If you’re a boxing fan, you are absolutely excited about Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua unifying the heavyweight titles. If you’re a boxing fan, you are also absolutely gutted that an arbitrator ruled that Tyson Fury must rematch Deontay Wilder a second time by September 15th. So what gives? Boxing can be complicated and hard to follow. But when in doubt, follow the dollar signs.
Will Deontay Wilder Get or Even Accept Step Aside Money?
Not everything is set in stone in boxing. Money is the key factor for everything. It’s a problem I have, businessmen running and subsequently ruining boxing, but I’ll save that for another day. Today though, it has a factor in what happens in the Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder triangle.
The rumors have been swirling that Joshua and Fury are set to fight in Saudi Arabia and the date was set for August 14th. Money had been agreed to, contracts had been signed. Then Deontay Wilder comes in with a curve ball.
There’s this issue in boxing with so many sanctioning bodies (WBA, IBF, WBO, and so on) where their rankings interfere with other rankings. When ordering mandatories, or who is next for the reigning champions, some fighters are often paid step-aside money. Oleksandr Usyk is a recent example. In the heavyweight division, Usyk has hinted that he will step aside for Joshua and Fury to fight. But there is an undisclosed amount of money needed to make that happen.
Deontay Wilder might decide, hey, let them fight. I’ll grab the winner. And I’ll get a payday for not fighting. It’s a win-win for the Bronze Bomber. Especially after losing to Fury, a rematch with more than just the WBC World Heavyweight Championship on the line would really up the ante for Wilder.
What if Wilder does not accept a step aside payment and forces his way into the trilogy?
So there’s that chance that Wilder thinks that he can go in and beat Fury, which is entirely possible given his talents. He could mess up the long-awaited Joshua-Fury fight and immediately get on the bad side of fans. But so what? Deontay Wilder is already not liked by fans with how he handled the loss to Fury.
Deontay Wilder is owed this rematch according to the arbitrator. Given that he wants the belt more than the money, it would make sense for him to take on Fury. He could be the one to unify the division with Joshua, not Tyson Fury. It’s a legacy issue and Wilder could be shooting for that, given his long wanted fight with Anthony Joshua himself.
Regardless of what happens, you can be sure to follow the money. Where there is the most, Wilder and team will follow assuredly. If a payout to fight Tyson Fury is more lucrative, look for Wilder to get that fight. But if the step aside money is substantial, Wilder might go that route and take a tune up then challenge Ruiz or the winner of Joshua-Fury 2/3.
Or legacy…only time will tell.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.