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WBC approves immediate rematch after Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury draw

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Stephen A.: Fury is a better boxer than Wilder (1:11)

Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman break down the heavyweight bout that ended in a draw between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. (1:11)

In the wake of their classic heavyweight championship fight that ended in a draw last Saturday in Los Angeles, world titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury have both repeatedly said they want to have a rematch in their next fight.

If they make one, there won't be any issue with the WBC, the sanctioning organization whose belt Wilder holds. That's because the WBC on Friday approved an immediate rematch.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said the organization conducted a vote of its board of governors, and the members voted unanimously to sanction a direct rematch.

"Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand from fans to see a rematch," Sulaiman said. "The WBC is happy to confirm that a direct rematch has been approved and will create in a ruling, which will also consider the mandatory status of the division.

"I wish to once again congratulate Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for their great battle inside the ring and for the exemplary sportsmanship after the bout."

By agreeing to sanction an immediate rematch, contender Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs), 33, a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Eastvale, California, will have to wait his turn for the title shot, even though he is Wilder's mandatory challenger. Even before the WBC ruling he was planning to stay busy and risk his position in a fight with Puerto Rico's Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs) on Dec. 22.

Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, knocked Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), 30, of England, down in the ninth round and brutally dropped him again in the 12th round, which Fury shockingly survived.

In the end, one judge scored the fight for Wilder (115-111), one had it for Fury (114-112) and one judge had it even (113-113) as Wilder retained the WBC title for the eighth time and Fury retained the lineal title in his first defense.

Wilder and Fury have both spoken at length about their desire for a rematch. Wilder reiterated it on a teleconference with boxing reporters on Tuesday.

"I'm willing and ready to give Fury the opportunity ASAP. It's only right to give Fury a rematch as soon as possible," Wilder said. "I'm ready whenever he's ready to do it. I'm ready to give the fans what they want to see and end this talk once and for all [about who won]."