After months of talk and delays, a third bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder appears to have fallen apart. In fact, WBC heavyweight champion Fury said he has officially “moved on” from the fight, and will look to get back in the ring before the end of 2020.
After a controversial December 2018 split draw, Fury and Wilder rematched in February. The undefeated Fury handed Wilder the first loss of his professional career with a seventh-round TKO in a one-sided bout. The loser of the bout had a contractual guarantee that they could initiate a rematch taking the short side of a 60-40 purse split. Wilder immediately invoked the clause, but as the bout continued to get pushed to later in the year, and eventually to 2021, Fury said he has had enough.
The originally targeted date for the trilogy fight was July 18, but a Wilder injury — as well as the pandemic — bumped the bout to October.
“Then they asked me if I would agree to push it to December. I agreed to Dec. 19,” Fury told The Athletic. “Then they tried to change the date again into next year. I’ve been training. I’m ready. When they tried moving off Dec. 19 and pushing to next year, enough was enough. I’ve moved on.”
Fury’s words back up those of his co-promoter, Frank Warren, who recently told ESPN, “Promoters on both sides, we have worked very hard to make it happen, but it’s looking like it will not happen. There’s talk about it happening next year. Tyson has been training like a lot of guys solidly since February, and he wants to fight this year.”
Warren said that Fury would “maybe revisit the fight another time” as the champion works toward his goal of a unification showdown with Anthony Joshua, the man who holds the three other recognized heavyweight world championships.
“I am the best fighter in the world,” Fury told The Athletic. “The lineal heavyweight champion. The two-time Ring magazine heavyweight champion. The WBC heavyweight champion. And before the end of 2021, I will be the only man on this earth with a heavyweight championship belt.”
For their part, the Wilder camp has denied that the timer has run out on their contracted rematch, with Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel stating, “They are wrong, we will fight in December.”
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. push back on claims exhibition bout won’t be a ‘real fight’
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. were once tied together for a possible heavyweight showdown when both were active professional boxers. Now, with both men in their 50s, they are set to meet in an exhibition fight on Nov. 28.
The two men participated in a press conference Thursday in anticipation of the fight, with both men talking up the importance of the fight and addressing their preparation at their advanced age.
“I think he looks awesome,” Jones said of recent footage of Tyson training in the gym. “He looks very good. I was very proud to see him bounce back the way he did. Most guys, at 54, they start counting themselves out. Think about it, when I came along, at 32 years old, you were considered an old guy who couldn’t box no more. Seeing Mike hit the pads and the body bag the way he’s doing it, it’s phenomenal. But, we’re freaks. That’s why this is such a big thing.”
Tyson said that he has been sparring, and has gone as long as seven rounds. The fight is an eight-round affair, featuring two-minute rounds, which Tyson took issue with because “the women fight two minutes.”
“I look at film of Roy when he was at his best because that’s the guy I anticipate fighting,” Tyson said. “I’m in the best shape. I boxed seven rounds so far and it keeps improving. I’m boxing younger guys and hungry guys and it’s showing me that, from the looks of things, I’m doing really well.”
California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster stated that the bout, which takes place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, should not be confused with a “fight-fight” and that the fighters have been instructed to not go beyond “hard sparring.” Foster also said referee Ray Corona will be enforcing that neither man is to actively look for a knockout and will keep the intensity of the bout in check.
Both Tyson and Jones took issue with that line of thinking when asked how they will approach the fight under these guidelines.
“Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about that it’s not a real fight,” Tyson said. “It’s Mike Tyson and Roy Jones and I’m coming to fight and I hope he’s coming to fight. That’s all you need to know.”
Jones doubled down on the thinking, stating, “First of all, if you think you’re going to get in the ring with Mike Tyson, the last guy to get an ‘exhibition’ with Mike got dropped in the first round. If you don’t know that, there’s something wrong with you. Who goes in the ring with the great, legendary Mike Tyson and thinks ‘Oh, this is an exhibition’? 12-ounce gloves? No headgear? Really? This is an exhibition? Come on, bro. Be real.”
The original plans with the CSAC included the fight not being scored. The fight has changed slightly, with the WBC entering the picture and implementing a remote scoring system while also putting up a “Frontline Championship” they created for the fight.
Asked why they would open up their exhibition to an “alphabet organization” like the WBC, especially in light of Floyd Mayweather’s recent comments that boxing is hurt by the number of belts in the sport, Jones became visibly upset.
“I don’t give a damn what nobody got to say. I do what I do, my business is my business,” Jones said. “I don’t care what [Mayweather] or nobody else says. It’s got nothing to do with him. This ain’t got nothing to do with him. He can stay in his lane and do what he’s got to do. Let me do what I do. Secondly, when I was fighting, I wasn’t like them. I went and got every belt possible in my weight class at the time. Mike did the same thing. We come from the old school. We want every belt you got, I don’t care what kind it is. It can be the Joe Petty Seafood belt. I want that. If you want to see me perform and you put a belt on the line? It’s like drugs, I can’t say no.
“It don’t mean nothing to him, maybe. But it means the world to me.”
Tyson didn’t have much to add, but did support Roy’s message, stating, “He said it all. It’s like drugs.”
Australia v India, 2020-21 – Cameron Green’s runs defy Justin Langer’s first impression
About the time Cameron Green was getting into the 190s for Western Australia in Adelaide, a fourth century in his most recent nine Sheffield Sheld matches, a mea culpa message buzzed through to the phone of the former selector Greg Chappell. It was from Australia’s coach, Justin Langer, who was finally ready to concede his first impressions of Green had been overtaken.
In fairness to Langer, that first impression had taken the shape of a zingy, swinging spell of pace bowling from Green at Bellerive in early 2017, when he snapped up 5 for 24 on his Shield debut for the state while batting at No. 8. Chappell, though, had remained steadfast in his belief that Green would ultimately be more valuable to Australian cricket as a batsman than a bowler, with the risk of losing that opportunity through the injuries so often suffered by young speedsters.
So Langer, a few days before selecting Green in Australia’s limited-overs squad to face India without seeing him even bowl a single competitive ball this season, reached out magnanimously to Chappell. “I texted Greg Chappell a couple days ago,” Langer said, “and I said ‘GC, wasn’t it me that was telling you what a great batsman Cameron Green was’ and I had a whole lot of smiley emojis, because Greg Chappell’s been telling me for two years ‘Cameron Green is brilliant, he is the best young batting talent’.
“[Back then] I said ‘mate he’s six foot seven, I saw him bowl to George Bailey in his first over and he’ll never bowl a better over in his whole career than he did’. When I first saw him bowl I thought his action was like a young Shaun Pollock, because it was just so simple, but then he grew a lot.
“I know he’s working hard on his action to ensure he stays healthy, but if Greg Chappell’s telling me he’s the best young talent he’s seen for a long time, and I’ve seen how he bowls, he’s potentially in the future a great all-round package. At the moment his batting speaks for itself and he’s bowling a few overs. But it’ll be a pretty good package won’t it, if he stays fit and healthy.”
Leaving aside a low score on a grassy pitch in the Shield game against Tasmania that began on Friday, Green has won plaudits from opposing captains, bowlers and team-mates for offering a maturity of approach that does not always seem the way of a 21-year-old. No less a judge than the Test captain Tim Paine has spoken warmly of Green’s awareness of what bowlers and captains are trying to do, and of the unruffled countenance that has allowed him to put together many hours at the crease.
“He bats long periods,” Langer said. “I know George Bailey’s really big on this as one of our new selectors, he bats time. Allan Border used to say ‘there’s a lot more time than you think young fella’, so there’s a lot of time in Test cricket, there’s a bit more time in one-day cricket. Obviously there’s less time in T20 and he was batting down the order for the Scorchers last year, which is a tough spot for anyone let alone a kid, but he’s ticking a lot of boxes at the moment.
“I go back to the point, competition’s healthy, he is banging really hard on the door, like Moises [Henriques] has been doing, and he deserves an opportunity as a specific replacement for Mitch [Marsh]. So they’re banging on the door hard, which is a positive thing.
“When I used to go play county cricket all those years ago, all the English guys used to say ‘in Australia you’ve got this great youth policy, you always pick these young players’ and they talk about Damien Martyn or Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke. But what I kept saying was ‘it’s not a youth policy, you just pick the guys who are playing the best cricket’. Cameron Green’s got, albeit in Sheffield Shield cricket, four hundreds in his last six or seven Shield games, so he’s a terrific young player.”
Expectations of course are now sky high, not least after Chappell himself labelled Green the best young talent he had seen come through since Ricky Ponting. But Langer is hopeful that the same temperament Green has displayed in the middle will be applied to dead-bat the dangers of thinking too far ahead, or letting the ego chase deliveries that the mind and hands would prefer to leave well alone.
“It tends to happen doesn’t it, the new kid on the block comes in and there’s high praise and people get carried away,” Langer said. “How does he handle it? He watches the ball as closely as he is now, he stays fit and healthy and he gets on with his job.
“That’s the hardest part actually of playing international cricket, eliminating the distractions, but that’s what mental toughness is about, he’s not going to have it all at the moment, it’s going to be a journey for a long time for him as it is with any young player. But this is all part of it, people will say ‘he’s the next future captain, he’s the next Ben Stokes, he’s the next this and this’, that’s why I tell all of them not to listen to any of it. If he wants to keep watching the ball, that’s all he needs to do.”
One additional Badgers player, two staff members test positive for COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak in the Wisconsin Badgers football program continues to grow.
The athletic department announced Thursday that one additional Badgers player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 16 active COVID-19 cases in the program, including 15 positive tests since Oct. 24.
On Wednesday, Wisconsin canceled its Oct. 31 game against Nebraska after 12 people — six student athletes and six staff members, including head coach Paul Chryst — tested positive for the coronavirus.
All football activities have been paused for at least one week, slotting the team’s earliest possible return date at Nov. 4. Wisconsin’s next game on the schedule is Nov. 7 against Purdue at home. Based on CDC and Big Ten protocols, Chryst can potentially return to the Badgers in person on Nov. 7 following a 10-day quarantine period.
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez received his results Thursday and tested negative for COVID-19.