Infotainment Factory: Deontay Wilder tabled offer for Tyson Fury rematch

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Deontay Wilder tabled offer for Tyson Fury rematch


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Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum has put an offer to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to face British fighter Tyson Fury in a blockbuster rematch for the title.

Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) fought an entertaining split draw in California last year in a fight handled by Showtime. Such was the success of the bout both sides have been trying to negotiate a return to the ring.

But that prospect was thrown into some doubt after Fury signed a $145 million deal to have his fights broadcast on ESPN this week. Fury’s contract with ESPN has the potential to complicate negotiations in the heavyweight division because Wilder is aligned with Showtime and unified champion, . Despite Wilder confirming in recent days that he’s a broadcast free agent, reports say that Showtime has an option on the rematch. The Top Rank chief told ESPN he tabled a deal to the WBC champion and his team and is willing to sit down with anybody to get a deal done.

“We want to speak to Wilder together with his manager and his adviser and we want to do this fight where it belongs, on a big platform, which is ESPN pay-per-view,” Aram said.

“Wilder himself said (in media interviews) there is no contractual impediment that would prevent it. None. He is not signed in any manner, shape or form to any network. We have been informed that it is not the case (that Showtime has an option on the rematch). Ultimately, that may not be the case but I really believe from what we learned that Wilder is telling the truth and he is not bound to any network for any fight.”

Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza opted to not detail its contractual rights to broadcast a rematch to ESPN but said the company looked forward to continuing its relationship with Wilder.

"I'm not going to get into specifics about Showtime's contractual rights and entitlements but I will say we are very confident and very comfortable with our position with Deontay," Espinoza told ESPN.

"We've worked with Deontay and supported Deontay for many, many years and many, many fights and we fully expect for that to continue for the foreseeable future."

If both sides can’t cut through the red tape and negotiations become fractured the WBC says it’s willing to step in and force both fighters to sort out their differences.

"They owe it to the fans to make it happen," the organisation's president Mauricio Sulaiman told Press Association Sport.

"I will speak with them. Last week I was communicating with both parties, and they both said that they were very close to making a deal for the fight to happen without the need for purse bids, so that's how we left it on Friday.

"Then on Monday we had that news (regarding Fury's ESPN deal), so I'm now communicating with both to see where they stand regarding those negotiations.

"We will take every single step, hoping to make the fight a reality. I'm hopeful."

Before Fury’s promoter Frank Warren entered into an agreement to co-promote the British fighter with Aram, the rematch with Wilder was in the works for May 18 but it’s said the Aram would rather both fighters appear in other fights in the lead up to the clash, forcing a potential bout to take place later in the year.

"ESPN+ will pay significant money for them to fight other fighters and then to do the rematch on pay-per-view in the fall," Arum said.

"That is all open for discussion. It's certainly not a deal breaker if they want to do the rematch next. Fury is happy either way. He is happy with the tremendous money he will earn for a fight on ESPN+ and I think Wilder will be equally happy with doing a fight on ESPN+ for the money I know we can offer.

"Wilder has to make that decision. We're not talking about peanuts. We're talking about Wilder probably making more against somebody else (in the interim bout) than he made when he fought Fury and then making even more in the rematch in the fall."

Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum has put an offer to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to face British fighter Tyson Fury in a blockbuster rematch for the title.

Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) fought an entertaining split draw in California last year in a fight handled by Showtime. Such was the success of the bout both sides have been trying to negotiate a return to the ring.

But that prospect was thrown into some doubt after Fury signed a $145 million deal to have his fights broadcast on ESPN this week. Fury’s contract with ESPN has the potential to complicate negotiations in the heavyweight division because Wilder is aligned with Showtime and unified champion, . Despite Wilder confirming in recent days that he’s a broadcast free agent, reports say that Showtime has an option on the rematch. The Top Rank chief told ESPN he tabled a deal to the WBC champion and his team and is willing to sit down with anybody to get a deal done.

“We want to speak to Wilder together with his manager and his adviser and we want to do this fight where it belongs, on a big platform, which is ESPN pay-per-view,” Aram said.

“Wilder himself said (in media interviews) there is no contractual impediment that would prevent it. None. He is not signed in any manner, shape or form to any network. We have been informed that it is not the case (that Showtime has an option on the rematch). Ultimately, that may not be the case but I really believe from what we learned that Wilder is telling the truth and he is not bound to any network for any fight.”

Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza opted to not detail its contractual rights to broadcast a rematch to ESPN but said the company looked forward to continuing its relationship with Wilder.

"I'm not going to get into specifics about Showtime's contractual rights and entitlements but I will say we are very confident and very comfortable with our position with Deontay," Espinoza told ESPN.

"We've worked with Deontay and supported Deontay for many, many years and many, many fights and we fully expect for that to continue for the foreseeable future."

If both sides can’t cut through the red tape and negotiations become fractured the WBC says it’s willing to step in and force both fighters to sort out their differences.

"They owe it to the fans to make it happen," the organisation's president Mauricio Sulaiman told Press Association Sport.

"I will speak with them. Last week I was communicating with both parties, and they both said that they were very close to making a deal for the fight to happen without the need for purse bids, so that's how we left it on Friday.

"Then on Monday we had that news (regarding Fury's ESPN deal), so I'm now communicating with both to see where they stand regarding those negotiations.

"We will take every single step, hoping to make the fight a reality. I'm hopeful."

Before Fury’s promoter Frank Warren entered into an agreement to co-promote the British fighter with Aram, the rematch with Wilder was in the works for May 18 but it’s said the Aram would rather both fighters appear in other fights in the lead up to the clash, forcing a potential bout to take place later in the year.

"ESPN+ will pay significant money for them to fight other fighters and then to do the rematch on pay-per-view in the fall," Arum said.

"That is all open for discussion. It's certainly not a deal breaker if they want to do the rematch next. Fury is happy either way. He is happy with the tremendous money he will earn for a fight on ESPN+ and I think Wilder will be equally happy with doing a fight on ESPN+ for the money I know we can offer.

"Wilder has to make that decision. We're not talking about peanuts. We're talking about Wilder probably making more against somebody else (in the interim bout) than he made when he fought Fury and then making even more in the rematch in the fall."

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