen all of these fighters are great but I really believe that Deontay Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world.”
It’s hard to argue with the sentiments spewed by Brown. However, with the big men all stepping inside the ring in short order, they can all stake their claim as the best in the world very soon.
Joshua, Wilder and Fury – Make Greatness Happen
By: Aziel Karthak
Mayweather–Margarito. Jones Jr.–Benn. Bowe–Lewis. Leonard–Pryor. These are fights that could and should have happened but never materialized.
Mayweather–Pacquiao. De La Hoya–Pacquaio. Lewis–Tyson. Tyson–Holyfield. Ali–Holmes. These are fights that did take place but with one or both fighters past their peak.
Which category will potential fights among Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury inhabit? Real boxing fans will hope that they find a place in a third group, graced by Ali, Frazier and Foreman in the 1970s and Leonard, Hearns, Duran, and Hagler a decade later; one where the best fight the best at or near their fighting primes.
Further, the three most accomplished modern heavyweights have the rare opportunity to unify the belts and bring some order to what is presently a circus. Let this sink in: 70 years ago, the sport had one champion each for its nine weight classes. Today, there are 17 divisions and the four major governing bodies have, between them, over 50 belt holders.
In a way, it is out of the fighters’ hands. Promoters rule. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. There are millions at stake and you’d not want your champion to take a loss against a competitor’s marquee fighter. Also, the reasoning is that the more you stall a potential great fight, the greater the demand and the monetary fruits when it finally happens. Not ideal for the sport, but it is what it is.
Still, we hold on to hope of what can be.
When the dust settled on Wilder vs Fury last December, the heavyweight landscape never looked rosier. The possibilities were endless – they could rematch or one of Wilder or Fury could take on Joshua with other to fight the winner. Why were we dreaming? As things stand today, Wilder has a fight lined up with Dominic Breazeale on May 18, Joshua fights Jarrell Miller two weeks later, and a further fortnight away is Fury’s date with Tom Schwarz. This road is fraught with pitfalls though. There are few other sports where the favorite is as vulnerable as he is in boxing. And no chin is infallible. An upset or upsets is not inconceivable. What then?
We’ll all be back to the carousel. Warren, Hearn and Finkel will take the platform and throw practiced rhetoric at the fans, trying to convince us that those were just blips to better days, which will never come. They will do so without fear of a backlash. Besides being the most short-changed audience in sports, the boxing fanbase is, alas, also among the most easily manipulated.
The Gypsy King Returns: Tyson Fury to Defend Lineal Heavyweight Title Against Tom Schwarz June 15 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas
The biggest star in world heavyweight boxing — all 6 feet 9 inches of him — is coming to the fight capital of the world.
Unbeaten lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King,” will defend his title against top contender Tom Schwarz on Saturday, June 15 in Las Vegas. The event will be promoted by Top Rank, in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and SES Boxing.
Fury-Schwarz will be available live in the United States exclusively on ESPN+ – the leading multi-sport streaming service – beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
The fight marks the first in a multi-fight agreement announced in February, in which Fury’s fights are co-promoted by Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and are a headline piece of the boxing lineup under the historic, long-term Top Rank on ESPN relationship.
Tickets priced at $600, $450, $300, $200, $100 and $50 (not including applicable charges) go on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, April 25 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased online through axs.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office.
“It’s with great pride that Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, together with ESPN+ and MTK Global, will be able to present the leading heavyweight in the world and a megastar in boxing,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be boxing in Las Vegas on ESPN+,” Fury said. “I always said I will never go to Vegas until I box there and now I finally am. I can’t wait to put on a boxing master class for all my fans. The British and Irish fans will invade Vegas. I can’t wait!”
“This is what I’ve been working for since I was a kid. A fight in Las Vegas against Tyson Fury is a dream come true,” Schwarz said. “While I appreciate Tyson as a great fighter and a sportsman, I am young, ambitious and in the top of the world rankings. I‘ve won 24 fights, I’ve got nothing to lose, and my 25th victory will come against Fury.”
