Fury says he's ready for Joshua if Wilder declines rematch

February 24, 2020 07:31
Tyson Fury poses with his belts during a press conference after his seventh-round TKO victory over Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

Tyson Fury says he expects Deontay Wilder to take up the option of a rematch of their heavyweight championship bout but is ready for fellow Briton Anthony Joshua if the American declines.

Speaking after his seventh-round TKO victory over Wilder in Las Vegas on Saturday, Fury sounded happy to take on either man.

“I had a great and worthy dance partner in Deontay Wilder and I’m sure we’re going to do it again,” Fury told Behind The Gloves at the MGM Grand Arena.

“If Deontay don’t want the rematch then let’s go A.J.,” Fury added, referring to Joshua.

Fury (30-0-1) retained his lineal crown and took the WBC crown from Wilder (42-1-1), though Joshua holds the rest of the belts in the division.

A fight between the pair would unify the belts but the mouth-watering, all-British match-up might have to wait for a Fury-Wilder trilogy to be completed instead.

The first fight between Fury and Wilder in December 2018 was called a draw.

Wilder now has 30 days to decide whether to exercise his option of a third fight with the Gypsy King.

Fury delivered a dominant performance in his bout with Wilder on Saturday.

He took control late in the first round and never relinquished it, knocking down Wilder twice and bloodying him en route to the referee stopping the fight in the seventh where Wilder’s corner threw in the towel.

“I must say the king has returned to the top of the throne,” Fury told reporters in a post-fight interview.

Fury used his reach advantage to continually beat Wilder to the punch. He took total control in the third where he landed a right hand to Wilder’s left ear to drop him to the canvas.

Wilder never regained his legs or footing after that, wobbling through the rest of the match.

Fury again dropped Wilder in the fifth with a body punch and then caught him in the corner with a flurry of punches in the seventh where it ended.

“I want to say [Wilder] came in and he manned up and really did show the heart of the champion,” Fury said. “He is a warrior, he will be back, and he will be the champion again.”

Wilder, known for his violent right-hand knockouts, never got the chance to truly unleash his power.

He landed a few overhand right hands early in the fight but was constantly under attack.

“Things like this happen, the best man won tonight,” Wilder said. “My side threw the towel – I would rather go out on my shield.

“Even the greatest have lost and came back, you take it for what it is. This is what big-time boxing is all about. The best must fight the best.”

Impressive as Fury’s performance was on Saturday, he said it did not compare to his 2015 takedown of Wladimir Klitschko.

“Nothing will ever be bigger than my Wladimir Klitschko win because that was my first championship ring,” Fury said.

“I was 7/1 underdog when I beat Klitschko in Germany. Tonight people expected me to win. It was a 50-50 fight going in.” Reuters

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