Tyson Fury’s eagerly anticipated heavyweight clash with WBC champion Deontay Wilder was confirmed after the Briton defeated Francesco Pianeta on Saturday.
Wilder was ringside at Windsor Park as Fury fought on the undercard for Carl Frampton versus Luke Jackson, with a dominant 100-90 points win secured before the expected announcement was made in the ring.
The American had seemingly been set to take on Anthony Joshua before negotiations broke down and Fury stepped up.
Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, was quizzed on what progress had been made with Wilder and told BT Sport: “Very, very advanced [talks] – he’s over there, ask him.”
“It’s on,” said Wilder. “This is official.”
Warren promised that details will follow next week, but Fury appeared to give away the location as Las Vegas.
“When we get to Vegas, I’m knocking you the f*** out,” he told Wilder.
The big man wins it! @Tyson_Fury boxes his way to a comfortable 100-90 points victory against Francesco Pianeta! #FuryPianeta #belfast #boxing #windsorpark pic.twitter.com/EtYb2CnjZm
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 18, 2018
The still unbeaten Fury had entered the ring to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, an apparent reference to Wilder’s birthplace, as his rival sang along and recorded the event on his phone.
Once the action got underway, Fury invited Pianeta on and boxed with a focus that was perhaps missing last time out, displaying little of the distracting showmanship seen against Sefer Seferi in his comeback bout.
With neither fighter doing any real damage, Fury maintained control of proceedings and finally landed a heavy left to the body in the seventh round.
Pianeta was given time to recover, with the shot deemed a low blow, but he started to show signs of struggle and any threat to his esteemed opponent waned, jeers greeting the end of the 10th and final round before Wilder took centre stage.