‘Fury, Wilder’s fight points to a historic heavyweight event’

Tyson Fury’s rematch with Deontay Wilder is the most significant in two decades of the heavyweight division, according to the 5 Live Boxing team.

Briton Fury and Wilder will meet on 22 February having drawn in 2018.

The American’s WBC title will be on the line, meaning Fury could become a world champion for the first time since 2015.

“I think it is the biggest heavyweight fight since Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in 1999,” said BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello.

Fury and Wilder had been expected to face off in an immediate rematch but both have gone on to land two victories, meaning they remain unbeaten going into the contest at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

Anthony Joshua holds the other three major heavyweight titles, so the winner would be in a position to potentially negotiate a contest with the Briton and bid to become the first man to hold all four belts in the division.

Costello added: “How big is this fight? Fury’s promoter Bob Arum has been talking about it being the most significant for the division for 20 years. That’s something I agree with.”

“One reporter has said it’s the most significant since the rematch of Holyfield v Mike Tyson in 1997. I would go for 1999 and the two fights between Lewis and Holyfield, as they were hugely significant for the heavyweight division.”

“You’d be hard-pressed in the two decades since to mention a fight of more significance than this. I know we spoke about going to Saudi Arabia for Joshua v Andy Ruiz in December and about how big that was for us. I ranked that in my top six events I’ve ever covered.”

“That was monumental because of the impact it might have had on Joshua’s career and has had because he won. Rematches are so important to this sport and become monster occasions with the narrative of a first fight.”

BBC Radio 5 Live boxing analyst Steve Bunce said: “I would throw Tyson and Lewis in 2002 in. Even though we knew it was a shell of Tyson, it still felt big. This fight is with those fights.”

“There have been moments I doubted it would happen, simply because there are so many alternatives, avenues and revenue streams.”

Arum has told the 5 Live Boxing podcast he expects the bout to be bought over two million times on pay-per-view television in the United States.

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