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Tyson Fury to fight this year but Deontay Wilder unlikely to be the opponent

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) has all but given up on fighting Deontay Wilder 42-1-1 (41) this year, saying he won’t sit around and wait for the American former champion.

The 32-year-old Brit had to settle for a draw in their first fight two years ago but dominated their rematch in February, scoring a one-sided seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas.

Wilder, 34, exercised the immediate rematch clause in his contract but the date for the fight has been repeatedly pushed back, due in part to the global coronavirus pandemic. The working date of December 19 in Las Vegas now appears unlikely.

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Fury – who has a deal in place to face WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) in a two-fight series next year – doubts that a third bout with Wilder will happen and has plans in place to fight a different opponent later this year in the UK instead.

Fury’s trainer Sugarhill Steward wants to see Fury back in the ring this year even if Wilder is not the opponent.

“Tyson and myself agree that another fight in 2020 makes sense, in sticking with the original plan to fight this year, period,” Fury’s trainer Steward exclusively told Sky Sports.

“I am really excited to see Tyson in the ring again to once again watch him grow into a fighter which the world anticipates viewing his future bouts henceforth in his career.”

On Monday Fury tweeted: “The Gypsy King is coming home. See you all in December.”

He previously told The Athletic he was ready to move on from Wilder if the fight doesn’t happen this year.

“Wilder and his team were messing around with the date,” Fury said.

“Then they asked me if I would agree to push it to December. I agreed to December 19.

“Then they tried to change the date again into next year. I’ve been training. I’m ready.

“When they tried moving off December 19 and pushing to next year, enough was enough. I’ve moved on.”

Frank Warren, who co-promoted Fury alongside Bob Arum, told TalkSport: “Tyson has said enough is enough, he is not going to wait longer and he will fight in London in December.”

But Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel told Sky Sports on Saturday the fight will go ahead: “They are wrong, we will fight in December.”

Top Rank boss Arum previously told ESPN he expected the third Wilder fight would be pushed back into next year.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, recently spoke about the proposed four-bout unification bout between his fighter and Fury to Sky Sports.

“It’s our job to paper it, dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and make sure the ink is dry,” he said.

“We want two fights in 2021. May to the end of June is likely for the first fight with the second falling in November or December.

“It is important that one of those, at least, takes place in the UK but with the way the world is, we just don’t know.

“If we weren’t up against it, in terms of getting our own individual fights over the line, then we probably would have papered that fight, in terms of a contract.”

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