Tyson Fury’s fans are quickly seeing through the former lineal champions comments regarding the status of the heavyweight division.
Coming off of a two-year lay-off to climb off the canvas against Deontay Wilder deserves all the credit in the world. Tyson Fury was undoubtedly the comeback kid of 2019 – probably this century.
❌ The Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury rematch is NOT happening next. Top Rank today told the WBC that Fury is opting for an interim fight and will then pursue the Wilder rematch again later in 2019, according to multiple reports.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) February 26, 2019
However, in a recent interview with iFL TV’s Kugan Cassius, Fury made a number of comments would could see the glamour division put on hiatus until Fury swallows his pride, and makes a deal with either AJ or the Bronze Bomber.
Making claims to be the “big daddy” or “big dog” of the division seem to point to Fury believing he is the cash king of the heavyweight division, which simply is not the case. Anthony Joshua has proven to be a far bigger draw in terms of both ticket sales, PPV sales, marketing and fanbase. But having signed a very substantial deal with ESPN, it seems Fury believes he is the A-Side in any negotiation he goes into.
This is wildly untrue.
Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker did 1.48 million PPV buys on Sky Sports Box Office. Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury did 325,000 in the US. I understand that PPV buys are not the whole picture, and PPV stateside is far more expensive, but when you consider that Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte for the British title did 420,000, and Wladimir Klitschko vs.
Tyson Fury only did 105,000 more buys for three of the four major world titles, it paints a picture of one man being the financial A side, and one the B. Unfortunately for the Gypsy King, he is not the A-Side in a fight vs. Anthony Joshua.
In fact, Fury has not been the A-Side in either of his two world title fights.
The arena comparison is one not even worth making. Fury Wilder did not sell out the Staples Centre, 21,000. Joshua sold over 300,000 tickets to his last 4 fights alone. The economic’s of this fight are very simple.
Fury clearly stated that a fight with Joshua or Wilder can only happen on ESPN in the US. Fury knows that Joshua has an outstanding deal with DAZN, and has done since 2018. Refusal to budge on this will mean making that fight is very difficult (not impossible, as AJ’s deal is fight by fight. But difficult).
Wilder has a fight by fight deal with Showtime, and with Fury and Joshua being on separate networks, should Wilder re-sign with Showtime is make a statement very clear – I do not want to fight either of you.
Fury goes on to claim several times in the interview to “only want to fight the best”, alluding to Wilder and Joshua (despite calling them ‘dossers’ several times, even though both having far more world title fights than him). But demanding unrealistic finances will tie the hands of any promoter – especially Eddie Hearn.
Refusing a 60/40 split, which Hearn publicly offered to Fury, and only looking at a 50/50 split, as Frank Warren stated was the only “fair offer”, Hearn will simply say “thank you, next”, and fight a mandatory that will pay AJ if not eight figures, close to it. Fury calling the shots whilst holding no belts will get him no where.
The no belts situation is the next issue. HE HOLDS NO BELTS.
Both Joshua and Wilder will simply refuse to fight Fury if he continues to price himself out – or better still, fight each other. Fury could become mandatory with any of the four world heavyweight bodies (He is currently ranked number 2 by the WBC, and number 4 by the WBO), but his negotiations will stall if he demands the same finances, and the bout will go to purse bids.
The WBC mandates a 70/30 split in the Champions favour. The WBO’s splits are more difficult to work out, but judging by the Saunders Andrade situation, I would guess their split situation is 75/25 in the champions favour – 30% if the challenger travels. Joshua holds that belt so there would be no travel. These splits have been seemingly ruled out by Fury so presumably, they won’t happen.
Will Fury realise his error?
If Tyson Fury continues to hold out on splits, and claim to be the king of the division, he will stall out any major fights. Realising your own self-worth is key to making a deal. We’ve seen fighters price them out on too many occasions.
Failure to do so will mean he has to go down the mandatory route, and pick up Silver, Intercontinental or International titles – meaning he will have to fight fighters outside of the top two in the division, and definitely not the “best of the division” as he continually claims.
For the sake of Heavyweight Boxing, Tyson, make a deal. If you believe you can beat these guys – one of which you already have, and the other I believe you have the tools to do so – then you should claim a belt and then you can demand the finances you are talking about.
Until then, you hold the keys to a much, much smaller garden than Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua has.