Weighing in at the third heaviest fighting weight of his career, Tyson Fury used his extra power to cement his place as the premier heavyweight boxer in the world on Saturday night. The undefeated 31-year-old handed down a beating to Deontay Wilder in their highly anticipated rematch, winning every round en route to a Technical Knock-Out in the seventh round, when Wilder’s corner stopped the fight.
Fury’s domination started early, as he landed some powerful blows in the first round, including a clean jab that made Wilder’s head fly backwards. It didn’t get better for the previously undefeated American, who was knocked down in the third and fifth rounds before his corner called it quits.
The win moved Fury to 30-0-1 — the only blemish on his record was the first fight against Wilder, which he controlled but which also saw him knocked down twice to earn the American a draw — and sets him up perfectly for what would be the biggest fight in boxing, if it were to happen.
That bout would be against fellow Brit Anthony Joshua, who followed up his shocking loss to Andy Ruiz with a unanimous decision in the rematch back in December. With a high-profile victory for each boxer in recent memory, Fury-Joshua would be the biggest, most lucrative fight either boxer could book going forward. Their matchup would also be a unification fight for the main four heavyweight belts in the world, with the winner potentially becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
For his part, Fury believes there will be a third fight against Wilder before any potential Joshua bout, saying after the fight that he’d gladly take on the American again:
I need to enjoy this victory and Deontay will need time to recover from the fight, but I’m almost sure that he will take a rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher. At any time he can take somebody out. […] I’m pretty sure we’ll run it back again if he wants to. But if he doesn’t want to, these are my promoters and whatever they want to do, I’m happy with.
Wilder does have a rematch option in his contract with Fury, so if he wants to go again, that will be the fight. That hasn’t stopped the boxing world from daydreaming about a Fury-Joshua mega-showdown, though.
After Fury’s defeat of Wilder, DAZN — the streaming service that has an exclusive deal with Joshua — helped start the promotion train for a potential fight, tweeting out a Photoshopped image of Fury and Joshua:
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) February 23, 2020
Perhaps more excitingly for boxing fans, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, tweeted out that the fight “has to happen this year” in reply to a fan asking about the possibility:
Ofcourse I am! And AJ wants it bad..this fight is gonna and has to happen this year!
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 23, 2020
Boxing is a sport built on big characters and bigger statements, so it’s certainly possible this is all posturing, or a way to keep Joshua’s name in the headlines as his esteemed fellow heavyweight cruised to victory. But this is a fight with so much money hanging in the balance and a clear storyline about the battle for British supremacy right there for the taking, it would be a severe disappointment if these two large men can’t find a way to face off before the calendar turns to 2021.
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