Warren said, “I’m very excited about starting the next chapter in the Tyson Fury story. With this new deal and co-promotion with Top Rank, it’s all about getting Tyson out there to a huge audience, and nobody can do that in America like ESPN. He’s the best heavyweight on the planet and the lineal champion. He’s a superstar, and there is nowhere better for a superstar to have his next fight than in the Mecca of boxing itself, Las Vegas. I would like to extend a special thanks to MTK Global for the role they have played in this exciting next step. BT will broadcast exclusively in the UK and an announcement will follow from them on how UK fans can watch Tyson’s return.”
“All the best fighters of the last decade-plus have fought in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and on June 15, you can add Tyson Fury to that list,” said Bob Yalen, president, MTK Global. “The world’s premier promoter, the world’s premier boxing venue and the world’s premier heavyweight, backed by the world’s premier management team on the world’s premier sports network…It is going to be a can’t-miss night of boxing.”
“Tyson Fury is an incredible boxer with an incredible story, two things that are right at home on ESPN+,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager, ESPN+. “Tom Schwarz is young, ambitious and unbeaten. This fight adds to an ESPN+ boxing lineup that has been packed with Champions in its first year, making it a must have for any fan of the sweet science – and we’re just getting started.”
Fury (27-0-1) captured the lineal heavyweight title on Nov. 28, 2015, with a unanimous decision over longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko. That win catapulted him to worldwide celebrity, but a host of personal demons threatened to end his career before he could defend his title. He blew up to 400-plus pounds, only to author a 2018 comeback that ranks among the greatest redemption stories in sporting history. In the third fight of his comeback, Dec. 1 in Los Angeles, Fury fought WBC champion Deontay Wilder to a disputed draw. His recovery from a hellacious 12th-round knockdown became an instant viral video sensation and the stuff of boxing legend.
Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) is a 24-year-old native of Halle, Germany, a 6-foot-5 boxer-puncher who has not gone the distance in his past six fights. Ranked No. 3 by the WBO and No. 9 by the IBF, Schwarz has fought all but two of his bouts in Germany but has climbed the world heavyweight rankings with a string of dominant performances. He captured the WBO Intercontinental belt in April 2017 with a second-round stoppage of Adnan Redzovic (18-1 at the time) and has since defended that belt four times. In his last bout, March 2 in Magdeburg, Germany, he knocked down Kristijan Krstacic three times in the second round to score the stoppage.
Since announcing the landmark Top Rank on ESPN agreement in 2017, and expanding it in August 2018, the comprehensive alliance has showcased blockbuster Top Rank fights and content across ESPN networks and ESPN+, the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer streaming service in the U.S.
To subscribe to ESPN+, visit www.espnplus.com.
The Pressure Is On: A Look at the Heavyweight Division
By: Hans Themistode
Pressure bursts pipes.
It’s true isn’t it? If you add enough pressure to anything, eventually it will break. With that being said, that very same pressure can also create diamonds.
In the case of WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, (40-0-1, 39 KOs) Lineal champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and unified belt holder Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), they all share an enormous amount of pressure.
These three men are undoubtedly the very best that the Heavyweight division has to offer but how exactly should they be ranked? Deontay Wilder is the longest reigning title holder of three having held his title since 2015. How about Joshua? He does hold the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles. He also has faced the better opposition of anyone else in the division. Fury may have the best claim to being the divisions best as he is the man that beat the man. In late 2015 he shocked the world in defeating Wladimir Klitschko and ending his nearly ten year reign.
The best way to end the debate is to simply have them face off with one another. Wilder and Fury waged war on one another when they met in the ring on December 1st 2018. It was a fight that saw Fury outbox Wilder for the vast majority of the contest but the WBC champion managed to score two knockdowns including a dramatic one in the 12th and final round. The final call was a draw. It left fans salivating for the sequel. Unfortunately as is the case most times in boxing the rematch was shelved.
Although Joshua has yet to step into the ring with either man he has routinely faced stiff competition. Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and a slew of other top contenders have all fell by the way side when matched up with Joshua.
It seems as though these three fighters are joined at the hip. That trend continues as they will grace the ring within a short amount of time of one another. Wilder will have his WBC title on the line when he takes on mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale on May 18th. Joshua will make his U.S debut on June 1st at Madison Square Garden against the unbeaten Jarrell Miller while Fury will travel to Las Vegas on June 15th to take on the relatively unknown Tom Schwarz.
The longer these fighters don’t step into the squared circle with one another, the more the pressure to win will mount. Not only do they need to win but they also need to do in so in dominant fashion.
With the talent that currently presides in the Heavyweight division, it just takes one bad night from any of those three champions that could ultimately lead to a loss. The fans shudder to think of such an upset. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are great champions. Who is the best from this group will be discovered soon enough as they will face each other at one point in their careers. However until that time comes they all must continue to win.
The question now is, will these fighters allow that pressure to break them and lead them to a loss before they get matched up with one another or will they thrive off that pressure and continue to win? Only time will tell.
Tyson Fury To Face Tom Schwarz June 15th
By: Sean Crose
Widely circulated rumors were confirmed on Saturday night when Top Rank Promotions announced that Tyson Fury, the undefeated heavyweight who many feel is still lineal champion of the world, would be facing the widely unknown Tom Schwarz on June 15th , reportedly at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be Fury’s first bout since signing a highly publicized and surprising contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotional outlet several weeks ago. Fury was widely expected to rematch WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder after their entertaining and controversial battle last December, which had ended in a draw. The Englishman decided, however, to team up with Arum and ESPN instead.
The 24-0 Schwarz is essentially an unknown commodity. He has never fought in America, and has only fought outside of his native Germany on a few occasions. Although undefeated, Schwarz has yet to face anyone of note, much less anyone as high-level as Fury. With Wilder scheduled to fight Dominic Breazeale on Showtime this May, and multi-titlist Anthony Joshua set to face Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on the DAZN streaming service in June, team Fury had to look for an opponent unencumbered by the politics of contemporary boxing.
Fury, one of the more colorful figures in boxing, can regularly be expected to do the unexpected. After stunning the fight world by besting long reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko late in 2015, the now 27-0-1 Englishman descended into a world of depression, booze, drugs, and food. Emerging from the darkness, Fury then went on to surprise many when he almost beat the feared American puncher Wilder late last year. Now Fury has taken people by surprise again by teaming up with Arum and ESPN. Few, however, will likely expect any surprises when Fury steps back into the ring on June 15th in order to battle Schwarz.
With the heavyweight division now being more competitive than it has been in years, the three top fighters in the division, Fury, Wilder, and Joshua, are nonetheless fighting under different promotional banners, which will make any matches between two of the three men quite difficult to make from here on in. In terms of legacy, and also finances, each fighter – along with the fighter’s teams – will most likely want to eventually settle all matters in the ring, however. How such clarity will come about, remains to be seen at this point.
Lewis-Holyfield I: The Fight That Put Boxing Down (And Almost Out)
By: Sean Crose
People were mad for a long time. A very long time.
If it’s true that history is simply a matter of perspective, then perhaps my perspective on the notorious Holyfield-Lewis I fight, which went down twenty years ago today, is as good as any. A 27 year old, I had been a lifetime fan of boxing and loyal a fan of heavyweight king Evander Holyfield for some time. Indeed, my teenage self proclaimed long before Tyson went to jail that Holyfield would have his number when the two inevitably met. I was proven right, of course, and I still to this day argue that Holyfield would have beaten Tyson had the two met when Tyson was in his prime (let’s not forget that Iron Mike’s best days were long behind him when they fought in 96 and 97).
