FORMER heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury has his sights set on a Las Vegas showdown with America’s WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder before the year is out.

First Fury has to get through Francesco Pianeta on August 18 at Windsor Park stadium in Northern Ireland. But Frank Warren, who promotes Fury, is confident that Tyson can get through that opponent in good enough style to secure a showdown with Wilder before the end of 2018.

“At the moment I’m being positive because he needs positivity,” Warren said. “He’s back in love with it and he’s happy… I think as long as he’s happy you’re going to get the best out of him.

“We’re quite close to getting it done but obviously he’s got to win this fight on the 18th in Belfast, against Pianeta. If he comes through that okay I’m confident the fight will happen. However he looks against him, it’ll happen. Deontay’s coming over for the fight.”

The promoter continued, “I could sit around and give him [Fury] another couple of fights, I’m not doing that at all. From my perspective, if he feels he’s ready to go for it and we’ll see what he looks like, he may still look a bit rusty in Ireland but the bottom line is he’s in the ring, he’s doing something.

“He’ll come out of it in a better position to go and challenge for the titles he never lost in the ring.”

Warren expects Fury to go to Las Vegas to face Wilder. “It’s a great stage for a fight. Tyson always wanted to fight in Vegas. That’s where he’s at. He wanted to fight in Vegas,” Warren said. “Nothing’s been signed, and we are where we are, but everybody wants the fight to happen. Most importantly the fighters want the fight to happen, and that’s who count.”

Tyson Fury

Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko to win three of the four major world titles in 2015. He never defended them and spent two years out of the sport after failing a drug test until finally reaching a settlement to return. In that time Anthony Joshua subsequently won those three belts as he became one of the biggest stars in the sport. But Warren insists that the winner of Wilder-Fury can consider themselves the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. “Whoever wins that fight is the guy, isn’t he? He is the guy. There’s no doubt about it. You can’t say that Anthony Joshua’s the guy, you can’t say that Deontay Wilder’s the guy because they’ve not beaten the man who’s never lost his belts in the ring. Deontay Wilder, to his credit, wants to test himself and wants to do that,” the promoter said.

In theory the Wilder-Fury winner would be ideally placed to take on Joshua in April of next year. But Warren says, “I don’t know. There might be a rematch, we’ll see. He’s in the driving seat. Whoever wins that fight is in the driving seat. Because that’s the fight you want to see. What are they going to do, fob everybody off again? I told you at the time he [Joshua] was going to fight Povetkin, all this Wilder [stuff], I said he will not take that fight, he will fight Povetkin. They’re not going to kill the golden goose. They’re not going to do that.

“My worry with all these heavyweight champions, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, is they’ll get beat. Both of them could get beat. ”

Warren therefore insists that Fury doesn’t need to wait too much longer for the Wilder fight. “We know that Tyson’s a great boxer, he’s got a great boxing brain, got a good chin, and can punch, so it’s certainly a fight he wants, and it’s not like we’re dealing with some young kid. He’s been round the block, he’s been world champion, he’s the lineal champion, and he wants it, and we’ve got to do our best to deliver it,” Frank said. “Deontay Wilder’s punch isn’t going to go away in a couple of fights – he can punch. The fact of the matter is [Tyson Fury] is in there, he fancies it, physically he’s in a good position, and most importantly with Tyson, mentally he’s in a good position, and that’s the main thing – mentally he’s there.”