Deontay Wilder wasted no time confirming that he would exercise his right to get an immediate rematch with Tyson Fury, with a third fight between the heavyweight boxers now planned for July 18.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) won the WBC heavyweight championship on Feb. 22 by stopping Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in the seventh round.
Las Vegas Will Host Fury, Wilder Yet Again
Fury scored two knockdowns earlier in the fight. Wilder co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel as Fury continued to pound his fighter, despite protests from Wilder and others in his corner.
Fury co-promoter Bob Arum told ESPN over the weekend that the third fight is planned for the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the same location as the February bout.
“Now we will sit down and go through all the details for the fight,” Arum told ESPN. “We realized that date was the favorite of both ESPN and Fox because it comes at a dead time in sports, which is good for the fight. It’s after the basketball playoffs, baseball is in the middle of the season, and there’s no football. It’s the ideal time.”
Wilder said he planned to invoke the rematch clause in the last fight contract soon after his loss. Both fighters had that option regardless of the result of the bout. The two had fought to a draw in their first fight, which took place in December 2018.
Fury stands as the clear favorite for a third fight now after his dominant performance last month. SuperBook USA opened Fury as a -250 favorite over Wilder (+200) for a potential rematch soon after their last bout ended.
The two men split the purse evenly for the February fight, but Fury will take a 60 percent split in the third matchup after his win, according to ESPN.
Wilder confirmed last Friday that he will keep Breland on the team, after considering dropping him for throwing in the towel.
“I feel the same way I felt on fight night – if I have to go out, I want to go out on my shield,” Wilder said in a statement to ESPN. “But I understand that my corner and my team has my best interest at heart. Mark Breland is still a part of Team Wilder and our team looks forward to preparing for [Fury].”
Joshua Also Confirms Next Title Defense
The winner of the July trilogy fight – particularly if it is Fury again – could be in line for a heavyweight title unification bout with Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs). Joshua holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world titles.
First, however, Joshua will defend his titles against Bulgarian fighter Kubrat Pulev. While Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) is not a household name, he is a legitimate top 10 heavyweight, with his only career loss coming to Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014.
Still, Joshua enters the June 20 fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a prohibitive favorite. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the British fighter as a -1100 pick over Pulev (+590).