The widely anticipated 22 Feburary rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury was officially announced on Friday by the promoters for both fighters.
Wilder, who has held the WBC’s version of the heavyweight championship since 2015, and Fury, who ended Wladimir Klitschko’s decade-long title reign four years ago and hasn’t lost since, will face off at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in the main event of a rare joint pay-per-view between Fox and ESPN, the respective US broadcast partners for each.
“There’s no more ducking and diving,” Fury said. “This is unfinished business for me, but come February 22, this dosser will finally get what’s coming to him, and I can’t wait.”
The rivals fought to a highly disputed split draw in their epic first encounter in December 2018, when Fury spent most of the evening frustrating the American with an effective jab and deft movement, even surviving a ninth-round knockdown to roar back in the final reel. He was dropped a second time by a violent combination in the last round, seemingly unconscious on descent, before somehow making it to his feet.
Although Fury failed in his bid to regain the world heavyweight championship he’d won from Klitschko but never lost in the ring, the career-best performance sent his stock through the roof. Indeed, Fury signed a money-spinning contract with Top Rank and ESPN on the heels of it.
While a rematch was always in the offing – and agreed to in principle as early as July in a deal that also calls for a third bout – both men took a pair of fights in the interim.
Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), 31, saw off a pair of fringe contenders: laying waste to Germany’s Tom Schwarz in June and outpointing Sweden’s Otto Wallin in a tougher-than-expected points win that saw him suffer a cut over his right eye that required 47 stitches.
Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) delivered a sensational first-round destruction of mandatory contender Dominic Breazeale in May, followed by a seventh-round knockout in a rematch with the Cuban slugger Luis Ortiz in November.
“I’m happy and I’m excited that the rematch is finally happening,” Wilder said. “I want to give the fans what they want to see. I’ve been doing it with my last three outings – Fury, [Dominic] Breazeale and [Luis] Ortiz. They’ve been spectacular events – from my ring walks where I gather all the energy of the people, to my uniforms that I wear to help spread that energy. Then I give them what they all come for – the knockouts, and my knockouts have been amazing. I proved myself the first time and I’m ready to do it again. It was a very controversial fight. I promise my fans that there won’t be any controversy with this one. I’m going to finish it.
“I proved myself the first time and I’m ready to do it again. It was a very controversial fight. I promise my fans that there won’t be any controversy with this one. I’m going to finish it.”