Tyson Fury says he was offered the chance to have his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko on a Dubai sheikh's yacht in front of just 120 people but admits the fight may not go ahead at all.
The self-styled Gypsy King is set to take on Klitschko again later this year after he beat the Ukrainian star in Dusseldorf, Germany, back in November, claiming the WBA (Super), IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles.
The venue and date have yet to be set, but Fury has now revealed a previous offer to stage it on a yacht, an option that is seemingly no longer on the table, per Gavin Glicksman in the Sun:
There is Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Croke Park in Dublin, Wembley and Germany again. Five possible venues, it won’t be anywhere else. We even had negotiations to have it on a cruise ship. There was a sheikh in Dubai who owned a yacht, which would only fit 120 people on. He didn’t want to broadcast it anywhere and said he could sell 120 tickets at $1million each, so that would have been $120million. He wanted to have an exclusive heavyweight championship of the world fight with no TV station, just have those 120 people watching.
That is not a lie, that’s truthful. He didn’t say how much I would get, but I probably would have had the biggest half of the $120m, so I was all for it. I think it’s gone now, I don’t think it’s possible. But it would have been an epic story. There would not have been any reports, any TV stations. I was up for it, nobody would have known who won.
Fury became the first fighter to beat Klitschko in more than 10 years when he claimed a unanimous-decision victory at the Esprit Arena.
As a result, he broke the 39-year-old's stranglehold on the heavyweight division, taking the belts that Klitschko had held for so long.
Fury was duly stripped of the IBF belt for failing to to fulfil a mandatory defence just weeks after the Klitschko clash. That decision was widely mocked, per the Irish Examiner:
However, his victory has been hailed in most quarters, and he received the Ring magazine's fighter of the year award, which is proof of his rapidly rising profile in the boxing world, per the Guardian.
A Wembley rematch against Klitschko would surely be the preference of many of Fury's British fans, and given that he is now the champion, the 27-year-old should have a major influence on where it is staged.
However, the promoters will have a big say in picking a venue that will prove the most lucrative.
There are still some questions as to whether the rematch will go ahead at all, with Fury having revealed he is still contemplating quitting the sport altogether, per BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'm struggling to get motivated. I could walk away. I could just sail into the sunset unbeaten with all the belts and live a normal life. All that I would be boxing for is money and I always thought to myself I never want to let sport become about money."
It seems highly unlikely, though, that Fury will walk away from the sport just yet having barely established himself as the king of the heavyweight division.
He is only 27 years old and will want to prove his superiority over Klitschko again in a rematch.
Furthermore, he recently called out WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, an indication that he wants to try to unify the division, per Sky Sports.
While it may not be on a yacht in front of an elite audience, Fury-Klitschko II looks set to go ahead as the Manchester fighter attempts to establish himself in the role of heavyweight champion of the world.