Tyson Fury may not be fighting either Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk next, but he’s still set for a career-high payday thanks to the largest purse bid in boxing history.
Queensberry Promotions, Fury’s main UK-based promoter headed by Frank Warren, submitted a $41,025,000 bid to take promotional control of Fury’s WBC heavyweight title defense versus mandatory challenger and fellow Brit Dillian Whyte. That mega offer beat out the bid by Matchroom Boxing (Whyte’s promoter), which was $32,222,222.
This is the coin flipped to determine the opening of the bids— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) January 28, 2022
$32,222,222 by @MatchroomBoxing
This is the biggest purse bid in the history of boxing
Congratulations #FuryWhyte @WBCBoxing Heavyweight championship@Tyson_Fury @DillianWhyte pic.twitter.com/Blz4IUDKlH
The WBC rules for this purse bid gave Fury the 80-20 split in his favor, but there’s also 10% of the bid kept as a bonus for whomever wins. So Fury is guaranteed about $29.5 million, Whyte gets $7.4 million, and the winner gets an additional $4.1 million.
If you’re unfamiliar with purse bids, sanctioning bodies can order fights between (usually) champions and mandatory challengers to be negotiated and agreed upon within a certain window. When the two parties can’t come to contractual and financial terms, then a purse bid is ordered and whichever promoter bids the highest gets the rights to the fight.
It should be noted that Queensberry co-promotes Fury with Top Rank Boxing, so really it’s Queensberry/Top Rank winning the purse bid, and the end result is that ESPN pay-per-view and BT Sport Box Office are expected to broadcast Fury vs. Whyte. The fight is targeted for April 23rd in the United Kingdom, Fury’s first home fight since a tune-up back in 2018.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) is coming off an epic knockout win over Deontay Wilder last October. Five knockdowns were exchanged, with Fury dropping Wilder in the third round, then Wilder scoring two knockdowns in the fourth, then Fury put Deontay down in the 10th and then one more time in the 11th. ‘The Gypsy King’ has elevated his global profile through his trilogy with Wilder, going 2-0-1 against the vaunted knockout artist.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) had never had a major title shot in his career, but has faced the likes of Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora twice, and Alexander Povetkin twice. ‘The Body Snatcher’ lost by knockout to Joshua and Povetkin but later avenged the Povetkin defeat, knocked out Chisora in their rematch, and won a decision over Parker. He’s going to be a heavy underdog against Fury, but he’ll also be getting the title shot he coveted and a massive payday to boot.
There were negotiations for step-aside money for both Whyte and Anthony Joshua, paving the way for Fury to fight Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title — unifications normally override mandatory defenses. Those talks fell apart, paving the way for the purse bid.
This development essentially nails on Usyk vs. Joshua II as the other big heavyweight fight this spring. Hopefully the winners of both matchups will face off at the end of the year for undisputed glory.