Any talk of a winner-takes-all showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will have to wait for the time being after Deontay Wilder indicated that he will take up the rematch option in his contract following his seventh round TKO defeat to Fury in Las Vegas on Saturday.
It had seemed that there was a significant appetite between all parties to assemble a summer fight between WBC champion Fury and Joshua, who holds the other three recognised world titles, with promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren stating that their fighters — and their respective broadcasters — would bow to make what would be the most momentous heavyweight title fight in a generation.
Wilder, though, says that he wants another crack at the cherry and told Lance Pugmire of The Athletic that he will take up the option embedded in his contract. He had 30 days to announce his intentions. It is expected that the third fight may take place in July.
A third fight between Fury and Wilder will no doubt be another money-spinning exercise but it remains to be seen if the trilogy fight can capture the same sense of attention from the sporting world given the definitive conclusion that we saw on Saturday night. A large part of the selling point of the contest was the undefeated records held by both men but with Fury now the only unbeaten champion in the heavyweight class, the third fight will almost certainly not have the same attention as the second.
This also means that Joshua will now likely set up a fight with his mandatory contender, Bulgarian fighter Kubrat Pulev. A win for both Fury and Joshua in their next fights will pave the way for the all-British heavyweight affair.