Fandom, however, does not always relate to clear thinking. Therefore, I felt Holyfield’s showdown with Lennox Lewis on March 13th of 1999 would be end up merely being another notch in the great Holyfield’s belt as he moved along the post-Tyson chapter of his sterling career. Although I might not have felt completely in agreement with the reporter for a reputed national magazine who claimed Lewis had a big punch and nothing much else in his arsenal, I was certainly a person of my time and place – a young man in the dial up era who couldn’t get access to the plethora of fight news that’s available today. Lewis, after all, had essentially been absent from the truly bright lights during much of the 90s. He was a decorated fighter, true, but the biggest names – Holyfield, Tyson, Foreman, and Bowe – hadn’t had a thing to do with him. Why wouldn’t I assume the pure warrior Holyfield wouldn’t walk away with a win? Because Lewis had been left out of the elite heavyweight club for a reason, that’s why.
Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, Lewis was looked on as poison. There’s a reason it was almost the new millennium before the man truly got a crack at a premiere fighter of his day. For Lewis was not only a big heavyweight for the era, he was a big heavyweight who could actually fight. And, back then, such men were a rarity. Towering fighters like Jess Willard, Primo Carnera, Gerry Cooney and the like never seemed to be able to let their huge frames lead them to greatness. Lewis, however, was the exception. In a sense, the man was a pioneer, the individual who rang in the big man era of today’s heavyweight division.
Looking back on it all now, it’s no surprise the battle played out like it did. Holyfield had predicted a third round knockout beforehand, and, although he didn’t get the KO, he certainly did very well in the third. Lewis, however, had dominated the first two rounds. The fourth was close, but Lewis hurt his man in the fifth. “Right now,” HBO’s Larry Merchant said at the end of the round, “Evander Holyfield looks like an old fighter.” By the end of the sixth, Lewis was cockily walking about the ring with his hands at his sides. What’s more, Lewis simply beat his man up in the seventh. Holyfield performed better in the eighth. Lewis, however, set the tempo in the ninth by simply letting Holyfield come to him, blocking off shots, and employing his jab. Holyfield seemed to have Lewis hurt early in the tenth, but Lewis’ jab simply seemed as if it might tell the story of the fight.
Lewis went on to dominate the 11th, then landed clean through the 12th. After the final bell, Lewis was understandably in a state of jubilation, clearly feeling he had won the match. “No questions,” said HBO’s Harold Lederman, “no doubt about it, Lennox Lewis wins the fight. The better jab, the cleaner punching, the harder right hands.” HBOs Jim Lampley also weighed in. “If the judges see fit to ignore this kind of numerical dominance,” he claimed, upon looking at the punch stats.“you would wonder how.” Needles to say, the judges scored it a draw: 115-113 for Holyfield, 116-113 for Lewis, and 115-115. “That’s a travesty,” said Lampley. Judging from the chorus of boos, the fans at Madison Square Garden agreed. What’s more, the world appeared to agree.
Back to my 27 year old self. After that weekend, I noticed things had changed in regards to boxing. Once complaints about the decision in and out of the media started to fade, I ceased to hear people around me talking about boxing much anymore. Whereas throughout the 90s, boxing discussions could be found in the media, in the workplace, at social occasions, and on the street, talk of the sweet science simply seemed to dry up, save for among a few hardcore fans. And the drought went on for years, as even big fights remained well out of the mainstream. When a rare major event, like Lewis-Tyson in 2002, or Mayweather-De La Hoya in 2007, went down, general interest couldn’t be maintained for long. I well remember the Floyd-Oscar bout being referred to as the “last” major boxing match.
It wasn’t until recently – and I mean very recently – that I started to feel that boxing might be beginning to regain wide cultural acceptance. And, to be sure, the sport appears to once again be in a healthy state. A word to the wise, however: most sport fans might only take so much of the kind of garbage we boxing nuts endure on a regular basis. That’s something worth keeping in mind the next time an outrageous score is read live on national television.
