In this week’s Fight Talk we look at reports that Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III could be moved to next year, with Eddie Hearn saying the trilogy should be cancelled if that happens and Dillian Whyte given his shot instead.
We also discuss whether Hearn and rival promoter Frank Warren could work together, and there is reaction to Billy Joe Saunders’ comments that he would welcome a fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in December.
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Fury v Wilder III could be moved to next year
Boxing may have returned to our screens in recent weeks, albeit behind closed doors, but it seems we may have to wait a little longer for the elite-level world heavyweight fights we’re clamouring for.
Reports this week suggest that the third Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder fight might be put back until next year.
The third fight was originally scheduled for 18 July at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas before the Covid-19 outbreak. The plan then was for the contest to be pushed back to 19 December at the same venue.
However, Fury’s promoter Bob Arum has told the SiriusXM Boxing podcast that it could now take place somewhere else in February 2021 so that fans are able to attend.
‘Fury-Wilder should be cancelled and Whyte given shot’
But will Fury-Wilder III even happen then? The WBC had announced earlier in the week that the winner must face Britain’s number one challenger Dillian Whyte next.
Promoter Eddie Hearn told IFL TV that the world-title fight should be cancelled if it doesn’t happen this year, and Whyte given his shot instead.
However, Arum has dismissed the idea of Whyte fighting Fury next.
“The WBC approved the trilogy contract and that provides for postponements,” he told Talksport.
The 88-year-old added: “Dillian Whyte, nobody’s ever heard of him in the United States.”
As exciting as the heavyweight division is at the moment, Covid-19 has added to the confusion of mandatory challengers and scheduled rematches.
The general feeling among boxing fans is that Whyte deserves his crack at the belt, but many are quick to point out that beating Russian Alexander Povetkin on 22 August is not a given for the Londoner…
Could Warren and Hearn work together?
From fighters to trainers, pundits to fans, we all love the sport but are often left frustrated when big fights are not made because of promotional deals.
But this week could be a milestone in British boxing after rival promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn finally spoke on the phone.
It’s almost unfathomable that two of the biggest promoters in world boxing had, up until this past week, never spoken to each other.
But they’ve now agreed to meet up over dinner with the aim of matching their fighters.
How did all this come about? Well it started when Queensberry Promotions’ Warren put this out on Instagram…
Matchroom Boxing’s Hearn told IFL TV that if Warren was serious then he should call him up rather than just putting a press release out.
Warren replied with another statement, telling Hearn to check his voicemail and return his call.
“I gave him a buzz and said later in August or September we can have a chat and a bite to eat,” Hearn then updated fans on IFL TV.
Hearn says that while some of the Queensberry v Matchroom fights could be made, other match-ups suggested by Warren are not realistic…
Even if they do work together, there is always going to be some needle and sly digs shared between the two promoters.
But with boxing, like many sports, being starved of elite level action in 2020, some fans are encouraged to hear that there is some finally some direct dialogue between Hearn and Warren…
But other fans are slightly more cynical…
‘I’ll fight Canelo in December’ – Saunders
It seems like we’ve been waiting an eternity for Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to announce his next opponent.
Almost every top-level super-middleweight and middleweight fighter has been linked with a September bout against the pound-for-pound star, including the best that Britain has to offer.
WBA and Ring Magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith and former world-title contender John Ryder have both said they welcome the fight, but WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders had previously ruled himself out.
Saunders, who was close to signing for a fight with Canelo before the global lockdown, said a September bout would not give him enough time to prepare.
But he has has now put his name back into the mix, as long as the fight takes place later in the year.
“Wait until December and come to a proper super-middleweight champion,” Saunders told IFL TV.
“If he wants to come to England, I’ll let him keep it [the money]. If I beat him, pay me what I’m contracted. If I don’t, don’t pay me. That’s how confident I am.”
Canelo has one defeat on his record, to Floyd Mayweather in 2016, while Saunders has never suffered a professional loss.
But boxing fans were quick to point out the difference in the quality of their opponents and say that Saunders should have taken the fight when it was first offered…