Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will fight for the world heavyweight title this year, but there are still a few variables to work out.
Sources reporting exclusively to FightNights.com say Fury (27-0, 19 KO's) a former three-belt unified world titleholder, is on board with the fight, which is expected take place either November 10 or November 17 in Las Vegas. However, Wilder (40-0, 39 KO's) has not signed on just yet.
A purse split and a venue have not been agreed upon.
Last week, ESPN reported that a member of Fury's management team said the 30-year-old Englishman, who did not box in 2016 or 2017 to battle drug addiction and depression, was at least considering pulling out of the highly-anticipated fight.
However, Fury dismissed the claim.
"I’ve been reading, and I heard some rumors that the fight is off between me and Wilder. Not on my watch it ain’t," he said. "I’m not pulling out of nothing. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Tyson Fury is like a king coming to America."
DiBella Entertainment officials, in phone calls exchanged on Monday and Wednesday this week, had no information to provide on what venues are being targeted in Vegas. On the other hand, according to The Ring's Mike Coppinger, there is a possibility of the fight landing at New York's Barclays Center.
Showtime, which will broadcast the pay-per-view, announced Wilder-Fury after Fury defeated Francesco Pianeta in a 10-round unanimous decision on August 18 in Belfast. Wilder, who attended ringside, exchanged words with Fury in the center of the ring before posing for photos.
Wilder is coming off the most significant victory of his career following a 10th-round TKO of Luis Ortiz in March. A majority of ringside observers had Ortiz, a former interim champion, ahead at the time of the stoppage.
Wilder had tried for years to land a big fight, but his attempts were snuffed out, and it was not of his own making.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist has spent a large part of his career telling anyone that his desire in boxing was to face the best opponents the heavyweight division has to offer, which is what you would expect to hear from a loud, charismatic man. But landing that fight has not been so easy for Wilder. He agreed to go to Moscow to fight mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in May 2016, only for the Russian to test positive for a banned substance. Moreover, Wilder was initially slated to face Ortiz last November, but that fight was also canceled when Ortiz tested positive for two banned substances -- the second time Ortiz had been caught for performance-enhancing drugs. It was Wilder, who opted to give the Cuban defector a second chance at redemption.
With all of that in the rear-view, Wilder-Fury, a genuinely thought-provoking matchup, is nearly upon us.