‘Looks like I have to crack his skull again’
Tyson Fury is ready to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time after revealing the American has asked for $20million (£14m) to step aside and let him face Anthony Joshua.
The WBC heavyweight champion had agreed a unification showdown with Joshua, the WBA, WBO and IBF belt holder, in Saudi Arabia on August 14 in what would be the biggest British boxing fight in history.
But that has now seemingly been scuppered after Wilder won a legal case in the US that ruled Fury must contractually fulfil a third meeting with the American before September.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, says Fury’s camp must get the issue sorted by the end of this week or he will look for an alternative opponent for his man next.
But Fury would have to pay a substantial fee to convince Wilder to temporarily step aside and allow him to face Joshua – and it appears he is unwilling to do so.
In an Instagram post, Fury took aim at Wilder over his demands – claiming he wants $20m from him to enable the AJ fight to happen – and suggested he was now preparing to take him on again.
He wrote: “What a joke @bronzebomber has become asked for 20 million to move over #joker looks like I have to crack his skull again!”
Fury and Wilder fought a split-decision draw in December 2018 in Los Angeles, before the Brit won their second meeting in Las Vegas by seventh-round stoppage in February 2020.
Attempts to secure a third fight were complicated by an injury to Wilder and an absence of available television dates, prompting Fury to move on based on the assumption that any agreement had expired.
He agreed terms with fellow countryman Joshua on a two-fight deal worth over £200m, with Saudi Arabia agreeing to host the first showdown on August 14.
But that now may have to wait until the end of the year – and even into 2022 with no guarantees Fury and Joshua would both win their next fight.
On Instagram, Fury also posted a picture of an iguana and likened it to Wilder.
The post was captioned: “There’s Deontay right there the reptile.”
Fury also shared an image listing excuses Wilder made – some real and some light-hearted – in the wake of their rematch.
Joshua appeared to take the news much better than Fury, with his promoter Eddie Hearn shedding light on how he reacted to Wilder’s demands.
Hearn said: “He just said to me, ‘Listen, just go an do your work. You’re the man to take care of it, over to you. I’ll be in the gym, let me know.’
“That was nice; it was nice to kind of give that responsibility.
“I had a very nice sleep, I spoke to AJ this morning and we go to work again. It is just another day, another day of ups and downs – this is called the boxing business.
“Like I said, it can give you the highest highs, it can kick you right in the nuts. But we are here, we are breathing, he is still the champion, we want to fight Tyson Fury for the undisputed world championship.
“But, really, if his hands are tied, we have to look elsewhere.”