That Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder rematch that, just days ago, seemed like an imminent possibility? Let’s just pump the brakes on all of that talk.
In a surprising twist, Fury has signed a multi-fight deal to be co-promoted by Top Rank Boxing, which means his fights will broadcast on ESPN in the United States (he’ll still be viewable on BT Sport in the UK). He is also expected to fight twice a year on US soil.
According to BBC, this deal will span five fights. The Independent, meanwhile, is reporting it will pay Tyson Fury £80 million — north of $103 million.
“I’m delighted that (promoter) Frank (Warren) and Queensberry Promotions have teamed up with Top Rank to promote my fights in America,” Fury said of this deal in a press release. “With ESPN and BT Sport behind me, the biggest sports platforms in the world are now linked up with the best heavyweight in the world!”
While this sounds like very good news for Fury, it unfortunately puts a major damper on talks of his rematch with Deontay Wilder, whose fights air on Showtime. It also complicates a potential fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua, who recently signed a lucrative deal with streaming service DAZN.
Despite this complication, Deontay Wilder manager Shelly Finkel seems optimistic a rematch with Fury can still be put together.
“We are hoping to make the fight and figure out how with this new relationship they have with ESPN that it can be done. I would want to try to make it with Showtime and ESPN (working together),” Finkel told ESPN. “(Haymon) wants to make the fight and that whatever is realistic will get done.”
And from the sounds of it, Tyson Fury is still open to a do-over with Deontay Wilder. Months removed from their first fight — a majority draw — he’s still unhappy with the result.
“Deontay Wilder, great guy, top fella, good fighting man,” he told Fight Hub TV (via Bad Left Hook). “But to me he’s still a big, useless dosser. And he had to rob me in America to get a (draw). It basically messed my record up by giving me a big old blue tick on my record.”
Are you surprised to learn Tyson Fury has signed with Top Rank and ESPN?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/19/2019.