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Last December, boxing fans were treated to a fight for the ages, as WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (41-1-1, 39 KOs) and Tyson Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs), the man considered to be the lineal Heavyweight champion, went toe-to-toe for 12 action-packed rounds.
Over the duration of the bout, Fury seemed to outbox Wilder for the most part, but “The Bronze Bomber,” known for his devastating power, kept the fight close with two knockdowns. In fact, the knockdown he scored in the 12th and final round nearly won him the fight as it appeared for a moment that Fury was unconscious.
However, to the surprise of thousands of people in attendance and those watching from home, “The Gypsy King” rose to his feet and fought to the final bell. In the end, the decision turned out to be a somewhat controversial split draw, with Wilder retaining his title.
Regardless of what fans thought of the decision, the consensus was clear: a rematch needed to take place. And initially, it seemed as if the rematch would take place immediately in the months following the bout.
As many expected, Wilder successfully defended his title, walking through Breazeale with a thunderous first-round knockout victory. And to the delight of those with a love for the sweet science, Wilder announced just a few weeks after the bout that he and Fury had signed contracts in place for a rematch that was expected to occur in early 2020.
The Gypsy King then made his ESPN/Top Rank debut with a second-round stoppage of Tom Schwarz (24-1, 16 KOs) on June 15 in Las Vegas and he too confirmed the news that a rematch with Wilder was expected to take place next year.
However, there were still hurdles to overcome, as each man would have another interim bout before the end of the year. But now, those steps seem to be set in stone and the path towards making one of boxing’s most-anticipated fights a reality has been cemented.
Last week, ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported that Fury had reached an agreement to take on Otto Wallin on September 14 in Las Vegas on ESPN+.
The 28-year-old Wallin, a native of Sweden, is a relatively unknown fighter, though he does hold an undefeated professional record of 20-0 with 13 of those victories coming by way of knockout.
He made his US debut this past April against Nick Kisner, though the fight was stopped after Kisner suffered a cut due to an accidental head butt.
Next, Wilder will take on well-respected Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (31-1-2, 26 KOs) in a rematch of their 2018 fight. That fight is expected to take place on November 9 at a site that has yet to be determined.
In regards to those two fights, Wilder undoubtedly has a tougher challenge in front of him. When he and Ortiz met the first time, the Cuban appeared to be finding success early on in the bout and even wobbled Wilder at one point. The champion finished strong, however, scoring a TKO victory in the 10th round.
For Fury, meanwhile, the fight against Wallin appears to be more of a tune-up bout.
Regardless, the truth remains the same: both Wilder and Fury have their next fights set and both need to come out on top.
Should that happen, the rematch should be on deck. And if that turns out to be the case, unfinished business between two of the world’s best Heavyweights will be taken care of.