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Fury challenges rivals after ESPN signing: 'Come to Tyson'

20 February 2019

Negotiations for a rematch, following December's controversial draw in Los Angeles, were expected to conclude in an agreement for them to fight in the USA in May, but they are now likely to end in frustration given Wilder has a deal with network Showtime.

The new deal also further tangles the web over a potential fight with British IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, whose fights are broadcast through DAZN in the U.S. and Sky in the UK.

"When you look at the Heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned "Mecca of Boxing" the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1 will be a moment when the World will witness AJ's turn".

Anthony Olaseni Joshua, The IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion, will defend his titles for his first professional fight on American soil in June.

"If Wilder allows loyalty to Showtime to be an issue, he's a fool".

'After being told on Friday evening about Tyson Fury's contract with ESPN I have spoken with both parties about the rematch.

For £80million, Fury's fights must be shown exclusively on ESPN in America while Wilder is believed to have a loose arrangement with their rival Showtime.

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The legendary fight mastermind said: "Even Deontay Wilder should be celebrating this because it shows how honest the involvement of ESPN in boxing is, they're in with both feet".

It meant, in one terrible moment of realisation, that all the colourful rumours of a Wilder rematch and bold talk of a deal being secured in private, to avoid the unpredictable drama of a proposed purse bid, simply vanished. But we have realised with this deal that the blockades and obstacles are enormous going forward here.

The reality of Fury's new deal now makes the purse bid a potentially risky scenario for either side should they be blindly outbid for control of the television rights.

If it isn't Wilder versus Fury, who can it be?

You see, Wilder and Al Haymon, Wilder's adviser and co-manager, can simply trawl through the ratings and select another fighter and get on with business in much the same way they have been since Wilder won the title in 2015. Even on his best day he can't beat me. The 33-year-old slugger dropped Fury twice en route to a controversial split draw in their blockbuster December bout, which aired on Showtime PPV.

Fury, meanwhile, will need to find an opponent for his May return to action and unbeaten Oscar Rivas would be a good fit for the first fight of his ESPN deal - Wilder might just be chasing to secure the same man. I am still very confused and not sure of where we are going. "I know he knows what's coming".

Fury challenges rivals after ESPN signing: 'Come to Tyson'