Epic Fury-Wilder trilogy headed to Australia

AN audacious proposal to bring an historic heavyweight world title bout to Sydney has been revealed by legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum.

Multi-purpose venue Bankwest Stadium has emerged as a leading contender to host the trilogy fight between heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

Arum leaked the details in an interview with Sky Sports saying, “our friends in Australia are talking about doing this fight, probably in Sydney. That’s a possibility.”

Those ‘friends’ are D & L Events, run by promoter Dean Lonergan with whom Arum combined to bring Manny Pacquiao to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium to fight local star Jeff Horn in 2017.

Following Arum’s comments, Lonergan has confirmed the details of his pitch to bring Fury and Wilder to Australia in late 2020.

“I made a proposal to Bob about a month ago and we have been going back and forth ever since. The proposal was for a date in November or December with Parramatta’s new Bankwest Stadium being one of the most suitable venues for an event of this magnitude,” says Lonergan.

“Last week Bob asked me for an update on when crowds might be able to return and now he’s gone public with the plan so the signs are very good!”

Arum’s Top Rank is staging boxing at empty venues in the US from this week but there is a strong preference to stage an event of the magnitude of the WBC heavyweight world title fight in front of spectators.

The first fight between the pair ended in a thrilling draw, with Fury a decisive winner in February’s rematch in Las Vegas. The trilogy clash was originally scheduled for July but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement.

There is an historical homage paid in Lonergan’s proposal, with December 26 his preferred date for the world title bout.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic to stage the fight on Boxing Day, December 26, which was the date in 1908 that Jack Johnson beat Tommy Burns in Sydney to become the first African American heavyweight champion of the world,” he says.

“That was the last truly great heavyweight title fight in Australia and we are overdue for another. Imagine how big this event would be in Australia!”

Arum has named Macau as the other possible international host for the event, telling Sky Sports, “there are six big casino properties in Macau. We’ve talked to them. We are waiting to see if authorities in Macau will allow an event with full spectators in November or December.”

Should spectators be able to return to US venues later in the year, Arum has announced Las Vegas’ new Allegiant Stadium as his preferred venue for the trilogy bout.

Words: Ben Damon/Follow Ben on Twitter
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank