Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko rematch to take place Oct. 29 in England

ByDan Rafael ESPN logo
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

LONDON -- More than two months after heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury pulled out of his rematch with former champion Wladimir Klitschko, citing a sprained ankle, the contractually mandated rematch was rescheduled on Wednesday.

They will meet again Oct. 29 at the Manchester Arena in Fury's hometown of Manchester, England.

"I'm delighted that we can finally get the fight back on and in Manchester on Oct. 29th," Peter Fury, Tyson's uncle and trainer, said. "After hard discussions, we can now focus on giving the fans what they deserve -- another barnburner of a fight. Team Fury will ensure Tyson is in the shape of his life to successfully retain his world titles."

The fight was initially scheduled to take place July 9, also at Manchester Arena, but the 28-year-old Fury withdrew in late June after he said he sprained his ankle during a run and his doctor told him he needed to lay off it for about six weeks.

Fury and Klitschko -- who genuinely seem to dislike each other given all the harsh words they have exchanged -- are scheduled to appear to together at a news conference Monday in London.

On Nov. 28 in Dusseldorf, Germany, where Klitschko is a major star, Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) pulled one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history. He won a unanimous decision -- 116-111, 115-112, 115-112 -- against Ukraine's Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs) to take his various sanctioning-organization title belts and the lineal world championship, although he was later stripped of one of the belts for accepting the rematch rather than facing a mandatory opponent.

Fury's unexpected victory -- in a fight that was roundly criticized as dull -- ended Klitschko's 11-year unbeaten run and historic 9-year title reign, during which he made 18 successful defenses -- the third most in heavyweight history. Klitschko, who turned 40 in March, immediately exercised his right to a rematch and agreed to fight in Fury's hometown.

"Everyone involved has worked tirelessly to get the world heavyweight title rematch between Tyson and Wladimir back on and I'm thrilled that it's now officially confirmed," said Mick Hennessy, Fury's promoter. "This is the rematch that the boxing world has been waiting to see and the anticipation is now at boiling point, so expect a highly charged and explosive fight when the best two heavyweights in the world collide.

"As Tyson's promoter, I have 100 percent confidence that he will retain his titles in front of his fans and make it another memorable night for British boxing to remember."

Klitschko and his team grew frustrated in recent weeks by the delay in rescheduling the fight. Klitschko even threatened to sue Fury in an effort to force him to live up to their contract. But now that the rematch is on, all is well.

"Team Klitschko is very happy that after Fury's postponements we finally have a new date," said Bernd Boente, Klitschko's manager. "It is great that our event can stay in the Manchester Arena. This is one of the best venues worldwide and has already seen many great fights. We know that Wladimir will be in the best shape on Oct. 29th and we are very confident that he will regain the heavyweight championships."

Fury will go into the rematch with questions about possible performance-enhancing drug use hanging over him, although not in regards to the November fight with Klitschko.

Fury tested positive for a banned substance in an earlier fight, even though, for reasons that are unclear, the results did not come to light until June, well after he had beaten Klitschko. Fury faces a hearing on Nov. 4 and if he is found guilty he could be banned. Of course, by that time he will have already faced Klitschko in a lucrative rematch.

The fight will air on host broadcaster BoxNation in the United Kingdom and is expected to be added to the HBO schedule in the United States. Tickets purchased for the original July 9 date remain valid for the rescheduled bout.