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Bob Arum: Anthony Joshua doesn’t mean very much in U.S

Image: Bob Arum: Anthony Joshua doesn't mean very much in U.S

By Pete Strauss: Bob Arum has ruled out the United States as one of the possible locations to stage the first of two Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fights in 2021.

According to Arum, Joshua isn’t popular in the U.S the way Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is, and he doesn’t believe that it would work to place the first fight between them in that location.

Arum says that Fury is almost “part American” because he’s worked hard to become popular in the U.S by fighting there and interacting with the fans and media.

Joshua hasn’t done the same thing. He’s only had one fight in the U.S, and that was against replacement opponent Andy Ruiz Jr in a shock defeat in June 2019 in New York.

AJ looked out of his element as he walked into the ring to face Ruiz at Madison Square Garden that night. Having grown accustomed to the cheering from his loyal fans in the UK, Joshua appeared uncomfortable.

No chance of Joshua vs. Fury happening in the U.S

“Absolutely not. I don’t want to inject anything that gets anyone upset. Still, Anthony Joshua doesn’t mean very much in the United States,” said Bob Arum to Gareth A Davies when asked of the possibility of staging the fight with Fury in the U.S.

Image: Bob Arum: Anthony Joshua doesn't mean very much in U.S

“Fury has made himself part American, people sort of get a kick out of him and love his act.

“So I don’t think the U.S is the appropriate place for that fight. The [Joshua vs. Fury] fight should either be in the United Kingdom or some other place that would put up a site fee,” said Arum.

It’s too bad the U.S isn’t in the running for the Joshua vs. Fury fight because it might be a viable option if Eddie Hearn can’t find a foreign country to state the match.

Hearn has mentioned several different countries where the Joshua – Fury fight could be staged, but none of them may work out.

With the pandemic going on and the lean times, the money might not be there for a foreign site to stage the Joshua vs. Fury fight.

Arum confident all 4 titles on the line

“I have no idea. I have never talked to anybody in Singapore,” said Arum when asked if Singapore is an option for the Joshua – Fury fight.

Image: Bob Arum: Anthony Joshua doesn't mean very much in U.S

“The big property in Singapore is owned by the Las Vegas Sands, and the chairman just passed away last night.

“So I haven’t talked to anybody in Singapore; maybe Eddie has, I don’t know. If you did it in the Middle East, you’re talking about maybe 10,000 people coming in.

“You require them to maybe have a test before, and a test when they arrive, or maybe even better, a certificate of the two vaccinations. So it’s much easier to do it with a limited [audience].

“With 100,000 people, how are you going to handle it unless the coronavirus is the thing of the past.

“This fight is easy, especially if you go by the premise of ‘money talks,” said Arum about the Joshua vs. Fury clash. “It’s not hard to put together.

“I think it’s easier if the communication is between Eddie [Hearn] and myself. You sign the fight, and then you mutually agree on a venue. That’s the step where we’re at now. I really believe everybody will put their egos aside, and we’ll get this done.

“I assume my guy [Fury] has,” said Arum when asked if the two fights between AJ and Fury will be based on a 50-50 split.

“We want to keep the belts together and do a unified fight. I think it’s appropriate and it’s good for boxing.

“I’m confident that’ll happen,” said Arum about him wanting all four titles on the line for the Fury vs. Joshua fight.

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“I don’t want to go into details, but I’m confident that’ll happen, at least for the first fight. I’m really hoping that within three days of the Joe Biden presidency, we’ll be signed off by everybody,” said Arum.

It’s going to take a lot of work on Hearn’s part to get WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk to step aside to let WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) bypass him twice in a row in 2021.

Even getting Usyk to step aside once will be difficult and potentially costly.  We’ve heard talk of them wanting Usyk to step aside for the first Joshua vs. Fury fight, and then the WBO belt would be vacated immediately after.

Usyk would then be able to fight Joe Joyce for the vacant WBO title. While that sounds reasonable, but Usyk doesn’t want to step aside.

Fury will be fabulously wealthy 

“He will have beaten Klitschko, who was the undisputed champion,” said Arum when asked if Fury will be considered ‘The Man’ at heavyweight if he beats Joshua.

Image: Bob Arum: Anthony Joshua doesn't mean very much in U.S

“He’ll have beaten Joshua not once but twice, who was a big rival for him. Clearly, there would be no one around.

“He [Fury] would be the most dominant heavyweight since Mike Tyson. There will be a lot left in the tank [for Fury after he beats Joshua twice], but he’ll have so much wealth that his attention may be directed towards other pursuits.

“If I were handling his other matters other than boxing, he would be spectacular. There are a lot of parts for him as a movie actor. He’s really a truly interesting personality. Yes, he can carry a tune,” said Arum.

Fury hasn’t talked about retiring after his two fights with Joshua, but you have to believe that would be a strong option.

If Fury winds up with $200+ million in his bank account after his two matches with AJ, will he still want to put himself through the grueling training camps to defend the world titles?

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The money that Fury will make from the fights with Joshua won’t be there when he faces the contenders in the division. If Fury is serious about not wanting to face Deontay Wilder ever again, that greatly limits the money he can make.

Fury’s best options for paydays after Joshua:

  • Joe Joyce
  • Dillian Whyte
  • Alexander Povetkin
  • Andy Ruiz Jr
  • Daniel Dubois
  • Joseph Parker

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