Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will take their world title fight to Staples Center in Los Angeles for the arena's biggest heavyweight showdown since then-champion Lennox Lewis' epic career finale against Vitali Klitschko in 2003, Showtime announced Thursday.
There was significant interest from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to host the fight, but Staples Center landed the Dec. 1 showdown that will headline the Showtime PPV event.
The fighters and their teams will hit the road for a three-city media tour next week with the second and third stops open to the public.
They will start at the BT Studios in London on Monday beginning at noon GMT. On Tuesday, they will hit New York for an event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex at 12:30 p.m. ET. On Wednesday, they will go to Star Plaza in front of the Staples Center beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT.
"Wilder versus Fury is a throwback to the glory days of heavyweight boxing -- a 50/50 matchup between two larger-than-life athletes with towering physical frames and captivating personalities," Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza said. "Deontay Wilder has proven he's the hardest puncher in boxing. Tyson Fury's size and skill set present a challenge unlike any other in the heavyweight division. No one knows what will happen when these two giants step into the ring, and that's what makes this fight so fascinating."
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), 32, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will make his eighth title defense when he takes on the 6-9, 260-pound lineal champion Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), 30, of England.
"I can't wait to fight Tyson Fury in the biggest fight in the heavyweight division and all of boxing," Wilder said, perhaps forgetting about the showdown most want to see between Wilder and Anthony Joshua for the undisputed title. "I have tremendous respect for Fury for agreeing to leave England and come to the U.S. to challenge me. I'm the WBC champion, he's the lineal champion, and the winner of this fight will show the world who is 'the man in the heavyweight division. As much as I respect Fury, I fear no man and fully intend to knock him out like every man that I've ever faced in the ring."
The fight will be Fury's third since a 31-month layoff because of substance-abuse problems and mental health issues that caused him to be stripped of his belts. After 10-round shutout decision over former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta on Aug. 18, Wilder came into the ring and they announced they would fight each other later this year. Last week the contracts were signed.
"People talk about me only having two fights since my layoff, but that doesn't bother me at all," Fury said. "This is the Tyson Fury show. It always has been. This is my era, and I proved that when I beat Klitschko in his own backyard. Is Wilder the biggest puncher I have faced? You don't know that until you are on the floor. It is all about not getting hit in this fight. Until someone beats me, I am the king of the heavyweight division. Long live the king."