Arum has offers out for Tyson Fury’s next opponent for May/June
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’s put offers out to a number of top heavyweights for lineal champion Tyson Fury’s next fight in May or June in the United States, and he’s waiting to for the signed contract. Arum isn’t giving any clues about who he sent the contracts to, but Oscar Rivas and Bryant Jennings are two likely opponents that he’s looking at. Manuel Charr could be another.
Arum says he’s still interested in putting together a rematch between Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder, and he believes that it’ll be easy to put the fight together once they sit down to hammer out the deal. Arum is still talking about Fury and Wilder’s next fights being interim matches to setup a rematch between them. However, with Fury now with ESPN, it’s now unclear whether a second fight with Wilder is doable.
Fury might be stuck on the other side of the fence from Wilder unless something changes. Wilder spoke recently that he’s in negotiations with DAZN, and he has a lot of other options. If he signs with DAZN, it’ll be difficult for a rematch with Fury to take place. Wilder thinks that Fury intentionally went to ESPN so that he could avoid a second fight with him due to how badly he was hurt in the 12th round of their fight last December.
“Tyson Fury’s going to fight in either May or June in the United States against a top contender,” Arum said to Fighthub. “We have offers out, and we’re waiting for a signed contract. Wilder apparently is going to do an interim fight as well on the 18th, I think, and then hopefully we can match them up because we tried to sign Wilder, and give him a tune-up fight, then have him fight Tyson Fury, but they decided to do the tune-up fight themselves, which is their prerogative. But we’re still obviously open and we’ll sit down with him to do a match between Fury and Wilder sometime the end of this year,” Arum said.
These are the likely options for Fury’s next fight in May or June on ESPN:
– Manuel Charr
– Oscar Rivas
– Bryant Jennings
Out of those three, Charr or Jennings (24-3, 14 KOs) are the ones that Top Rank sent contract offers to. Jennings, 34, is coming off of a 12th round knockout loss to Rivas. It would look bad in the eyes of the knowledgeable boxing fans if Jennings is selected as Fury’s next opponent, but the casual boxing fans likely would have no idea about Bryant’s recent loss. Top Rank could probably get away with having Fury fight the recently beaten Jennings without him taking too much abuse from the fans. But that’s not the type of opponent that Fury needs if he wants to become a big name in the United States. If Top Rank wants Fury to become a star in America, matching him against the recently knocked out Jennings won’t achieve the objective. Even if Jennings had beaten Rivas, he would still be a poor option for Fury to fight. Fury needs to be fighting guys like Wilder and Anthony Joshua if he wants to become a star in America. Fighting Jennings, who is little more than a high level journeyman, wont do much, especially if Fury dances around the ring for 12 boring rounds like we saw him do against Wilder, Francesco Pianeta and Wladimir Klitschko.
It would be in Arum’s best interest not to have Fury take part in too many interim fights, because his fighting style is hard on the eyes. He might turn off what few hardcore boxing fans that are interested in seeing him and Wilder do it again. Arum signed a heavyweight with a spoiling style of fighting, and he’s not someone that is going to please the average boxing fan in the U.S. When they watch boxing, they want to be entertained, and not have to watch some big run around the ring for 12 rounds, scratching at the air, holding and doing a lot of posing.
Wilder vs. Fury II rematch is now up in the air now that Tyson has signed on with Top Rank Boxing, and is fighting on ESPN. Up until recently, the two fighters were in negotiations for a rematch on May 18, but Fury then chose to sign with Top Rank, and now it’s up in the air whether there will be a second fight. Although Arum is talking about about interim fights and such, but there’s a high probability that the only real option for Fury is a fight with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua rather than a rematch with Wilder. That’s a good money fight for Fury, but one that he’ll likely lose.
“It’s wonderful to have ESPN and Showtime, or ESPN and FOX doing the distribution, but hey, who’s putting up the money for the damn thing?” Arum said about the rematch between Fury and Wilder, if it ever happens. “If Showtime is backing their guy and we’re backing our guy and that’s how the money — we’ll then sure they’re entitled to do the distribution. But is ESPN is putting up the money for the whole show, why would you need somebody else to be a distributor?”
The way that Arum is talking, it doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a rematch between Wilder and Fury happening soon. But hey, it took six years for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight to take place. Maybe it’ll be that long before the boxing fans see Fury and Wilder go at it again. The problem is, the interest from the fans in seeing those guys fight again is minimal as it is. If years fly by and both guys lose a number of times before then, it’ll be pointless in seeing the two aging heavyweight fight each other when they’re nearing their 40s. Their fight last December was a boring one. That wasn’t Wilder’s fault. It was Fury’s. He was running around the ring trying not to get hit, and it wasn’t great entertainment.