In preparation for his ESPN debut, Tyson Fury made the rounds today at the worldwide leader, days after his rival Deontay Wilder leveled Dominic Breazeale at Barclays Center.
Adorned in a suit featuring every lineal heavyweight champion in boxing history, Fury took time to take a jab at the WBC world heavyweight titleholder.“I don’t see Deontay Wilder on here,” Fury pointed out to the panel during his segment on ESPN’s First Take. “If he ever wants to be on this thing, he’s got to beat me.”
Fury earned his claim at the lineal title in 2015, defeating then unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko. While Fury continues to consider himself the lineal champion, many in boxing see him abandoning that title when he abdicated or was stripped of the unified belts in the midst of his mental health and substance abuse issues.
Yet, since late 2017, Fury has been on the comeback trail, fighting three times in 2018, taking two victories and going the distance with Wilder in an instant classic.
While Fury and Wilder were negotiating for a rematch, Fury would shift gears and sign a co-promotional agreement with Top Rank and ESPN, while Wilder would stay with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions.
Asked about why he would sign to fight on the Disney owned property, Fury claimed that his true intentions are to make his rematch with Wilder bigger.
“On Showtime, it wasn’t viewed by that many people. I think it was only 325,000 (PPV buys),”Fury said on First Take. “A world heavyweight title fight with two of the most colorful, charismatic champions in the past 50 years… it needs to be built bigger.
“I believe this platform on ESPN will give me that option to make it a massive global fight, not only 300,000 (-plus) in the United States. I think another 450,000 viewed it in the United Kingdom. We need to make it bigger.”
While Fury’s debut on ESPN comes on ESPN+ against mostly unknown Tom Schwarz, Fury feels that taking this step will lead to a Wilder-Fury II.
“If (Wilder) wants a rematch, I’m sure we’re gonna get it on,” Fury believes. “I didn’t come here and sign a deal with ESPN so I can fight bums.
“I came here to make the fight as big as possible.”
Quotes Transcribed by Boxing Scene