That image of Tyson Fury getting back to his feet in heroic fashion following a monstrous knockdown will live long in the memory of boxing fans. Several memes were produced on account of Fury seemingly waking from the dead. It pretty much summed up – in dramatically poetic terms – the heroic nature of the fighter that came back from the edge of the abyss to find himself fighting for a world title.

Of course, the natural thing was to assume that a rematch would have been declared by the sanctioning body of that title, the WBC. Well, it was. In January 2019, Wilder vs. Fury 2 was ordered and the boxing world rejoiced. That joy was short lived. Less than one month later, the fight was off the table and fans scratched their heads while wondering why the fight was no longer feasible.

The more seasoned boxing fan – one that is aware of the dominant influence that money plays on the sport – would have been more likely to shake their head and mutter a few words under their breath. As it stands, a rematch between both men looks highly unlikely for 2019. The worrying thing is that we may never see a rematch between both men in their respective primes.

“Boxing" Why a Rematch Should Happen

Although not considered the biggest fight of the year, prior to the ring walks, it was certainly up there. However, as soon as the fight had ended, boxing fans were stunned at just how good Wilder vs. Fury was. A perfect “styles make fights” matchup, the power punching Wilder had to work extremely hard to find range against the elusive and awkward Fury.

The Briton, a former unified world champion, outboxed Wilder throughout the fight before suffering a couple of knockdowns. The judges saw it as a majority draw, and many fans were irate. Fury, many believed, was robbed of a fairytale comeback following a complete u-turn in life that had sent him on a downward spiral of depression and substance abuse.

That said, the decision was announced and there was nothing that could be done to change that. The estimated 10.3 million who watched the bout around the world certainly gave promoters an idea that a rematch would generate serious coin.

Although the bout lost out to Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 for Ring’s annual Fight of the Year accolade, it was undoubtedly a super exciting contest that gripped the world of boxing.

Fans Demand Big Fights

Of course, fans can’t have it all their own way. However, in this case, it was logical to assume that there was unfinished business between both Wilder and Fury and that the only way to settle it was through a rematch.

If their first fight wasn’t enough to warrant a rematch, then the thoughts of any other bout of a similar size deserving a second pop is scary. Even Canelo and Golovkin met for the second time just a year removed from their first encounter – a fight that was also scored as a controversial draw.

When it comes down to it, fans pay a lot of money supporting fighters and deserve to be rewarded with big fights. It’s not too much to ask to see these men go at it once more. Naturally, there are things that need to be done before a rematch is arranged. Money, of course, if the big factor and has destroyed numerous potential super fights over the years.

When you think about it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015 arrived about six years too late. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson in 2002 was the same. It would not surprise any long-suffering boxing fan if this fixture went down the drain in the same way.

What’s the Official Line?

As it stands, the WBC confirmed that their order for an immediate rematch was pulled. Rather than Wilder vs. Fury II happening next for the WBC heavyweight championship, both men will instead seek to fight alternative opponents.

The official line is that the two will then fight at some point later this year. Of course, to believe that this is the case is to put trust in a sanctioning body that had already ordered a rematch to happen.

If you are happy to believe that this is the case, then trusting both camps will shake hands on a deal to fight again this year might be good enough. However, for the rematch to happen, both Wilder and Fury will have to get past their next opponents.

“Boxing" What’s Next for Wilder and Fury

Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, will have to defend his title at least one more time before any fight with Fury can happen. Fury will be paying close eyes on how Wilder does, of course.

While the rematch between both men is currently the hottest ticket in the heavyweight division, there is some work to do before fans can plan for a fight night party.

A few things have also changed since their contest in December, which could potentially blow all hopes of a rematch out of the water. Let’s hope not, of course.

Wilder vs. Breazeale

Wilder ‘s next move is to defend his WBC heavyweight world title against Dominic Breazeale on May 18 in New York. Breazeale, who has a record of 21-1 following a loss to Anthony Joshua in 2016, is someone that Wilder has wanted to set the record straight with for a while.

In 2017, both men were involved in a brawl in a hotel lobby. Now, they have the chance to settle their differences inside the ropes. OK, while not a rematch with Fury, some fans will be happy enough to watch the Americans go toe-to-toe. According to Wilder, Fury’s decision to sign a $100 million deal with ESPN and Top Rank effectively poured cold water over a rematch.

Brezeale is now the mandatory challenger for his title. Wilder will deal with his challenge on Showtime, following his surprise rejection of signing with Joshua’s promoters, DAZN.

And Fury?

Fury’s next bout has not been announced, but speculation is that he will square off against the unbeaten Tom Schwarz (don’t worry, almost no one has heard of the guy either).

Schwarz has been fighting in hotels and small arenas in Germany and around Europe, and will be a huge betting underdog heading into a potential fight against the “Gypsy King.”

According to reports, the fight is in the works for June 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. If this is Fury’s next bout, then any educated boxing fan will be impressed with the fight as a dog would be with a hairdryer.

