Boxing: Fury-Wilder reach tentative agreement for third fight - report

Tyson Fury (left) and Deontay Wilder fighting during their bout in Las Vegas on Feb 22, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have verbally committed to a third fight, ESPN reported on Thursday night (May 20), days after an arbitration ruling halted fight talks between Fury and British champ Anthony Joshua.

After the independent arbitrator ruled on Monday that WBC heavyweight champ Fury (30-0-1, 21 knockouts) must face Wilder, plans for a unification fight between Fury and Joshua were put on hold, said ESPN citing multiple sources.

The Wilder and Fury fight could be held as early as July 24 in Las Vegas, the American sports broadcaster said, adding that Aug 14 has been set aside as a back-up date.

Boxing promoter Bob Arum told ESPN he expects the contracts could be signed in the coming days. Fury would get 60 per cent of the purse with Wilder receiving the lower sum.

The heavyweights fought to a draw in 2018 and Fury earned a technical knockout victory to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) title in 2020.

The arbitrator ruled that Fury was contractually obligated to give Wilder a rematch, with retired judge Daniel Weinstein upholding a claim lodged by Wilder that Fury must face him in a third fight by Sept 15.

While the arbitrator's ruling is not a formal court order, it will be deemed enforceable by courts if Wilder and Fury are unable to reach agreement.

Monday's ruling came just a day after Fury announced he had agreed to fight Joshua on Aug 14 in Saudi Arabia, where the WBC, World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organisation heavyweight belts will be up for grabs.

Neither Fury nor Wilder have fought since clashing in February 2020, when Fury outclassed the previously unbeaten American to win via a seventh-round TKO.

The two fighters had previously battled to an epic draw in 2018 at Staples Centre Arena in Los Angeles after Fury survived a 12th round knockdown.

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