Just when everyone thought the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder rematch is one step away from happening, the ‘Gypsy King’ entered a multi-million deal with ESPN, reducing possibilities of a return fight with the “Bronze Bomber.”
Fury just signed a multi-year and multi-fight contract with American broadcasting giant ESPN; making his future fight telecasts available through BT Sport in the UK and ESPN in the US. The former heavyweight champ will also be promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum alongside Frank Warren under the new deal.
“I’m delighted that Frank and Queensberry Promotions have teamed up with Top Rank to promote my fights in America,” the Gypsy King said in a statement.
Fury’s newly-signed deal is now casting doubts on his highly-anticipated rematch against Wilder given that the latter has been fighting on Showtime. The first instalment of the Fury vs Wilder match in Los Angeles last December ended in a controversial draw.
“By partnering up with ESPN and Top Rank in America, we’re giving Tyson the opportunity to perform on the biggest and most powerful platforms on both sides of the Atlantic and become a truly global star,” Warren stated via Daily Mail.
“He is a generational heavyweight talent at the peak of his powers,” Arum added.
Arum is as influential with ESPN as Wilder’s adviser, Al Haymon, is with Showtime. This strained relationship further separates the world’s leading heavyweights and puts the deal for an expected rematch more under frustration.
Tyson Fury signs 5 fight deal for $100 million with ESPN for his American rights. Good for him, but probably bad for Wilder or Joshua fights getting made. https://t.co/NXVqoPKkCU
— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) February 18, 2019
Following their classic heavyweight showdown in December, the World Boxing Council ordered the immediate rematch between Fury and Wilder. Warren, on the other hand, revealed that the new deal heralded “something special” for the British fighter.
“It gives him a chance to become the guy you want to fight now. We have the biggest platform for him to be on, that means he is in a tremendous position,” Warren stated in a recent presser.
Despite all scepticism, Fury’s promoter insists that the rematch remains likely, and the former lineal champ is positive that it is “more makeable now than ever” under the new deal.
“They have to come to Tyson Fury now because I’ve got my own platform in America and in the UK [BT Sport], so now they’re going to have to come through me. ESPN’s the biggest sporting network in the world,” Fury said via The Guardian.
“If I didn’t want to fight him I wouldn’t have done it in the first place. As far as I’m concerned it’s more makeable now than ever because we’ve got the biggest boys in the game behind us. I want Joshua, Wilder, and everyone else out there too. If you’re watching Deontay, I’m coming for you, baby!”
Warren revealed that the multi-fight deal will make Fury a more consistent boxing figure in the US, where he is set to fight next regardless of the opponent.
“Tyson wants [the rematch]. We all want it and will make it happen. It’s a different situation now. Showtime’s not the only game in town. It’s changed dramatically, so it’s up to us now to sit down and get it over the line.
“I want him out as soon as possible. Talks are continuing but he’s not going to sit around waiting. We’ll get him out. He wants to be active and become a big star. The name of the game’s get out there, get busy, and get those belts,” Warren continued.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Tyson Fury and Instagram/Deontay Wilder