The rematch between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been officially scheduled for Feb. 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, making official one of the most anticipated boxing events in years.
While the date of the fight had already been announced and the venue suspected, Friday’s announcement is the first indication that all of the relevant paperwork has been signed, and arrangements put in place, with tickets set to go on sale Saturday.
Thrilling Draw Leaves Both Men Unsatisfied
Fury is seen as a small favorite heading into the second meeting between the two undefeated champions. At PointsBet, Fury is listed at -128, while Wilder is the slightest of underdogs at +105.
The bout will come more than a year after Wilder and Fury first met in December 2018, producing one of the fights of the year. Fury out-boxed his opponent for most of the match, but Wilder scored two knockdowns, including a brutal combination in the 12th round that appeared to have ended the fight.
Fury recovered in time to beat the count, then finished out the round to take the fight to the judge’s scorecards. The panel rendered a split decision draw, with one judge giving Wilder the bout 115-111, another seeing Fury as a 114-112 winner, and the third calling it dead even at 113-113.
Fury, Wilder Itching for Second Chance
After the bout, the fighters praised each other, but were each left unsatisfied, believing they had won the fight. After both fighters won twice in 2019, the rematch was set. As part of Friday’s announcement, each man promised that their second meeting would end differently.
“There’s no more ducking and diving,” Fury said. “This is unfinished business for me, but come Feb. 22, this dosser will finally get what’s coming to him, and I can’t wait.”
Neither Fury nor Wilder actually ducked the match at all. In fact, both men had already agreed to the rematch in principle early this year, only requiring that they win their intervening fights to make the second encounter happen. While Fury fought relatively unknown opponents, Wilder took on two recognized contenders in Luis Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale.
“I’m happy and I’m excited that the rematch is finally happening. I want to give the fans what they want to see,” Wilder said. “I proved myself the first time and I’m ready to do it again. It was a very controversial fight. I promise my fans that there won’t be any controversy with this one. I’m going to finish it.”
Oddsmakers are inclined to agree, though there’s plenty of uncertainty as to how this fight will end. PointsBet is offering +105 odds that the fight will go the distance (or -139 that it will not), with the most likely outcomes being a Wilder win by stoppage (+160) or that Fury will take a victory by decision (+137).