By Jeff Aronow: Tyson Fury revealed this week that he would have had to pay $80 million in a lawsuit if he didn’t fight Deontay Wilder for their contractual rematch. Fury would be risking deep debt if he walked away from the rematch with Wilder and wound up being sued for $80M.
Giving Wilder his rematch wasn’t something Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) seemed interested in doing. He was FORCED because of the potential of losing eighty million dollars if he walked away.
Fury says it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d vacated his WBC heavyweight title. He would still be under contract with Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), and he would be sued if he chose to move on.
It’s a shame that Wilder had to take the fight to arbitration to get his contractual rematch, as he gave Fury a voluntary title shot for their last fight when he was still the WBC champion. When a champion makes a voluntary defense, they always include a rematch clause in case they lose.
Typically, it’s not a problem for the champion to get a rematch if they lose, but in this case, Wilder had a dickens of a time getting Fury to give him his contractual fight.
It seemed to many boxing fans that Fury had no genuine desire to give Wilder his rematch. Hence, he took it to an arbitration judge, and as you would expect, they ordered Fury to provide Wilder with his contractually bound trilogy fight.
Fury: Wilder’s contract had expired
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m not optimistic the fight will ever happen, to be fair,” said Fury to The Overlap on the clash against Joshua.
“He’s a fighting man. Me and Joshua were going to fight, but no contracts were signed. Then all of a sudden, Deontay put in an arbitration against me by one of the top judges and lawyers in America.
“So I can’t do anything about that. If you want to bring a court case against me in America, even if I’m not done anything, I’ve got to defend it or else I’m guilty.
“That’s how it works. I said, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ So they want to go to court and fight for his rematch.
“His [Wilder] contract had expired because of the COVID. To be honest with you, fair is fair, and I’m a fair man myself.
“If the shoe were on the other foot, I’d want my third fight because it was never my fault or Wilder’s fault the rematch never happened.
“It was the world got turned on its head, and it didn’t happen because of COVID.
“So all of a sudden, we’re in court now, and he won the case. The judge said, ‘Fair is fair, give the lad his rematch, and that’s it.’ There’s not much I could do about that,” said Fury.
If Fury is as fair as he says he is, why wasn’t he sticking it out to the Wilder fight done rather than attempting to move on and fight Anthony Joshua last August?
The Gypsy King Fury’s actions were that of a fighter trying to walk away from his contractual rematch with Wilder.
The money that Fury would have made for fighting Joshua last August in Saudi Arabia was impossible to resist.
But Fury was still under contract to Wilder, and whoever told him that he could walk away and fight Joshua advised him wrong.
Fury would be sued $80 million
“It’s not the [WBC] belt,” said Fury. “He’s contracted to me, so it has nothing to do with the belt.
“I could do this with the belt [Fury kicks the imaginary WBC belt], and then all of a sudden, me and Wilder are fighting each other with no belt.
“Do you know how much the suing case is if I didn’t fight him? $80 million.
“Listen, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes. I was never very optimistic about the AJ fight happening because this was always going on in the background.
“They all knew that. Eddie Hearn knew that; Joshua knew that. They all knew it.
“But all of a sudden, it’s my fault, and I don’t want to fight because I’m a s*** house.
“Listen, I’ll flatten him. I fought the best men in the world and beat them, but I’m scared of this plum,” said Fury.
Wilder had a rematch clause that is forcing Fury to fight. If Fury didn’t fight Wilder, it would have hurt the Bronze Bomber’s career because he wouldn’t get the chance to avenge his loss.
Wilder’s earning power would likely have decreased because of his loss to Fury last year, and he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
What’s sad is that Wilder had to take it to arbitration to get his rematch with Fury. If he didn’t do that, Fury would have moved on and fought Joshua.
Fury couldn’t just say the contract had expired because the fight was postponed because of COVID, and ESPN didn’t want to show the battle until February. Fury’s belief that he could move on was because the contract had expired.
Even after the judge ruled in Wilder’s favor, Fury pulled out of the July 24th fight because of COVID. Fury didn’t cancel the contest, and it was postponed until October 9th.
Will Fury pull out of the fight again? No, I don’t think he will because there are some severe consequences that could happen if he does.
Wilder mentioned this week in an interview that he would sue Fury for big money, and he would have to give him his WBC title if he pulled out of the fight again.
Tyson Fury is the one that mentioned the actual figure of $80 million, not Wilder.
Whether that figure is entirely accurate is unknown. It sounds like a tremendous amount for one fight. But even if it were $40-50 million that Fury would need to cough up to give to Wilder if he pulled out, that’s still a considerable amount of money.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Fury has a net worth of $30 million. So you can see how Fury would be put into debt potentially if he walked away and was sued for Eighty million.