Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder sign contracts for heavyweight title trilogy fight set for July 24

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder sign contracts for heavyweight title trilogy fight set for July 24

Fresh off an arbitration ruling that halted plans for Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to square off this summer to declare an undisputed heavyweight boxing champion, Fury appears headed into an immediate trilogy bout with former champion Deontay Wilder. 

Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), the reigning WBC and lineal champion, announced on Saturday that he had signed his contract to face Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). Wilder signed his contract earlier in the week, according to a report from Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. The fight is set to take place on July 24 with Top Rank’s Bob Arum confirming the bout to emanate from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Wilder, who has yet to speak publicly, saw his team lobby successfully to have merits of a two-fight deal they signed in 2019 to face Fury honored despite Arum’s contentions last year that the window for the loser of their 2020 rematch (Wilder) to kick in the optional clause for a third fight had expired. 

Fury returned from a three-year layoff amid battles with depression and substance abuse to get off the canvas twice against Wilder in their first meeting in December 2018, which was scored somewhat controversially as a split draw. Their rematch in February 2020 saw Fury dominate en route to a seventh-round TKO after Wilder’s former co-trainer, Mark Breland, threw in the towel and was later fired for doing so. 

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The terms of their 2019 contract will be honored for the trilogy, which means Fury will get the larger cut of a 60/40 purse split. 

Despite initial talk following the arbitrator’s ruling that Wilder would be offered step-aside money in order for Fury and Joshua to fight in Saudi Arabia, while accepting a rumored $150 million site fee, Wilder’s new trainer, former opponent Malik Scott, posted on Instagram last week that his fighter had no interest and instead wants “the blood” while seeking “retribution.”

Fury, during an interview with The Athletic on Thursday, said step-aside money was never an option and added that, “I pay in ass whoopins.”

Should Fury defeat Wilder a second time, a fight against Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) could still be made later this year. Joshua, however, has his own issues to deal with first as the WBO has ordered he defend his title against mandatory opponent and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.