What is next for Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder?
Regardless of the outcome of their Oct. 9 trilogy fight, it is a major question looming large for a heavyweight division with more questions than answers.
While Oleksandr Usyk’s upset of Anthony Joshua on Sept. 25 was the first domino to fall in the descent into heavyweight chaos, Fury-Wilder III will dictate the future and send ripples across the entire division.
Fury, who defeated Wilder via seventh-round knockout in February 2020, is expected to win, though Wilder has terrific knockout power and knocked Fury down twice previously in their first bout from December 2018.
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No matter who wins between Wilder and Fury, they are not expected to face Usyk or Joshua, as the latter fighter activated a rematch clause. So who will they fight? We broke down all of the potential paths forward.
Tyson Fury’s next fight
Fury said in September that he planned to next fight Dillian Whyte, the current WBC interim champion, before two fights with Joshua in 2022. Whyte is very likely to be Fury’s next fight, assuming he takes care of business against Wilder.
In a pre-fight press conference last week, Fury said “nobody’s on my radar” other than Wilder, and he refused to comment on a potential unification fight with Usyk or an all-British meeting with Joshua.
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We said it’s unlikely but it’s certainly not impossible. Although Joshua is expected to activate his immediate rematch clause, there is a path where an agreement for Usyk to face Fury for the undisputed title and Joshua getting the winner of that bout could be put in place with a significant step aside fee. Sure, Joshua is not about the money because he has plenty of it. But it would give him time to right the wrongs from the last fight. And then we’d have an undisputed title fight between two undefeated champions. Usyk certainly isn’t as big of a name as Fury, Joshua or Wilder but he’s just as dangerous, if not more. And if all roads are going to go through Usyk to determine an undisputed champion, might as well get it out of the way sooner than later.
It’s a fascinating fight between the two best boxers in the heavyweight division. Fury will have the size advantage but Usyk proved against Joshua that he can neutralize that with his supreme technical skill. Perhaps just as interesting as the fight itself is figuring out where it would be staged. Fury has made Las Vegas his second home and has purchased a house to entrench his roots. But he could look to stage the fight in a stadium overseas as well. It’s a tantalizing fight but the most difficult to make.
Whyte faces Otto Wallin on October 30 to determine who the #1 contender for the WBC championship that Fury and Wilder are fighting for. Whyte has been hanging around a bit as he’s sat in this position at different moments in his career but hasn’t yet had his name called. Should he defeat Wallin, the heavy-handed Brit would be an intriguing opponent for Fury in an all UK showdown that would certainly be a big fight overseas. He’s not as powerful as Wilder but does have dynamite in his hands and always comes to fight. His wreckage of Alexander Povetkin in their rematch earlier this year showcased his ability to end a fight at any moment. The intrigue is there, he just has to take care of business against Wallin.
Remember Ruiz? You know, the guy who pulled off the massive upset by knocking out Anthony Joshua and delaying an undisputed title fight? He could almost certainly surface again as an opponent for Fury. How, you ask? If Fury beats Wilder, Joshua takes his contracted rematch with Usyk and Wallin defeats Whyte, it’s possible that Ruiz could find himself as an opponent for Fury. The Gypsy King has already defeated Wallin and Ruiz is the next big thing in the division. Not to mention that Ruiz looked great — despite an early knockdown — against Chris Arreola as he moves forward with his career under the watchful eye of Eddy Reynoso. Ruiz’s fast hands, granite chin and improved weight woud be an intriguing puzzle to watch Fury try and figure out. Not to mention that Fury could fight again in the United States against an opponent with a significant Mexican following.
Deontay Wilder next fight
Fury called Saturday’s fight a “make-or-break moment” for Wilder, and that certainly appears to be the case.
Wilder, who held the WBC belt since January 2015, is hoping to get a championship fight against Usyk or Joshua. However, that is not a guarantee if he falls to Fury for a second time.
There is a possibility Wilder could face Joshua or Usyk in late 2022, depending on who loses or wins their rematch. In an immediate sense, he could face Fury for a fourth time, since they would have one win each and a draw.
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There’s a little bit of history between Wilder and Whyte. The two were connected for a potential heavyweight clash a few years back that never materialized. Instead, what we have received was the two heavyweights trading barbs in the media. They clearly don’t like each other and both think they will knock the other’s head off. And if Whyte beats Wallin, this is 100% the fight to make so someone can get their bragging rights once and for all. And who doesn’t want to see two guys that hate each other try to end the other’s night with one punch? If nothing else, it’ll be fun.
See the reasons above with Fury on how a fight with Usyk could get made. But a Usyk-Wilder fight for all the gold is a far more entertaining clash of styles than if it was Fury facing Usyk. And this one could easily be staged in the United States as Wilder is currently the last American heavyweight who has the mainstream’s interest. As for the fight itself, it will be intense as Usyk is fully expected to outbox Wilder but will have to be weary of having his lights turned out by a single punch at any given moment in the fight. The intrigue is heavy for this one.
Listen, we may have all grown weary of these two and their back and forth over the past three years but if Wilder defeats Fury, there needs to be a tiebreaker at some point with the series at 1-1-1. Why wait? Wilder turns 36 on October 22 and Fury just turned 33. There’s no time to waste and if Usyk and Joshua have their rematch, Wilder needs something to keep him busy while it’s sorted out. Fans might say they are tired of seeing Fury and Wilder but you simply cannot allow a series to end deadlocked.