The rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder could take place this year, US promoter Bob Arum has revealed.
After the pair drew in December they looked in line to rematch this year – until Fury signed an £80million ($A147 million) deal with Arum’s Top Rank stable, shelving the Wilder fight.
Arum planned to build the Gypsy King’s profile in Stateside before taking on the Bronze Bomber next year – and they started with a second round demolishing of Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas last weekend.
Speaking to Helen Yee Sports veteran promoter Arum claimed an interim fight for Fury may not be needed, such was the success of his Vegas debut, and insisted if Team Wilder agree, the rematch could happen before 2020.
Arum said: “I think we have to really look at the situation and to determine it will be up to ESPN and FOX, maybe we go right to the fight now.
“I felt I needed two fights with Tyson Fury in order to really have the public take a look at him and realise what a phenomenal athlete and entertainer he was.
“But because ESPN did such a magnificent job in helping us promote this last fight with Schwarz maybe we can go right now into a Wilder fight.
“But that would depend again on how the other side feels about it, how FOX and PBC feel about it.”
Fury, 30, revealed he will return to the US by October and fight at Madison Square Garden as he continues his US venture – while Wilder, 33, looks set to rematch Luis Ortiz later this year.
Jarrell Miller emerged as a potential opponent, the man who was set to face Anthony Joshua in New York before he failed three drug tests.
Joshua subsequently lost his unified titles to 25-1 outsider Ruiz on June 1 – leaving Arum “nervous” about waiting for Fury to rematch Wilder suggesting they could fight before the year is out.
Arum added: “I think maybe we should be talking about – stop fooling around with interim fights where as we saw from the Joshua – Ruiz fight anything can happen.
“It’s heavyweights, who would have believed a guy like Andy Ruiz could beat a Joshua – nobody.
“People were saying it’s a farce fight and you saw Joshua with his record beating the fighters he did with the physique he had and pudgy little Andy Ruiz, no one gave him a chance.
“That took Joshua and all of his plans and changed them so that the best he is going to get is a rematch.
“[Fury vs Wilder] could happen this year, but again, I don’t know for sure, right now we’re planning an interim fight for Fury – they have talked about a fight with Wilder and Ortiz.
“I’m saying that if those fights happen – until they happen, until they’re over, I would be very, very nervous.”