TYSON FURY revealed he could rematch Deontay Wilder in March or April next year and goaded his rival by blasting “he cannot run forever”.
After the heavyweight giants fought to a contentious split-decision draw in December a rematch looked in place for this year.
However, Fury, 30, signed an £80million deal with ESPN and will fight Tom Schwarz on June 15 while Wilder, 33, took one round to knockout WBC mandatory Dominic Breazeale on Saturday.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show the Gypsy King revealed he has been told the rematch could happen next year with Wilder expected to face Luis Ortiz and Adam Kownacki in the meantime.
Fury said: “We were very close to a rematch. We had contracts, they had contracts, we were trying to agree terms and then all of a sudden, I had a massive deal from ESPN.
“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. That would have been in May. Deontay Wilder apparently signed a three-fight deal before I signed an ESPN deal.
“He signed a deal to fight Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz and Adam Kownacki. So this is all done before we even put pen to paper.
Deontay Wilder cannot run from Tyson Fury forever. The fight has to happen. This rematch has got to happen, but it won’t be in May, June, July or August, this I’m being told is likely to happen March, April of next year.
Tyson Fury on Deontay Wilder rematch
“If the fighters are willing to fight then why should a network get in the way? Fighters use that as an excuse – AKA Anthony Joshua.
“He uses that a lot as an excuse. But I believe if the fighters really want to fight each other [the fight can be made] as I proved.
“Deontay Wilder cannot run from Tyson Fury forever. The fight has to happen.
“This rematch has got to happen, but it won’t be in May, June, July or August, this I’m being told is likely to happen March, April of next year.”
After Wilder left Breazeale flattened in just two minutes and 17 seconds in New York the WBC champion made a “promise” to fight unified titleist Joshua, 29.
The Bronze Bomber claimed it is their “obligation” to fight and vowed to avoid another Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe situation where the two champs famously never fought as professionals.
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While Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn insisted Wilder “must” fight the WBA, IBF and WBO king in his next contest.
Two days after his 40th career KO, Wilder won double Emmy awards for his part in the Showtime production Wilder vs Fury: All Access.
The 24/7 behind the scenes programme won two sports awards – outstanding edited sports event coverage and outstanding edited sports special or series.