International Sports

Wilder and Fury's heavyweight matchup could open the door for a $100 million 'superfight'

Key Points
  • $24 million fight purse to be split between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on Saturday night.
  • Wilder and Fury are both unbeaten heavyweight champions and will fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) title.
  • Winner could go on to face British boxer Anthony Joshua to fight for the undisputed heavyweight title and a share of $100 million.
Professional boxers Deontay Wilder (L) and Tyson Fury speak face-to-face onstage during a press conference to promote their upcoming December 1, 2018 fight in Los Angeles at The Novo by Microsoft on October 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Saturday night in Los Angeles will see two unbeaten heavyweight boxing champions clash for a world title and a combined fight purse reported to be $24 million.

The war of words between World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Deontay Wilder and British fighter Tyson Fury has been escalating in the build-up to the fight, with both men putting their perfect win records on the line.

Wilder stands to earn $14 million for the December 1 showdown, while Fury is expected to make $10 million regardless of the outcome. It will be the biggest payday for either fighter so far in their careers, with Wilder in line to almost double his net worth during his nights work at the Staples Center.

Three years ago this week, Fury shocked the world of boxing by inflicting a first defeat in eleven years on Ukrainian fighter Wladimir Klitschko and winning the other four heavyweight belts in the process.

What followed was a combination of inactivity, governing body disputes and allegations of doping, meaning Fury then had to relinquish the titles. However, he still considers himself to be the true linear champion.

In November 2017, Fury admitted to weighing 400 lbs. and had slipped into a dangerous downward spiral of alcohol and drug addiction, as well as suffering from depression.

He chose to turn his life around and by the time he had his first comeback fight in June this year he was down to 275 lbs., before shedding another 20 lbs. more at his next fight in August.

Known for his controversial comments about women and homosexuality in the past, Fury is now a reformed character and an advocate for anyone affected by mental health issues.

"I stand for more than just a championship. I'm here today as an ambassador for mental health and I am the people's champion. I am the man who gives the people hope," Fury said on Wednesday.

Fury is the self-proclaimed "Gypsy King," coined from his traveler background. He ripped his shirt off during a scuffle at the final press conference on Wednesday, as the two fighters and their camps collided during the obligatory pose-off for photographers.

The pair were separated before any punches were thrown, but not before Fury goaded Wilder for being a relative unknown in his own country, despite being the champion.

Boxing champions Wilder, Fury to face each other in heavyweight fight
Boxing champions Wilder, Fury to face each other in heavyweight fight

"It's just the emotion that's come out of it. He's always talking about how he comes from his motherland where no man can beat him and all the things that he's done. Well, if so, and I'm so less of you, why haven't you accomplished what I've accomplished?" Wilder said following the fracas.

Speculation has already begun as to what will happen after the fight, with Wilder's terms including a rematch clause should he lose the belt he's defended seven times already. However, should there not be an appetite for these two to fight again, the winner may decide to move onto a bout with the other heavyweight champion in the division Anthony Joshua.

Joshua holds the three other major titles and has been regularly selling out 80,000-seater stadiums in Britain. Despite holding discussions with Wilder and Fury in the past, a deal was never made, but that stance may change depending on the outcome this weekend, opening the door for what could be a fight purse in the region of $100 million for a heavyweight superfight in 2019.