Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 could be held in Sydney on Boxing Day as chiefs eye massive Christmas Day TV audience – The Sun
THE trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder could take place in Australia – with a shock proposal to take the bout to Sydney's Bankwest Stadium having been revealed.
And the showdown Down Under could take place on Boxing Day, with chiefs eager to capitalise on the US Christmas prime time TV slot.
The fight was due to take place this summer, with the Gypsy King vowing to take Wilder's "scalp" again.
But with the coronavirus pandemic having complicated matters, other alternatives are having to be explored.
With the usual suspects in terms of venues in the US and UK extremely unlikely to be able to host a capacity crowd – the rematch could be taken to a different region of the world – with Macau having been suggested.
But Bob Arum recently revealed that the fight could be taken to Australia – a country that hasn't been as badly-hit by Covid-19 as most.
He told Sky Sports: "Our friends in Australia are talking about doing this fight, probably in Sydney. That’s a possibility."
And with the cat now out of the bag, Aussie promoter Dean Lonergan has claimed credit for the proposal.
The man that brought Manny Pacquiao Down Under to fight Jeff Horn told the Sydney Morning Herald: "When Bob came out and said that we are talking to 'our friends in Australia', I’m the one he’s talking to.
I just had a thought six weeks ago that if these guys can’t do a major fight in Las Vegas or New York, why not come down here where I know we can get a crowd.
"It’s my proposal, I put it to him with budgets, how we’d do it, the whole lot.
“Bob has been an incredible partner and ally for me in the world of boxing.
"I just had a thought six weeks ago that if these guys can’t do a major fight in Las Vegas or New York, why not come down here where I know we can get a crowd.
“We are flexible around the timing, but if we did it at 1.30pm on Boxing Day, it would be beamed back into the States on Christmas night.”
Securing that crowd will be a critical factor, with the second fight in Vegas having raked in £13.8million in gate receipts, a significant portion of the event's revenue.
A 1:30pm Boxing Day start would greatly appeal to organisers for its ability to secure a huge US TV audience.
Due to the time difference, the fight would begin at 9:30pm on Christmas Day in New York, and 6:30pm in Los Angeles.
It wouldn't be great news for British fight fans, however, as they would have to stay up until 2:30am on Boxing Day morning to catch the start of the bout.
They may have to suck it up, however, as The Australian’s Brent Read claims that the venue has already been "tentatively booked" for Boxing Day.
The event would mark the Bankwest Stadium's first fight, having opened in April last year.
Primarily used for football and rugby, the venue boasts a capacity of 30,000 and was designed by the same company responsible for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Being hosted in Sydney would also give the fight an extra historical and cultural significance.
The last heavyweight title fight to take place there was on Boxing Day 1908 – when Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first black heavyweight title-holder.
On marking this significant milestone, Lonergan continued: "Given what is going on around the world at the moment, what an opportunity to celebrate the first African-American to cut through in American culture.
"This is well before the days of Jackie Robinson in the 1950s, Jack Johnson was the most controversial figure of his day, bar nobody. It’s who Muhammad Ali took his lead off.
"He set the platform for African-American success in sports.
“His importance has been overlooked over the past 112 years.
"What he did in 1908 was historically significant. Wouldn't it be totally amazing to get two recent heavyweight champions down here, two of the best self-promoters in the business, to celebrate Jack Johnson’s achievements from 112 years ago.”
The first two Fury-Wilder fights were the biggest promotions of Arum's illustrious career, but Lonergan believes that his strong relationship with the veteran American could be key in securing the third.
He said: "It’s an excellent relationship, I have enormous respect for Bob since he came down here with Manny Pacquiao.
"We’ve done a few deals like when Jeff fought Terence Crawford. We had a deal on the table to fight Ryota Murata, the middleweight champion, but unfortunately it didn’t eventuate because of the loss to Michael Zerafa.
“This could be a massive historical event."
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