Wladimir Klitschko already knows he must put his world heavyweight crowns on the line against Great Britain’s Tyson Fury, but the question of when and for how much remains a major sticking point in negotiations between the fighters’ camps.
After weeks of talks, ESPN reports little movement on a date or place for a bout that could feature two of the sport’s biggest fighters. The WBA stepped in last week and ordered both sides to hold a purse bid on July 6 at the organization’s Panama City, Panama, headquarters.
Should no agreement be ironed out, Klitschko (64-3, 54 KOs) would automatically receive 80 percent of the purse and Fury 20 percent.
The Ukraine-born Klitschko, 39, notched his 18th straight title defense with decision over American Bryant Jennings in New York in April, his first bout in the United States in seven years. He’s run through the majority of the division, and has a result Klitschko has little choice but to face the WBA’s mandatory challenger.
With the U.K. crowd likely to be on Fury’s side, and Klitschko perhaps more open to stateside fights after such an awesome return against Jennings, it’s possible the matchup in the neutral U.S. could be in the making. But Klitschko’s camp will undoubtedly push for as close to 80 or 70 percent of the purse, given his standing in the sport and champion status, while Fury’s reps understand a one-sided loss by their client in the biggest payday of his career could sour future plans.
Yet, the 26-year-old Manchester native's impressive undefeated run and mammoth size make him a worthy opponent for Klitschko.
One of maybe handful of boxers in the world who can surpass Klitschko’s physical presence in the ring, the 6-foot-9 Fury (24-0, 18 KOs) earned his title shot after dropping compatriot Derek Chisora with a 10th-round knockout to claim the vacant WBO international heavyweight crown back in November and later scored another knockout over Christian Hammer in February.
Fury certainly isn’t lacking for confidence, as evidenced by his rapid-fire tweets last week.
â€” Gypsy King (@Tyson_Fury) June 27, 2015