There will be a trilogy.
After getting destroyed in a much-anticipated rematch with Tyson Fury on Feb. 22 — doubling as the biggest heavyweight title bout in nearly two decades — Deontay Wilder has exercised an option in his contract for a third fight with the lineal and WBC champion. Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN the next bout will return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 18.
When Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) produced a thrilling, albeit controversial, split decision in their initial contest in Dec. 2018, there was worldwide demand for a sequel, resulting in the champions splitting the purse of the second fight. Though interest is certain to dip after Fury dominated all seven rounds of an affair which ended with Wilder’s corner throwing in the towel, the loser of the bout was guaranteed the option to demand another rematch. Fury, 31, will get 60 percent of the pot this time, while Wilder, 34, gets the chance to avenge the first loss of his professional career.
“I figured he would do it because I have had enough experience with rematches to know that anything can happen and guys can change their strategy and want the opportunity to [avenge] the loss,” Arum told ESPN.
While the first Fury-Wilder fight recorded just over 300,000 pay-per-view buys, the rematch yielded around 800,000. The rematch also set the all-time mark for a heavyweight boxing gate in Nevada ($16,916,440), surpassing the 1999 rematch between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield. The final gate for the first meeting between Fury and Wilder was $3,515,122.
Fans are now clamoring for a Fury-Anthony Joshua fight, as the two Englishman are considered the top two heavyweights. Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, will next face Kubrat Pulev on June 20.