Deontay Wilder was hoping to become the first boxer to defeat Wladmir Klitschko in over 11 years, but he had his opportunity taken away from him by Tyson Fury. Fury defeated Klitschko on Saturday in Germany, taking the 39-year-old’s numerous heavyweight belts.
Klitschko was a heavy favorite to defeat Fury, but the aging star put on a lackluster performance, landing just 52 of 231 punches. Wilder was looking to face Klitschko, who was expected to successfully defend his titles, but Saturday’s result has put a potential fight between Klitschko and Wilder on hold.
If Klitschko wants his shot at redemption, he’s going to get it. A rematch clause in the fight contract gives the former champ the opportunity to face Fury again. There’s no guarantee that Klitschko will want to face Fury again, but it would stand to reason that Fury will be his next opponent.
"If the rematch does happen it will be May or June, not before, and it will happen where ever it makes commercial sense to happen. If it makes more money at Old Trafford or Wembley, then great, but where ever it is, even back in Germany, Tyson will knock him out in the rematch," Tyson’s manager, Mick Hennessy, told ESPN.
While Klitschko has sat atop the heavyweight division for over a decade, Wilder is looking to make a name for himself as one of the division’s best fighters. Wilder knocked out Johann Duhaupas in September to improve his career record to 35-0, and he believes he can defeat the best heavyweights in the world.
“If it was tomorrow , I could beat him,” Wilder recently told Forbes regarding Klitschko. “I’ve improved so much since 2012, and he’s declining. He’s getting older. He’s not going to be the same as he was. We know each other, and I know how to beat him. I know what it takes. He doesn’t have as much energy as I do. I’m the toughest, the strongest and the fastest heavyweight he’s faced.”
Wilder is quickly gaining steam in the division, having knocked out all but one of his opponents. But he's yet to face the top heavyweights, and it appears he’ll have to wait a little bit longer to do so.
“If Deontay Wilder wants a unification fight he is going to have to wait, because Wladimir Klitschko has a round two,” Fury said via the Daily Mail.
Fury is undefeated at 25-0 in his career. If he doesn’t face Klitschko next, he could be looking at a fight with Anthony Joshua.