Deontay Wilder could be set for a shock chance to regain the WBC heavyweight crown if Tyson Fury sticks to his retirement claim.
The American is also considering his future in the sport but he remains the No 1 ranked heavyweight with the WBC. Fury is adamant he is walking away from the sport and if he backs up his threat to quit then the title will become vacant.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has opened the door for Wilder to fight for the vacant belt, should his rival Fury vacate. He told Sky Sports: “Certainly. Because he is the No 1-ranked contender in the division. I spoke to him a couple of months ago, he is doing great and he is looking forward to resuming his boxing career.”
Wilder has not fought since he was brutally knocked out by Fury back in October when they met for a third time in Las Vegas. The American was bidding to regain the title he lost to Fury in February 2020.
But, despite putting the Gypsy King down twice, he failed again against the Brit and, at 36, is understood to be still contemplating his next step which could mean retirement.
Sulaiman also revealed the WBC could use a tournament to decide the next WBC mandatory challenger should Fury keep hold of the title and fight on.
“We have one year to have the next mandatory fight,” he said. “At this moment, we will wait for the decision of Tyson Fury, and then we will either do a series of fights – a boxing tournament – going into a final elimination, but at this time we’re going to wait because we don’t know the specific circumstances.”
Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker are ranked behind Wilder in the WBC ratings but they’re set to face each other on July 2, with the WBO ‘interim’ belt set to be on the line.
Meanwhile, Sulaiman has reiterated that Fury won’t be rushed to make an announcement on his status as WBC champion. There had been a claim from the WBC chief he would ask the Morecambe-based fighter to signal his intentions last week but he has now appeared to change his mind on that. Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte in the sixth round last month to defend the title.
The Gypsy King is currently on holiday with wife Paris and their children and has not yet officially given up the WBC crown. Sulaiman said: “I just received a very beautiful video from Tyson with his father and his family while on vacation. We spoke and we’re going to be speaking in the near future.
“We will give him the time he needs. I do not like to speculate. I would rather wait to give him his due time for his holiday.
The WBC will certainly support him, whatever he decides. If he thinks its time to hang up the gloves, enjoy life and be a successful family man and have a great future, we will support him. If he decides to continue fighting, we will support him.”