More Boxing History
Deontay Wilder: “Fury Did Not Want To Fight Me”
By: Sean Crose
“We knew Fury wasn’t gonna take this fight,” so said WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder on Gerry Cooney and Randy Gordon’s Sirius XM show. “You know,” he continued, “we got to a certain point in time when they were stalling about signing the contract that was already set a week ago. When he was stalling from signing that, we knew something was wrong. We knew it was the problem where Frank (Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter) wasn’t answering his phone anymore. You know it wasn’t no reason for him not to answer. We knew something was up.”
With those words, the undefeated power puncher from Alabama gave his take on “the fight that wasn’t” – a highly anticipated rematch between himself and Tyson Fury, which was widely expected to go down this spring. The first Wilder-Fury battle, which occurred in December and ended in a controversial draw, left fans wanting more, in no small part because Fury went down – then got up, from a ferocious Wilder shot in the 12th and final round. Fury, however, surprised the fight world recently by aligning with promoter Bob Arum and ESPN, a move which arguably put him directly at odds with Wilder, and Al Haymon, who acts as Wilder’s adviser.
The fact that Fury’s decision was announced around the time fans and analysts were expecting word of a Wilder rematch only added to the shock factor. “You know nothing was wrong with the contract,” said Wilder, “that everything was good. But Fury did not want to fight me. Fury signed the ESPN deal to run away from me. You can’t go nowhere. Well, where he gonna go? He’s not a champion. He didn’t win the fight.” Fury, of course, has his own take on things (it’s doubtful he’d even say he didn’t want a rematch with Wilder). The fighter known as The Bronze Bomber admitted that team Fury made him an offer – but it wasn’t the kind of offer he’d be willing to take.
According to Wilder, team Fury was eager to capitalize on the fact that Wilder had admitted he was a “free agent,” which essentially meant Wilder could fight on any network, including ESPN. “That’s where everything went crazy,” Wilder said. “We got a lot of deals on the table. But yeah. They (team Fury) went to four fights or whatever.” In other words, Wilder claimed team Fury wanted Wilder to sign a four fight contract with ESPN before agreeing to a rematch.
WBC: Wilder-Fury II “Not Happening Next”
By: Sean Crose
“BREAKING NEWS: @BronzeBomber vs @Tyson_Fury is officially not happening next. The @WBCBoxing has received communications as our process and while Wilder confirmed its willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do rematch at a later date.”
With the above awkwardly worded tweet, the World Boxing Council essentially let the world know on Tuesday that the much anticipated heavyweight title rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not be happening – at least not for the time being. Although obviously disappointing for many fans, Tuesday’s news came as no surprise. For Fury signed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions last week, politicizing the chance of a second go with Wilder (Wilder is aligned with competitor Al Haymon).
“You sorry muthafucka,” Wilder tweeted at Fury Tuesday afternoon. “We knew you only said this (a previous tweet where Fury claimed he would fight anyone) because you knew you wasn’t fighting me next. #CloutChaser you requested a warm-up fight first I don’t blame you tho, I probably would too if I saw my brains splashed all over the canvas. #Timberrr #Bih #RunHoeRun #NoSmokeWanted”
Fury, of course, had his own ready response for Wilder.
“Get your self a bit more well known in America first kid & then I’ll give you another chance.!,” the Englishman tweeted. “I already beat you & the world knows it & so do you must be hard for you that a British fighter has taken over the USA watch me whippppp #ONLYINAMERICA @espn.” In truth, an announcement of a rematch was expected until Fury teamed up with Arum. Now the 27-0-1 fighter will have his fights broadcast by ESPN while the 40-0-1 Wilder’s fight’s will most likely be aired on Showtime or Fox, which works with Haymon.
