The purse bid for the rematch between heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury, which was scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed for a second time as the sides get closer on a deal that could be only days away.
“Things have gotten delayed a little, but as far as I know there are no issues,” Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, told ESPN on Tuesday. “I would hope the fight is completed late this week or early next week.”
The purse bid was initially scheduled for last Tuesday at the WBC headquarters in Mexico City, but the sanctioning body permitted it to be postponed for one week because the camps said they were close to making a deal.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said the purse bid was allowed to be further delayed because of how close they are to an agreement.
“I have been in direct communication with both parties and they have indicated that they are in goodwill negotiations, very close to reaching an agreement,” Sulaiman told ESPN. “I will monitor this matter personally and if needed will intervene within the next week.”
A purse bid is used in the event that the promoters cannot make a deal on a mandatory fight. The promotional rights are put up for auction to all promoters, with the highest bidder winning promotional control of the bout and the winning bid establishing the fighter purses. In this case, if Wilder-Fury II does go to a purse bid — which is unlikely — Wilder would receive 60 percent of the money and 40 percent would go to Fury.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) fought to a draw in an entertaining battle on Dec. 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a classic heavyweight title fight that generated around 325,000 buys for Showtime PPV in the United States. Fury outboxed Wilder for long stretches, but Wilder also scored two knockdowns, one in the ninth round and a thunderous one in the 12th round, after which Fury shockingly beat the count and was able to continue.
In the end, the judges scored it 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113, a split draw that allowed Wilder to retain his belt for the eighth time.
After the fight, Wilder, 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Fury, 30, of England, each forcefully said they wanted an immediate rematch, and a week after the fight, the WBC said it would approve a second fight. Three weeks ago, the WBC formally ordered the rematch and set the parameters for the purse split in the event there was a purse bid.
If the fight is finalized, it is likely to take place on either April 27 or May 18 in New York or Las Vegas, Finkel said.