On some levels, the choice of Wilder and Fury’s opponents indicate that they are tune-ups for a bigger fight later in the year. Let’s hope that is the case and that neither fighter suffers a shock loss. Still, there are many reasons pointing towards this fight not happening at all.

“Boxing" Why a Rematch Will Probably Never Happen

Well, not in their primes, at least. Fury holds the keys in the boxing division, which is ironic given that he was considered as done forever just a few years back.

The lineal heavyweight champion of the world’s deal with Top Rank and ESPN is set to make him an impressive $100 million. His fights in the U.S. seem to be the top of the agenda for the unbeaten pugilist and this causes problems in itself.

As I was explaining to a friend recently, Wilder vs. Fury would probably have never been arranged had anyone truly believed that the latter was going to perform as well as he did. In other words, Fury was thrown to Wilder off the back of a disappointing downturn in fortunes.

His comeback to boxing was incredible – here was a man that weighed over 400 pounds and was flirting with the idea of suicide. A couple of years later he was beating the WBC heavyweight champion on points.

It is no coincidence that Fury was offered that megabucks deal after the Wilder fight. Not only did he prove he can hang with the best, but he can beat the best. Additionally, he has a significant following in the UK and Ireland and can continue to endear himself to the American public. He is an asset.

How Does Fury’s Deal Affect Future Fights?

Money affects everything. Fury is a fighter that is unbeaten and can make a serious amount of cash for his co-promoters and network.  Staying unbeaten is key, of course. In boxing, this ridiculous obsession with not losing sees fighters’ stock plummet after just one defeat.

That said, in order to keep making money from a fighter, the easiest way for his handlers to capitalize is to prevent him from fighting in contests where he can be beaten. There is a game of illusion that takes place in boxing where some fighters build up these insanely padded records off the back of opponents that shouldn’t have any right to be in the ring with them.

To the casual observer, a 40-0 fighter who is knocking out boxer after boxer – or, in Fury’s case, outboxing them – looks invincible.  To the trained eye, they are fighting tomato cans and ducking real fights. Both Wilder and Joshua have been frequently accused of this over the years.

To be fair to Fury, he has always fought what has been put in front of him. His victory over the legendary Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 was the biggest upset in heavyweight boxing history in years. But, when all is said and done, if he embarks on a career of fighting inferior opposition and avoiding the big fights, his legacy will suffer.

“Boxing" Where Networks and Promoters Come In

Boxing is big business. Networks and promoters are not playing their parts for the love of the sport, that’s for sure. With so many titles these days, boxing has become something of a mess. The pantomimes played only add to the frustrations of real fans that want to see real fights.

OK, the glory days of the 70s and 80s are long gone, but, does it have to be this bad? One of the main reasons for many of the big fights not materializing is the networks and streaming providers that work with different fighters.

When it comes to the heavyweight division, Fury is with BT Sport in the UK and ESPN in the U.S, while Wilder is with Showtime. Wilder could have jumped ship to DAZN – the same network as Joshua is partnered with in the U.S. – and almost guaranteed a fight against the British champion and Olympic gold medalist.

So, what does this have to do with Wilder and Fury, you might ask?

Heavyweight Lockdown?

If you remembered a little earlier when I mentioned Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, then allow me to expand on why these are important as a frame of reference here. Basically, these were the only two times that Showtime and HBO have ever cross promoted a bout.

Now, with HBO out of the picture – and DAZN and ESPN taking their place – you might think that things could be different when it comes to setting up a fight between Wilder and Fury for the second time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though things will be much different at all.

You see, these platforms want it all their own way. Failing that, they want it mostly their way. Failing that, nothing is likely to happen and we could witness the three biggest names in the heavyweight division avoiding each other as a result. Joshua, Wilder, and Fury now have steep mountains to climb in order to fight one another.

The Magic Zero

While it is inconceivable that at least one matchup from the top 3 won’t happen at all, what is more believable is that a fight featuring two of the trio is unlikely to happen while they are all unbeaten.  Losing an unbeaten record means that you are immediately cast as the “B” side in negotiations.

If Fury was to lose – and Wilder kept winning – then Top Rank and ESPN would be at the mercy of Showtime. The same applies no matter what two fighters you use a hypothetical example.

This is the fear for many boxing aficionados – will the big guns wait until a rival has buckled before fighting them? Let’s hope not, especially when it comes to Wilder vs. Fury. Personally, I wouldn’t be putting any money on those two getting it on again in the immediate future.

“Boxing" Final Thoughts

Any boxing fan would want to see Wilder vs. Fury getting it on in a rematch. As a candidate for the best fight of 2018, who wouldn’t?

The immediate talk after the bout was that this fight was the savior of a stagnant heavyweight division that is being crippled by poor fights and promoters’ greed. Of course, now we must wait to see if things simply go back to the way they were before the bout happened.

As a boxing fan, I’m hopeful that the rematch gets done while bout men are in their respective primes. As a logical thinker, I can’t help but feel a little cynical about the chance of that happening.

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