An anticipated third fight between boxers Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder apparently has a date.
The pair verbally agreed to meet again in the ring July 24 at an undetermined location in Las Vegas, with an alternate date of Aug. 14, according to multiple reports.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum told ESPN he expects the contracts to be signed in the coming days, with purses split 60-40 in Fury’s favor.
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Fury had initially agreed to fight Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship on Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia. The all-British bout was billed as one of the biggest in heavyweight boxing in years.
But this week, an arbitrator ruled that Fury was contractually bound to give Wilder, an American, a rematch. Fury and Wilder first faced off in December 2018 in Los Angeles, a fight that ended in a draw.
They signed a two-fight deal in 2019, and in their second bout in Las Vegas in 2020, Fury picked up a seventh-round TKO victory to win the WBC heavyweight title. Wilder exercised a rematch clause, but the third fight never happened because of delays related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Athletic.
After the arbitrator’s ruling, Arum noted the plan was to fight Wilder “instead of paying him a step-aside fee to maintain the idea of a future bout against Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight title,” ESPN reported.
Joshua reacted strongly on social media after hearing news of the verbal agreement Thursday.
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“@Tyson_Fury the world now sees you for the fraud you are. You’ve let boxing down! You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout not a fight,” he tweeted. “Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”
Fury responded to the post, saying that Joshua’s team knew there was an arbitration going on and the decision was “out of my hands!”
He also challenged Joshua to a bare-knuckles fight this weekend.
“Let’s put up 20 mill each!!!” Fury wrote.
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Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn said that Joshua could instead fight the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt, undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.
The Associated Press contributed to this report