Just days removed from Tyson Fury’s knockout victory over Deontay Wilder in a massive upset, a question remains for the new WBC heavyweight champion: what’s next? Already, that question has been answered.
Immediately following the second fight between the two heavyweights, the idea of making this rivalry into a trilogy was a major talking point at the post-fight press conference. As the now-former champion, Wilder had an immediate rematch clause in his contract.
Fury said at the press conference, “Can’t wait for the next fight — the rematch — if he wants it.”
Wilder had 30 days to decide if he would exercise the rematch clause. He didn’t need that long. Lance Pugmire of The Athletic tweeted on Tuesday afternoon:
Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round after a much heavier Fury took his power shots, tied Wilder up in the clinch, and wore him down. This followed a split-decision draw between the two big men in 2018. Wilder mentioned in a post-fight interview Saturday night that he had been dealing with a leg injury prior to the bout, but ultimately admitted the better man won.
Broadcasters noted during the fight that Wilder had blood coming from one of his ears, which was thought to be the result of a ruptured eardrum at the time. After the fight, the injury was confirmed to be a cut inside the ear, which some have said can impact a fighter’s equilibrium as with a ruptured eardrum.
There is no word yet on how long “The Bronze Bomber” will be out due to a medical suspension. Prior to the announcement of Wilder accepting a third fight with Fury, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, told ESPN on Monday, “We want the Tyson Fury fight next.”
“If Deontay don’t want the rematch, then let’s go AJ,” Fury said at the post-fight press conference.
With the trilogy fight now confirmed, Hearn and Joshua will shift their focus to IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. Joshua’s other mandatory challenger is Oleksandr Usyk.
Meanwhile, Fury said prior to the second fight that he had just three bouts left on his contract and would then consider retirement. With two fights now remaining for “The Gypsy King,” his third fight with Wilder and the Joshua fight could turn out to be two of the biggest contests of the modern era, if not of all time.
If Wilder bounces back and wins the third fight to even up the series, he could also face Joshua. Wilder added fuel to that fire during a media conference call on Feb. 11, when he said of Joshua, “I’m not worried about that coward. The coward can barely buy his titles back, let alone step in the ring with the king. He’s been out of the picture. Ain’t nobody talking about him no more, so there ain’t no need to be bringing him up.”
Joshua’s bout with Pulev is currently set for June 20, according to ESPN.