The first fight between the two men went down in California last December. Fury, who was returning to a heavyweight championship fight for the first time since stunning Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, boxed masterfully while champion Wilder spent much of the fight in hot pursuit. The biggest moment in the bout, however, came when Wilder dropped Fury with a thunderous shot in the 12th and final round. To the shock of many, however, Fury got up and finished the round. The fight was ultimately ruled a draw. The WBC demanded that Fury and Wilder express their intentions by midweek this week, as a rematch was supposedly in the works.
As things stand, Team Fury argues that their fighter will engage in a fight this spring before moving on to challenge Wilder again in the autumn.
Frank Warren’s Press Conference Notes
By: Oliver McManus
In front of a convened press pack at the BT headquarters in London, Frank Warren held an hour long press conference on Monday to discuss the forthcoming plans for his promotional stable. We take a look at the key announcements and what they could mean.
Tyson Fury signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank came as the headline announcement and, indeed, the most surprising. The deal, worth a reported £16million per fight, is a multi-year arrangement that will see him continue his working relationship with Warren whilst putting him in a prime position for a Stateside splash. Set for three fights throughout 2019, just one of those bouts will be on home soil with the remaining two set to be headlining ESPN cards.
The agreement is one that you can’t criticise Fury for taking, the money, opportunities and exposure afforded to him as a result are clear to see but what does mean is that, as with Anthony Joshua, another great heavyweight is off to conquer the American market. Furthermore what with Matchroom’s relationship with DAZN and that of Deontay Wilder with Showtime, the egg-shell nature of the heavyweight love triangle just became even more fragile.
That being said the key quintuplet of Warren, Fury, Wilder, Arum and Shelly Finkel all seem convinced that this new agreement shouldn’t be seen as a stumbling block in any negotiations and, rather, could make talks even easier. For that we’ll have to wait and see. What we do know, however, is that The Gypsy King is moving on over to America to play with the big boys.
Following on from that there was news that Nicola Adams had been forced out of her world title challenge to Arely Mucinio – scheduled for International Women’s Day – due to an injury obtained whilst training. The bout will be rescheduled for later in the year. This, combined with the cancellation of February 23rd’s show, saw a change to the makeup of that Royal Albert Hall card. Principally was the fact Anthony Yarde’s bout against Travis Reeves now finds itself taking place on March 8th.
Despite the repeated claims of Warren at the conference, Anthony Yarde is neither ranked #1 nor the mandatory challenger to, WBO champion, Sergey Kovalev with the unbeaten prospect slotting in at #2. The imperious physique of Yarde has seen him amass a record of 17 wins, 16 via knockout, without defeat but the opponents en route have been more than questionable. Tony Averlant, Dariusz Sek and Walter Sequeira are the trio of opponents to step into the ring with Yarde throughout 2018.
Reeves, then, is seen as a step up by way of the fact he fought, former European Champion, Karo Murat in the early stages of last year but this is another fight in which Yarde should find himself unrivalled.
With Yarde off the Leicester card, rescheduled for March 23rd, that bill will now be headlined by Sam Bowen’s maiden British title defense. The super featherweight has been slated to defend against Ronnie Clark on two occasions but both times the fight has been kiboshed owing to a Clark injury. It is believed Warren initially tried to get Craig Evans brought in as a replacement but the lightweight, WBO European champion, didn’t get the all clear from the British Boxing Board of Control. Ryan Wheeler was then approved for a shot at the title but, as of publishing, no opponent has been confirmed for the new date.
Sam Maxwell will contest his first title on the show when he faces Kelvin Dotel for the WBO European Super Lightweight title. Maxwell, a former GB Lionhearts representative in the World Series of Boxing, has made an impressive start to life in the pro ranks with ten emphatic victories. Nathan Gorman continues to be touted for a prospect-vs-prospect fight with Daniel Dubois and he’ll kick off 2019 in Leicester looking to be build an appetite for that particular fight.
