- WBC belt-holder Wilder under pressure to accept second fight
• Fighters drew amid contested scorecards in last weekend’s bout
Deontay Wilder faced fresh calls to accept a rematch with Tyson Fury after the World Boxing Council sanctioned a second fight between the two heavyweights.
The WBC, the organisation through which Wilder holds the world title he retained after an enthralling draw with the British fighter, said “a direct rematch has been approved” following a vote of its board of governors.
In a statement it said: “The World Boxing Council conducted voting … which resulted in a unanimous agreement to sanction a direct rematch between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
“Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand for the fans to see a rematch. The WBC is happy to confirm that a direct rematch has been approved and will create in a ruling which will also consider the mandatory status of the division.”
In last weekend’s fight Fury was knocked down twice but in making the final bell was widely thought to have done enough to outpoint his American opponent. However, although one judge scored the fight 114-112 for Fury, another saw it as a 115-111 victory for Wilder and the final scorecard declared it a 113-113 draw. On the flipside some commentators questioned the length of the count surrounding Fury’s second knockdown. The lack of a decisive result meant Wilder retained his belt.
Fury previously held the WBA Super, IBF and WBO world titles after beating Wladimir Klitschko three years ago but he was stripped of the IBF title after failing to face the mandatory challenger and vacated the remainder amid doping controversy and mental health problems. Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, said on Monday that he planned to begin talks over a rematch.