Heavyweight Champ Deontay Wilder confirms Belfast visit

Event promoter Frank Warren had claimed it would happen but tonight the man himself has confirmed it.

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is coming to Ireland.

The American star announced on social media tonight that he is heading to Belfast for the big Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson card on Saturday August 18th at Windsor Park football stadium.

Alabama’s Wilder [40(39)-0] will be in the Titanic City to provide punditry and hype for Tyson Fury‘s non-title undercard bout versus Francesco Pianeta.

The card at the weekend will be shown live on BT Sport on this side of the Atlantic, with American viewers having access to the bill via the Showtime Sports Facebook page.

The visit marks another step towards an agreement for the reigning champion to defend his green belt versus former unified champion Fury in what has been a surprise turn of events.

With Fury [26(19)-0] on the comeback trail following a damaging two and a half years out of the ring, the Manchester-born fighter looked to be a long way off big fights but is seemingly close to a November clash with Wilder in America should he defeat faded former title challenger Pianeta this weekend.

32-year-old Wilder, who had previously been in exhausting negotiations for an undisputed unification with WBA-IBF-WBO champ Anthony Joshua, won the WBC title back in January 2015 and has since defended it seven times – most recently against Cuban dangerman Luis Ortiz.

This weekend sees Frampton headline, defending his WBO interim belt versus Australian Luke Jackson, while Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales in what looks to be the most competitive fight on the card.

Also set to appear are Luke Keeler, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Lewis Crocker, and Marco McCullough, while Steven Ward and Stevie Collins Jr clash for the BUI Celtic light heavyweight title. British fighters Sam Maxwell and Isaac Lowe will also feature.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie