Belfast, Northern Ireland (AP) — Tyson Fury says he has signed the contract. Deontay Wilder said the fight is “official.”
All it needs now is a time and a place.
Fury, the former world heavyweight champion, cleared the way for a fight with Wilder, the current WBC titleholder, by winning the second bout of his comeback on Saturday.
Wilder was ringside at Windsor Park in Belfast to see Fury taken the full 10 rounds by Italian journeyman Francesco Pianeta before being awarded the victory on points, 100-90.
Wilder then entered the ring and said: “We are ready now. This fight will happen. It is on. This fight is official. It’s on. It’s the best fighting the best.”
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, who was standing near the two fighters in the ring, said an announcement will be made next week.
“They called, I answered. I said send me a contract, they sent me a contract. I said yes and now he gets a chance to fight the lineal champion of the world,” said Fury, who now has a 27-0 record. “One thing I promise in Las Vegas is that I am knocking you out.”
After shocking the boxing world by beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to become WBA, IBF and WBO champion, Fury was out of the ring for 2 1/2 years because of mental health and drug problems. He regained his boxing license in January after accepting a backdated two-year doping ban the previous month for elevated levels of nandrolone in urine samples.
The first fight of his return was an almost comical bout against Albanian cruiserweight Sefer Seferi in June, which ended after the fourth round when Fury’s opponent quit.
Pianeta offered better but still limited opposition and didn’t have the power to worry Fury, who was light on his feet and showed good movement and reflexes. Fury took this fight more seriously but still showboated at times, like in the first round when he held onto the rope with one hand and aimed punches with the other.
His ringwalk was to the song “Sweet Home Alabama.” Wilder was born in Alabama.
After being awarded the win, Fury paraded in the ring with Wilder’s WBC belt.
“I think it was a calculated boxing performance,” Fury said. “We came here to get the rounds in with a tough man, quite durable. We were happy with the performance. I thought that was a step-up and a better boxing display. It’s no secret that I need the rounds.”
Wilder, who is 40-0 with 39 knockouts, has been in Northern Ireland for the last few days and on a charm offensive with fans and the British media.
His team had been negotiating to fight WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua but talks fell through.
“I can’t wait to fight you because I am going to knock you out,” Wilder said to Fury. “You are going to feel the experience of being knocked out by the Bronze Bomber.”