Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury Seems Like A Publicity Stunt That May Fail Miserably
While the world waited in bated breath for the announcement of Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua for a unification bout which would’ve eclipsed anything we’d seen in the heavyweight division for over a decade, the WBA ordered Joshua to fight Alexander Povetkin.
Wilder threw a hissy fit on social media, using this to further the propaganda that Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn are dodging him and have no intention of taking that fight.
Joshua and Hearn, of course, deny that claim and maintain that an agreed contract is in Wilder’s team’s possession and they haven’t heard back from them.
For the fans though, one thing that became certain was that the mega fight will not take place this year.
The consequences of this seemed more detrimental for Wilder than it did the unified Brit, given that he’ll continue selling out stadiums and doing big pay-per-view numbers.
For Wilder, however, he was stuck in terms of potential opponents and rumours from across the pond was that his broadcast home Showtime wouldn’t fund another easy defence – he needed a big fight.
Through desperation or design, Wilder and manager Shelly Finkel have managed to conjure up a deal with Frank Warren and Tyson Fury for the two to fight this year – although a date or venue is yet to be provided.
Weeks prior, Finkel claimed he refused to respond to Hearn about the Joshua match-up due to the absence of a date/venue in the contract they sent, but it seems that was fine when negotiating the Fury fight.
Despite the obvious intrigue, few can escape the feeling that something rather odd is happening with this match-up, and the more information being leaked from all parties the weirder it gets.
Wilder was in attendance at Fury’s fight in Belfast against Pianeta, a bout he looked very sluggish in and is certainly not ready to fight arguably the most dangerous heavyweight on the planet.
Fury himself claimed after that, “ideally”, he’d want another tune-up fight before a world title shot, but that’s no longer an option.
Also, in the case of Frank Warren, when asked why the negotiations were easier with Finkel than they panned out between the American and Hearn, he responded that Fury wanted the fight and Joshua didn’t.
He was asked to elaborate and let slip that his statement should be given extra credence given that he was involved in the offer which was sent to Hearn and Joshua. Hey? Why on earth was Frank Warren providing aid to Wilder and his team in an offer sent to a rival heavyweight fighter?
It only adds to the eerie feeling surrounding this potential match-up.
If it does happen, Showtime and BT Sport are making this a PPV event and while Fury doesn’t have to worry about the numbers in the UK, this will be the former’s first PPV fight of his career.
40 fights as a professional, and eight as the WBC heavyweight champion of the world – but there was no faith in him to carry a PPV card. Also, Wilder hasn’t sold out the Barclays which has become his boxing home in recent months, so heading to Vegas for this fight is a further risk.
Finkel and Wilder are briefing the press that this fight easily does 1 million buys, a very ambitious number and one that doesn’t seem achievable at this moment in time.
Nevertheless, this all reeks of a final play in the bid to become the A-side in negotiations with Joshua ahead of a unification fight.
But if Wilder’s goal has always been to clean up all the belts and become the ‘one champion, one name, one face,’ then surely he’ll always be the B-side as long as he has less heavyweight belts.
Not only does Wilder have to win convincingly against Fury, the numbers around the fight must also match a potentially devastating display. He’s in charge of the former, but cannot control the business side of the show.