While Deontay Wilder defends his heavyweight championship on Saturday night, the boxing world waits for the division’s top two fighters to have their rematch. Tyson Fury is set to put his heavyweight titles on the line against Wladimir Klitschko, though an official date has yet to be confirmed.
Having beaten Klitschko on Nov. 28 of last year, Fury was supposed to give the former champion a chance to win back his titles on July 9. But the fight was canceled due to what Fury called an ankle injury.
"Once the date is set, together with my team I'll gear my preparation plan to it and continue where I left off: with optimum preparation for the fight,” Klitschko said last week on social media.
"The key - and I'd like to pass this on to you because the same thing is true in sport, in business and in other areas - is that I can't let myself get off track.
"Might there be another reason for calling it off? Is the delay supposed to unsettle me? Or in your case, is it maneuvering on the part of your negotiating partner that he stands you up twice and then wants to meet you at a late hour?”
There has been a lot of speculation that an injury was not Fury’s primary reason for pulling out of the fight. A source told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that Fury was not prepared to defend his titles after partying too hard.
Whatever the reason for the postponement, moving the fight appears to only help Fury’s attempt to retain his belts. Klitschko turned 40 years old in March, while Fury is in the prime of his career at 27.
"Everything I do, I do it for a reason,” Fury told BoxNation. “I don’t just do things off the hook. Everything I done is planned by me and done, to perfection.”
If the title fight indeed does happen on Oct. 29, it will mark the longest layoff Klitschko has had in between fights since he turned pro in 1996. Fury’s longest layoff ended two years ago when he defeated Joey Abell in Feb. 2014, following a 10-month break.