If recent reports are to be believed, then we should be expecting an announcement no later than the end of the month that WBC Heavyweight Deontay Wilder has successfully one-upped rival Anthony Joshua by landing a fight with Tyson Fury.
Both Wilder and Fury have both come out to say that negotiations are ongoing, Fury going as far saying the fight is practically a done deal, and all that needs to be resolved is Fury getting past former title challenger Francisco Pianeta on August 18. Wilder has been idle since his stunning 10th round KO win over Luis Ortiz earlier this year in his attempts to lure Joshua into a unification match, but those negotiations failed as Joshua’s camp left Wilder hanging while securing a bout with Alexander Povetkin and two follow up fights in an exclusive deal with the O2 Arena in London.
Fury has been on the comeback trail after spending the past two years out of the ring dealing with drug addiction and mental health issues that arose after defeating Wladimir Klitschko for the Heavyweight title. Due to his absence, Fury was stripped of his titles but recently returned in hopes that he could challenge Joshua in what could be the biggest fight in British boxing history. Joshua has his next two fights mapped out after Povetkin, be it a rematch with Dillian Whyte or a match with Jarrell Miller, and Fury is clearly not intending to spend that much time facing tune ups.
If Wilder does pull this off, it would be a massive blow to Joshua’s long term options as well as Wilder gaining a sizeable advantage when the two resume negotiations. While beating Fury is going to be a tall order for Wilder, even considering the long layoff, a win will force Joshua into facing the American sooner than him and promoter Eddie Hearn would like before even his most ardent supporters begin to question his merit as a champion.
At the same time, Fury beating Wilder would only amplify a Joshua/Fury fight to untold levels and would save Joshua the headache Wilder has been over the past few months. The WBC has also recently ruled that Wilder would not have to make another mandatory defense of his title until 2019, leaving the door for a fight later this year wide open should both sides come to pass.
Expect more news shortly after Fury handles Pianeta in a few weeks and if it does happen, it will be another great Heavyweight fight in a year that has been full of them.