BOXING

WBC Asks Teams Wilder and Fury Where They Stand, So Purse Bid Can Be Addressed

They were close, maybe thisclose, to getting ‘er done, and we almost had deets on that Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder sequel.

To that end, a purse bid which would have forced those involved to figure out which way the pie would be apportioned, and out of whose checking account funds would be distributed to the players, was cancelled.

“The purse bid for the rematch between heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury, which was scheduled for Tuesday (Feb. 12), was postponed for a second time as the sides get closer on a deal that could be only days away,” wrote ESPN’s Dan Rafael on Feb. 12

“Things have gotten delayed a little, but as far as I know there are no issues,” Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, told ESPN, last Tuesday. “I would hope the fight is completed late this week or early next week.”

The WBC said they’d be OK with waiting a week, figuring out that the deal-makers would probably make the deal. But then circumstances changed…We don’t know when, but the most seasoned deal-maker in the game, the super savvy Bob Arum changed the trajectory of the deal. He and Fury promoter Frank Warren and Fury hashed out a deal, with Top Rank platform partner ESPN’s enthused, to the tune of, maybe, $100 plus million over five fights.

Jaws dropped, belonging to fans and to people outside of the Fury sphere who thought’d they be readying the promotional push for Wilder-Fury 2.

And quite quickly, questions came…5 fights…and will the first one be against Wilder? That’s to be determined; I’d bet not.

“We envision this [rematch] can reach 1 to 2 million homes. The only way to do that is to allow the general sports fan to really get to know these guys,” Bob Arum told the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire on Monday morning.

Yes indeed, the marination station is being readied for usage…

So…back to the WBC. Their belt is held by Wilder, so they don’t as much care what Fury is up to, though they’ve made clear for a few months that they think it best, for the fans, if Wilder and Fury run it back again, right away. I asked WBC boss Mauricio Sulaiman about that Wilder-Fury purse bid deal; what is the status of that? “The WBC has sent a letter to both sides in order to get their official position and update on negotiations, we will then proceed to update the WBC board and get a resolution,” Sulaiman told me on Tuesday.

My three cents: It has been noted that Fury’s leverage in these negotiations changed when he latched on with Top Rank and ESPN, American power-houses. I’d be quite surprised if he didn’t take full advantage of that, and think it probable that him and Wilder will possibly not be getting back to their mutual business for awhile.

Michael Woods
About the Author:

Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; http://NYFights.com is my site

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