Arum says Fury’s next fight will be Joshua or Wilder
By Jim Maltzman: Bob Arum said that Tyson Fury will be fighting next against Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder. Arum says if 39-year-old Kubrat Pulev defeats Joshua on December 12th, Fury will then defend his WBC heavyweight title against Wilder in a trilogy match in February.
If Pulev loses the fight to AJ next month, which is likely, Joshua will then face Fury in early 2021, according to Arum.
He says he’s confident that Wilder’s arbitration won’t end in his favor. So instead of Wilder getting the third match that he’s looking for, Fury will move on and face Joshua twice in 2021.
Arum wants everyone to stay calm because he believes for some reason that the Pulev will beat Joshua on December 12th. If that happens, Joshua will be out of the picture, and Fury will then take on Wilder in the trilogy match in February.
What Arum says it’s going to make Team Wilder happy though, as they obviously understand that the light-hitting, 40-years-old Pulev has no chance of winning against Joshua. That fight is a mismatch for all intents and purposes.
Money wasn’t there for Fury to fight on December 5th
“We were going to show money from the United States on a telecast on a Saturday afternoon, which isn’t an ideal time because of all the football games,” Arum said about Fury’s canceled plans for a December 5th fight.
“And I guess, Frank [Warren], what was he going to do? There’s no gate, and it’s just pay-per-view. With all the pay-per-views in the UK, Frank couldn’t come up with a sizable guarantee because who knew.
“You can’t pay a fighter when you don’t have the revenue coming in. So I think Tyson realized that he wasn’t going to get the money that he’s used to getting, so he decided not to do the fight [against Agit Kabayel].
“I’ve given everyone the word. Wait until the Pulev-Joshua fight. If Pulev wins, there’s no Joshua because Eddie has a rematch with Pulev. So that takes care of a big part of next year for Joshua.
“And so that leaves Wilder as the best guy. So if Pulev beats Joshua, we’ll talk to Fury about doing the Wilder fight at the end of February.
“By the end of February, hopefully, the pandemic will be under control, and we’ll at least be able to put the [Fury vs. Wilder III] fight in Allegiant Stadium [in Las Vegas, Nevada], and do it for 15,000, 20,000 people in a 75,000 seat stadium.
“It’s all well and good for Fury to say that he wants to fight Joshua, but who knows if Joshua is going to be around after he fights my guy Pulev,” said Arum.
It was obvious from the start that the money wouldn’t be there for Fury to face Agit Kabayel on December 5th. It’s surprising that Arum even entertained the idea of that fight taking place.
There wasn’t going to be a crowd for the fight due to the pandemic, and there was no way of selling Fury-Kabayel on pay-per-view in the UK or the U.S.
It would have been viewed as a mismatch, and even the casual boxing fans would have recognized that.
Arum confident Fury’s contract with Wilder has expired
“They have the right, the Wilder people, to go to arbitration, and I told everybody to hold off,” said Arum. “Let’s not run up legal fees and everything.
“We’re confident of our interpretation of the contract because December 12th comes out like I think with Pulev winning, there’s no Joshua fight, and then the Wilder trilogy is the best fight available. Why go through litigation? Let’s do the fight. That’s my opinion.
“Then I’m sure Fury will want to go straight to a Joshua fight and then there’s a rematch with it. So that knocks Wilder out,” said Arum when asked what happens if Pulev loses to Joshua on December 12th.
“Then Wilder will be in arbitration with Fury and myself, trying to interpret the contract to say that Fury is still obligated to fight Wilder. But I assure you that’s not the case.
“The contract is clear, but do they have the right to bring this to arbitration? Yes, but the judge in the arbitration is known to everyone in boxing. He’s an honest and upright guy, and we’re very confident of the results.
“But it may not be necessary, that’s my point, because if there’s no Joshua, why wouldn’t Fury want to do a third fight with Wilder? It’s not complicated,” said Arum.
Pulev’s chances of beating Joshua are nil. The Bulgarian fighter is old, weak and he looked poor recently in beating Rydell Booker and Hughie Fury. Joshua beats Pulev with ease unless he gets sloppy as he did in the first fight against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.
The mediator will be the one to decide whether the contract has expired for the Fury vs. Wilder III fight or not. It won’t be Arum that makes that decision. Hopefully, there isn’t a problem on Fury’s side if it goes against him.
Perhaps Fury can vacate his WBC title if the mediator determines that he must face Wilder again.
It seems pretty clear that Arum and Fury don’t take that risk of fighting Wilder again. So it might be wise for them to try and figure out a way to avoid Wilder if the arbitration doesn’t go in their favor.
Wilder’s team are in desperation mode says Arum
“It’s very easy. It’s not complicated at all,” said Arum. “And it’s been going on a long time because if you’re Wilder’s people, you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes.
“Even though Fury, Top Rank, and their lawyers say, ‘It’s clear, the contract is over,’ they’re [Team Wilder] in desperation mode and they want to do the third fight.
“So they’re going to take their best shot and go into court if necessary with the arbitration. Again, what I say may not be necessary because if Pulev beats Joshua, I’m sure we can have an out of arbitration settlement. At least I think so,” Arum said.
Wilder wants the third fight with Fury, but it might be a stretch for that to be interpreted as desperation on their part. It could go against fury, and he would then be stuck having to fight Wilder a third time.
One gets the sense that Arum doesn’t want that third fight to happen. We’ll see how Arum reacts if Wilder does win the arbitration.
It sounds silly to be talking about Pulev beating Joshua because the chances of that happening are so laughably poor that it’s ridiculous to even talk about it happening.
Arum rates Fury’s resume above Joshua’s
“Eddie says a lot of things, but to compare resumes is pretty stupid, as far as I’m concerned,” said Arum in reacting to Eddie Hearn saying that Joshua has fought the better opposition during his career than Fury.
“Fury beat [Wladimir] Klitschko when Klitschko was at his peak and was the champion and beat him. Joshua fought Klitschko after he was semi-retired and he wasn’t at his peak.
“But those arguments get no place. ‘Who has the better resume and so.’ Hopefully from Joshua’s standpoint and Eddie’s standpoint, they beat Pulev, and then that decision will be made in the ring. Resumes to the contrary notwithstanding,” said Arum.
The resumes of Fury and Joshua have nothing to do with who the better fighter is. We’re going to see who the top guy is between them soon enough unless Fury loses his arbitration and get beaten by Wilder.
Fury will be the favorite against Wilder if they fight next year, and he should win unless he gets caught with a big shot.
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