Tyson Fury recently signing with Top Rank Boxing and ESPN might have just thrown a huge wrench in the boxing heavyweight division’s plans. With the heavyweight division’s three top heavyweights – Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua – all with different promotions, making a fight between any of the trio becomes difficult.
Currently, Top Rank has broadcast deals with the likes of BT Sport in the UK, and ESPN in the United States. Joshua is signed with the DAZN streaming service. And Wilder is promoted by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), who have broadcast deals in place with the likes of Showtime, Fox Sports, and ITV. Despite this, Wilder claimed on the “Tha Boxing Voice” podcast that he is free to fight wherever the best deal resides for himself (via Boxing Scene):
“Of course, it’s always where the money is that’s gonna make the fight right,” Wilder said. “I’m a (network) free agent; I can fight anyone. I just don’t have to necessarily fight on the networks that I’m on, I can fight anywhere. That’s what so great about me.”
Speaking on Sports Center this morning (Wed. February 20, 2019), Top Rank Boxing founder and CEO Bob Arum responded with the following:
“Deontay Wilder himself said that as far as networks are concerned, he is a free agent,” Arum said.
“Today. we are sending out an offer to Deontay Wilder, which will also go to his manager Shelly Finkel and his adviser Al Haymon making this offer—which is a tremendous one—to do the fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.”
Do you think Wilder will sign on with Arum and ESPN?