Fourteen months after they first faced off, world heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury will meet again in the boxing ring.
Representatives for both sides confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday that Wilder-Fury II will be on Feb. 22. A location has not yet been chosen, but they told ESPN that it’s likely to be at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. An announcement is likely to be made before Christmas.
Bob Arum, chairman for Top Rank and one of Fury’s co-promoters, told ESPN that the date was chosen strategically to allow for the most coverage of the fight.
"Everybody involved factored in that, it was the big date they could get the most bang and publicity for the event," Arum said. "The college football season is over, the NFL season is over, the playoffs haven't started yet in the NBA, and March Madness is a month away."
They pretty much chose the perfect date to allow the fight to completely take over the sports news cycle, but it might have done that regardless of when it was scheduled. People have been anticipating this rematch since Wilder and Fury first faced off in December 2018, a fight that ended in a split draw.
This second fight between Wilder and Fury is part of a three-fight agreement between the two, and it included two interim fights for each. Fury’s fights were in June and September and he won both: a second-round TKO over Tom Schwarz, and a memorable win over Otto Wallin in which Fury got a hideous cut over his eye. Wilder’s fights were in May and November and he also won both: he knocked out Dominic Breazeale in the first round in May, and he showed off his incredible power on Nov. 23 when he knocked out Luis Ortiz with a single punch in the seventh round.
With his last fight happening just last week, Wilder will have only three months to prepare for Fury. At the news conference following his victory over Ortiz on Saturday night, Wilder said he’s not worried in the least.
“Come February, I hope they’re ready, because I’m ready,” Wilder said, via BoxingScene. “You know, I’m in great shape. This is gonna be a quick turnaround for me. I haven’t done this since the beginning of my career. And this is only gonna make me better. You know, fighting the type of opposition that I’m fighting, doing it often and getting ready to go back in there in February again. So, I wish those guys good luck.”
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