LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The Democrat debate on Wednesday night will take place in the shadow of what many around the world consider a more consequential showdown: the rematch Saturday night between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury.
Oh, and President Donald Trump is also in town most of this week.
It is not clear yet whether the president will attend the fight, which will take place Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena — just hours after the Nevada caucuses, the next step in choosing which Democrat will face off against Trump in the general election later this year.
But Trump is a major fan of the sport — and, arguably, Wilder-Fury II is the most anticipated heavyweight bout in two decades.
Both fighters are unbeaten, having fought to a thrilling draw in their first meeting in 2018. Fury bested Wilder for most of the fight, until Wilder — a deadly puncher — floored Fury in the 12th round. Many thought the match was over — but Fury refused to be counted out, and rose to his feet to finish the fight.
Both fighters have had positive things to say about the president. Fury invited Trump to attend the last fight between the two, and Wilder visited Trump in the Oval Office in 2018 when he pardoned the late heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who had been convicted of violating racist miscegenation laws.
Though he had been harshly critical of Trump before, Wilder was clearly impressed by the president’s commitment to righting the historical wrong: “A wrong was corrected for something that should never have happened, and of all of the presidents, Donald Trump was the one to do it,” Wilder said at the time.
Trump would likely be welcomed by fans. However, promoter Bob Arum dislikes Trump and has warned that he will show up with “Mike Bloomberg for president” signs if Trump tries to attend the event.
On Wednesday afternoon, Wilder and Fury will meet at the MGM for a highly anticipated press conference.
A few hours later, at the Paris Theater down the street, Bloomberg will face his opponents on the debate stage for the first time. He is a late entrant who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to generate the poll numbers to qualify for the debate. He will face frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose campaign message has been aimed squarely at billionaires like Bloomberg.
A great fight week in Vegas.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.