It’s on !
Well, not quite. Not quite the fight we were all hoping for to unify the heavyweight championship of the world for the first time since Lennox Lewis in the early 2000’s.
What we did get though, as result of Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions record breaking purse bid in Mexico City to stage the Tyson ‘Gypsy King’ Fury mandatory WBC world title defence against London’s Dillian Whyte, is a heavyweight fight that brings interest and some jeopardy to the ultimate destination of the plethora of titles. We now know the potential route to unification.
Finally, the smoke has lifted and there is now clarity on former two-times sanctioning body champion and fellow Brit Anthony Joshua now going through with his rematch with Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk in an attempt to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, and unification from there. However, recent boxing history has shown to always expect the unexpected. Shock defeats and rematch clauses aside the route to unification can be a perilous one.
The rumoured date set for the Fury-Whyte contest is April 23, likely staged at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. To attempt to recoup any of the eye-watering $41M (£30.6M) bid the co-promotion by Queensberry and US based Top Rank Inc. will need to fill the 85,000 Cardiff venue and sell bucket loads of Box Office/pay per view. The fight will be televised on BT Box Office in the UK and ESPN stateside and should safely be the most lucrative fight to be staged in the British Isles, surpassing the recent blockbuster events featuring Anthony Joshua and promoted by Matchroom Boxing.
The champion Fury will receive 80% of the purse ($32M/£24.5) and Whyte a minimum 20% ($8M/£6.1M).
It can only be hoped the whoever comes through victorious in both contests will finally meet and give us an undisputed heavyweight champion. The public have waited long enough.