Tyson Fury lands UK£80m ESPN TV deal

Feb 20, 2019, 01:26
Tyson Fury lands UK£80m ESPN TV deal

"The Gypsy King" and UK promoter Frank Warren both hailed the new deal, but for many it has thrown into doubt a rematch between the lineal heavyweight champion and WBC titleholder Wilder. I want the biggest fights - the Joshuas, the Wilders of the world and everybody else out there too.

However Fury's new multi-fight deal means - at the least - that fans will have to wait a little longer to see him, Wilder and Joshua resolve which of them becomes the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, committed as each now is to different television networks in America. He said: 'They have to come to Tyson Fury now because I've got my own platform in America and in the United Kingdom (with BT Sport). The 33-year-old slugger dropped Fury twice en route to a controversial split draw in their blockbuster December bout, which aired on Showtime PPV.

"ESPN's the biggest sporting network in the world, and gives me the opportunity to not be an opponent", said Fury.

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"When you look at the Heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned "Mecca of Boxing" the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1 will be a moment when the World will witness AJ's turn".

The sport is fractured TV-wise, and nowhere is that more apparent than among the heavyweights, where IBF-WBA-WBC champion Anthony Joshua is signed with the streaming service DAZN, Wilder is with the Premier Boxing Champions, which does business with Showtime and Fox, and now Fury is with ESPN and BT. Months removed from their first fight - a majority draw - he's still unhappy with the result. "We have the biggest platform for him to be on, that means he is in a tremendous position".

"He's coming up against a true fighter, thats why he can't beat me on his best day".

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If Fury does find he has locked himself out of the chance to win more world titles, money will have again spoken loudest in the labyrinthine world of big-time boxing - Joshua even more so if he finds himself marooned by a Wilder-Fury trilogy.

That is more likely to be put back to September, with Fury promoter Frank Warren's U.S. partner Bob Arum preferring both men to have warm-up fights there in May 'to build up even higher audience interest in America.

"Tyson wants (the rematch)", said Warren.

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Warren added: "Tyson wants it, we all want it, and now we've got to make it happen". Showtime's not the only game in town. It's changed dramatically, so it's up to us now to sit down and get it over the line. ESPN is a staple of USA sports broadcasting, reaching more than 90 million households in the country alone and announced earlier this month that ESPN+ had already amassed two million subscribers.

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