Boxing: Fury v Wilder back on? Gypsy King's bout with Agit Kabayel in doubt as court battle looms

Tyson Fury's planned December bout against Agit Kabayel seems dead, with the WBC heavyweight champion once again eyeing a rematch with Deontay Wilder.

'The Gypsy King' and 'The Bronze Bomber' failed to agree to terms on the trilogy fight, so Fury moved on to a voluntary defence of his newly won strap against the undefeated German next month. 

Victory against Kabayel would have likely set up an undisputed heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua next year, but American Wilder has initiated a mediation process, with the case to be heard next week.

That will hopefully result in an agreement between the two mammoth heavyweights to settle their differences inside the ring early next year.

Fury confirmed the news on social media on Tuesday, telling fans he will be back in 2021. 

"The Gypsy King is returning in 2021," Fury posted on Twitter. "Only those that have supported me 100 percent since my comeback will be with me for the glory."

Fury fought Wilder to a draw in their first meeting in 2018, before handing the American his first professional loss in the February rematch. 

Both had agreed to a rematch clause for a third fight, but the coronavirus pandemic proved a roadblock in the negotiation process.

As a result, once the rematch stipulation expired, Fury moved on from the trilogy to instead focus on facing Anthony Joshua, 31, twice next year.

With Fury and Wilder now back in discussions for a third fight, the mouthwatering prospect of an all-British battle for heavyweight boxing supremacy could be in jeopardy.

According to Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, Fury could be out of the ring for some time, as the Fury/Wilder situation continues to muddy the heavyweight waters. 

"We try and avoid the mess, and keep discipline and focus on what we're doing," Hearn says.

"The path for AJ has always been clear - with the ups and downs of the Ruiz fight, getting that rematch over the line.

"But we know what we're doing - December 12 [against Kubrat Pulev] and we're focused on the victory.

"That's their [Fury and Wilder's] business. It's a right mess either way and it's not going to resolve itself any time soon."

Okeksandr Usyk
Okeksandr Usyk Photo credit: Reuters
WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua
WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua Photo credit: AAP

The imposing figure of Oleksandr Usyk also lurks in the shadows. The former Olympic heavyweight champion booked a future fight with Joshua, when he dispatched Derek Chisora in London earlier this month.

Hearn acknowledges Joshua and Usyk are on a collision course, but once his charge clears the challenge of Pulev, he hopes boxing's sanctioning bodies will order the unification bout with Fury, leaving Usyk to fight the winner. 

"Ultimately, after that fight with Pulev, we want to be in a position to say 'This is the fight for the undisputed'.

"Get the sanctioning in place and obviously you've got [Oleksandr] Usyk now standing in the wings, saying 'Once that Pulev fight is over, I want to be called as mandatory'.

"That's just going to be another issue that we're going to have to deal with. Hopefully, they can resolve whatever problem - who is right, who is wrong - and we can have a clearer picture of who the best is." 

Fury's American promoter, Bob Arum, told iFL TV a 2020 fight makes no sense financially, because of COVID-19 and the lack of a live gate.

Arum says the division will become clear once Joshua fights Pulev.

"If Pulev wins, Joshua won't be available, because Eddie [Hearn] has a rematch clause with Pulev," Arum says. "So that leaves Wilder as the next best guy for Tyson.

"So if Pulev beats Joshua, we will talk to Fury about the Wilder fight for February, then hopefully by then, the pandemic will be under control and we can put the fight in Allegiance Stadium in Las Vegas. 

"That leaves Joshua and Pulev to fight the rematch, or Joshua v Usyk, if he beats Pulev, with  Tyson or Wilder to fight the winner."