The final announcement regarded the future of Billy Joe Saunders with the WBOs 160lbs mandatory challenger opting to step up in weight and contest the vacant super-middleweight title. That title became vacant when Gilberto Ramirez opted to step up to 175lbs, in doing so dethroning Yarde at the top of the rankings, although the Mexican has subsequently claimed he did not step away from the belt.
Nonetheless, as it stands, Saunders will be up against Shefat Isufi – a 29 year old German resident – who is the organization’s Intercontinental champion. Looking at his record won’t fill you with much optimism as to his ability – opponent after opponent littered with losses – and nor will watching any footage of his fights. I don’t think anyone is expecting anything but an easy night of work for Saunders.
Rather ironically the contest is taking place at Wembley Arena on April 13th which makes it 1-0 to Warren on delivering “big fights” at Wembley in 2019.
Wilder Reacts to Fury’s Top Rank Deal
By: Michael Kane
The boxing world was expecting the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to be sealed this week. Negotiations have taken a twist it would seem after the announcement that Tyson Fury has signed a co promotion deal with Top Rank.
The general feeling is that negotiations will prove difficult with Top Rank aligned to ESPN and Wilder being represented by Al Haymon who runs PBC. With the last fight being shown on Showtime, there was an expectation that the rematch would be shown on Showtime too.
However, that may not be the case as Wilder told ThaBoxingVoice: “If anything, it makes the fight better, it don’t hurt the fight.
“If anything it hurts the other competition with Joshua, that Fury’s signing with ESPN. He [Joshua] is with DAZN, it don’t really affect me.
“At the end of the day, if he wants to fight, then he’s gonna fight. If not, then we’ll move onto the next one. We have enough guys in the stable that we can fight for the next two years.
“When it comes to America, there’s only one American that’s dominant and that’s Deontay Wilder.”
Despite being represented by Al Haymon, Wilder claims he doesn’t have any deals specifically with PBC, Showtime or FOX.
When asked if he would fight on ESPN, Wilder replied, “Of course, it’s always where the money is, is gonna be right.
“I’m a free agent, I can fight anyone, I don’t necessarily have to fight on the networks that I’m on, I can fight anywhere.
“The rematch is still on the table for him if he wants it. If he don’t may God be with him.”
In the event the rematch doesn’t take place on the rumored date of May 18th, Wilder is still aiming to fight on that date.
Wilder stated: “We’re doing our own thing, we’re still gonna have that date. Who knows who it’s gonna be?
“It could be [Dominic] Breazeale, it could be [Adam] Kownacki, it could be [Dillian] Whyte.”
Top Rank supremo Bob Arum believes Fury now has a better negotiation stance than he did last week. The WBC ordered a 60-40 split in favor of their champ Deontay Wilder and even if Top Rank win the purse bid, Wilder will earn more.
Speaking with BoxingScene.com Arum said, “(the purse bid) doesn’t factor into it at all, the WBC wants the fight to happen. Good luck to them but we don’t need them to tell us how the purses should be. That’ll come with reasonable negotiations.”
Arum also distanced himself from the rumored May 18th date at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn which seemed set to be announced only days ago.
“Well, there’s no magic in May 18th,” Arum said. “That’s just one day of the year. When it comes time to pick a date for the fight, as long as the fight happen, what difference does it make if it’s in June? Or where it is. I mean, obviously, Las Vegas would be a good place for it and there are other good places for it. But, I mean, that’s to be decided when the time comes.”
Tyson Fury and the Heavyweight Alliances
By: Hans Themistode
When news broke of Tyson Fury’s (27-0-1, 19 KOs) mega deal with Top Rank worth 80 million dollars over his next five fights it sent the boxing in a frenzy. Reason being is that it was so unexpected.
Fury, who is the Lineal Heavyweight champion was thought to be in deep discussion with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) for a rematch of their 2018, December showdown. That contest saw two knockdowns and plenty of back and forth action. The match would ultimately end in a highly debated draw which had the fans wanting to see them jump back in the ring against each other once again. News of this new deal complicates matters to a certain degree.
Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account
Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and current unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) are the very best in the Heavyweight division. All three fighters are also affiliated with three separate networks that don’t exactly play nice with one another.
Wilder is associated with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, Joshua is aligned with Eddie Hearn and DAZN while Fury is now apart of Bob Arum and ESPN.
The news of Fury’s deal is even more perplexing to fans when you consider that Top Rank has no big name Heavyweights that can truly challenge him. Wilder has Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz, the undefeated Adam Kownacki and several others who can provide fun entertaining matchups for the fans. Joshua has quite a few interesting dance partners as well. Dereck Chisora, Jarrell Miller (whom he is fighting June 1st) former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, a rematch with Dillian Whyte and plenty of others can provide a stiff test for Joshua.
Fury on the other hand has a considerably shorter list. In fact it is non existent. One time title challenger Bryant Jennings would represent the best challenge to Fury from the Top Rank stable. With all due respect to Jennings but he fails to move the needle as a true title contender.
Deontay Wilder is a proven knockout artist with a ton of charisma. Anthony Joshua also has a penchant for knockouts but he also has major drawing power as well. Tyson Fury possesses all of those traits and more. He is must see television. Furys deal with Top Rank and ESPN should be applauded as he has seemingly set his family up financially for years to come but the bottom line is that fans want to see him take on the best that the division has to offer.
Both Fury and his new promoter Bob Arum have assured the public that this new alliance will not do away with their plans of hammering out a deal with Wilder to secure their much anticipated rematch. Let’s all hope that these words ring true.
If all three of these networks can somehow work together then fans can finally get there long awaited question answered.
Just who is the king of the Heavyweight division?
Fury Catches Fight World By Surprise, Aligns With Top Rank Promotions
By: Sean Crose
In a move that has clearly taken the boxing world by surprise, Tyson Fury, the man many still consider to be the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, has signed on with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. What makes this decision by Fury particularly surprising is the fact that discussions for a rematch between he and WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder, who Fury fought to a wild draw last December, have reportedly been going quite well. Now that Fury has aligned himself with Arum, who arguably is the arch rival of Wilder adviser Al Haymon, the rematch situation appears cloudy – at least for now. Also curious is the fact that Arum has no other top heavyweight in his stable.
“Tyson Fury, one of the world’s most dynamic and popular heavyweight boxers, and Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren are joining forces with Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank,” ESPN claimed in a press release. “The agreement will mean that Fury will be a headline part of the boxing lineup under the historic, long-termTop Rank on ESPN relationship.” Fury’s management company, Mack the Knife, or MTK as it’s more commonly known, also weighed in on the matter. “After intense negotiations between MTK Global, Queensberry Promotions, Top Rank and ESPN,” the company claimed, “Fury’s future fights will be co-promoted across BT Sports in the UK and ESPN networks and ESPN+ after landmark agreement was penned by Top Rank and Queensberry Promotions.”
Fury, an enormous, colorful Englishman, has stunned the fight world before. At the end of 2015, he bested long standing champion Wladimir Klitshcko in Germany, to wrest the heavyweight crown off the Ukranian’s head. It was a fight few felt Fury could win, but his awkward, frustrating style clearly baffled Kltischko and ended up carrying the day the for the outspoken contender. After his great victory, however, Fury delved into a world of booze, drugs, food, and depression…only to finally emerge after two years and two tuneup fights to face the hard hitting American, Wilder. Even in the Wilder fight, Fury managed to stun people. He was dropped by a thunderous shot in the final round…only to get up off the mat and to close the bout in competitive fashion.
With this latest news dropping, Fury once again has fans and analysts scratching their collective heads. Top Rank, however, is an esteemed, and powerful promotional outlet, helmed by the iconic, controversial, and wildly successful Arum, so it’s not as if Fury has gone off and signed with an obscure entity. Time will tell the tale.