Heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder forcefully said on Tuesday that he wants no other fight besides a rematch with lineal champion Tyson Fury in the wake of their epic draw.
"I'm willing and ready to give Fury the opportunity ASAP. It's only right to give Fury a rematch as soon as possible," Wilder said on a teleconference with boxing reporters. "I'm ready whenever he's ready to do it. I'm ready to give the fans what they want to see and end this talk once and for all [about who won]."
Wilder and Fury put on a classic heavyweight championship fight Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles in a much-anticipated showdown that more than lived up to the hype. It was a fight of the year candidate in which Wilder scored two knockdowns, one in the ninth round and then a thunderous one in the 12th round that Fury shockingly survived.
In the end, one judge scored the fight 115-111 for Wilder, one judge had it 114-112 for Fury and one had it 113-113 as Wilder retained his belt for the eighth time and Fury retained the lineal championship in his first defense.
"Everyone is talking about this fight and it's about to happen again," Wilder said. "You got one side going for him, you got one side going for me and you got one side that feel it was a draw. I don't know how this man got up. He don't even know how he got up. I feel he had an army of prayers around him. I feel like God got this man up [from the canvas] for the rematch."
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, considered by many the most devastating puncher in boxing, hit Fury cleanly with a right hand on the chin and followed with a left hook to score a brutal knockdown in the final round. Fury was motionless for the first few seconds of referee Jack Reiss' count but then stunningly got up.
"When the rematch happens, there's no excuses. We were able to see what he was able to do -- get up," Wilder said. "I seen this guy's eyes roll slowly in the back of his head. Many people felt it should have been waved off. Nine times out of 10 the referee would wave that off."
Lou DiBella, Wilder's promoter, is a big WWE fan, and Fury's ability to beat the count reminded him of a particular wrestler.
"When Deontay landed that shot in the 12th round, it was one of the more devastating shots you've seen landed and a giant 6-foot-9 man went down like a tree and slammed into the canvas and then popped up like The Undertaker," DiBella said. "And the look on Deontay's face in the ring at that moment looked like one of the scripted looks at a WWE WrestleMania match because he just saw a guy get up and had no idea how that was possible. And that 20 seconds right there is a million buys in the next pay-per-view."
Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), 30, of England, also has expressed interest in having a rematch, and the direct communication between Fury and Wilder is part of what helped the first fight get made.
"Both sides definitely, seriously want it to happen [again]," Wilder said. "Why wouldn't we? It was a great fight, and the buildup has already started right now. We can't get away from this fight. It's only right for us to go back in and do it again. I don't want no other fight to happen. He don't have to worry about me moving past him, and I hope he don't have to go fight no one else. I want to give Tyson Fury the rematch ASAP.
"Some people feel I don't want the rematch. Why would I not? I'm the baddest man on the planet. Whenever he's ready, I'm ready. I don't want no one else but Tyson Fury. I think the fans deserve the rematch."
"Everyone wants to know what's going to happen in the second fight," Wilder continued. "They got him winning, they got me winning and some got it a draw. This is going to answer everyone's questions. Everyone's going to tune in, so it's going to be an even bigger event. When it does [happen], I'm going to be excited because I want the heavyweight division to win. I want American boxing to win."
Showtime will replay the pay-per-view fight this Saturday (9 p.m. ET), followed by the debut of the "All Access: Wilder vs. Fury" epilogue episode.
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza said his network will support a pay-per-view sequel and is looking forward to getting it done after the fighters have time to recover from such a taxing fight.
"We're not going to rush anything to fit into a certain timetable," Espinoza said. "Both of those guys earned a long, long rest, but you heard in Deontay's voice the rest isn't going to be too long. So if they said May, that would be great. June would be great. April sounds a little quick to me."
Wilder said he and Fury have a healthy respect for each other and even like each other, despite the harsh words in the final days leading to the fight. Wilder expects it to be more of the same for a rematch.
"It ain't no doubt in my mind nor will it be a doubt in Fury's mind that when the second time comes around there's gonna be a lot of intensity. There's gonna be a lot to say still," Wilder said. "It's probably gonna be like the first promotion. The second fight is all about proving a point: Who won the first fight? And that's enough there to get you excited, to get you motivated as the fighter who is going to be performing on that night.
"You think the first fight was something? Oh, my god! Can't wait for the second one. It might be a trilogy if we go as good as the first. But you'll get the best of Deontay Wilder. You ain't ever seen me in a boring fight. Me and Fury did it like true champions. We came together, we conversated amongst each other and we got this fight done because we are the best in the division and we wanted to prove to each other who is the best. We came together and did that, and it was amazing. And I'm ready to do it again."