Deontay Wilder could fight in a tournament to determine the next WBC heavyweight champion if Tyson Fury opts to vacate his belt and retire from boxing.
Wilder has been out of action since losing in an epic trilogy fight with long-term rival Fury last year, and has yet to decide on his future after considering retirement. Fury, meanwhile, insists he plans to retire from the sport after defending his belt for a second time against Dillian Whyte.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman expects the winner of Joe Joyce’s upcoming meeting with Joseph Parker to be heavily involved in the mix for a shot at any vacant title, along with Wilder. “Certainly,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports when asked if Wilder was in contention if Fury elects to vacate his title. “Because he is the No.1-ranked contender in the division.
“I spoke to him a couple of months ago, he is doing great and he is looking forward to resuming his boxing career. We have one year to have the next mandatory fight. At this moment, we will wait the decision of Tyson Fury, and then we will either do a series of fights – a boxing tournament – going into a final elimination.
“But at this time we’re going to wait because we don’t know the specific circumstances. I believe that Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker are fighting for the WBO interim championship, but I have not confirmed that. All of the variables may change.”
Wilder remains ranked No.1 in the WBC rankings despite being out of action since breaking his hand in defeat to Fury last October. The ‘Bronze Bomber’ knocked Fury down twice but was ultimately stopped in the penultimate round.
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Despite suffering consecutive defeats by Fury, Wilder remains viewed as one of the biggest threats in the division and was linked with comeback clashes against Andy Ruiz Jr and Joseph Parker. Fury is yet to clarify his stance on vacating his belt but could be tempted by a shot at the undisputed titles if rival Anthony Joshua beats Oleksandr Usyk in their sequel this summer.
After confirming his plans remain to retire, Fury stated that he would like to see Wilder fight for the vacant title if he opts to walk away from the sport undefeated. “I’d like to see Deontay Wilder fight whoever for it again. I don’t know how that’s even possible [that Wilder is ranked at No.1]. He’s lost three fights in a row and still number 1-rated. But that’s up to them,” Fury said.
“One thing, [though], Deontay made ten title defences, more than anybody else but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. And I do believe he’s still the second-best heavyweight in the world, Deontay Wilder. I believe he knocks everybody else out but me.”