Saudi site deal for Joshua vs. Fury = “Mirage” says Bob Arum
By Chris Williams: Promoter Bob Arum says he believes the Saudi site deal that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has been trumpeting for the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury summer heavyweight mega-clash is an optical illusion with no substance.
Rather than that fight, Arum says there’s a possibility that WBC champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) could wind up facing former champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), according to Ring TV.
Chris Williams knew this would happen once Hearn started blabbering about some investor that supposedly was coming up with big money to stage the Joshua vs. Fury fight in the Middle East. Arum sees Hearn as being desperate, according to Michael Woods of RingTV.
I know the British boxing fans want to see the Joshua vs. Fury fight take place this year, but it can’t happen; you got to go with the best Plan-B option. Fury vs. Wilder 3 is just what the doctor ordered.
That’s a fight that U.S boxing fans will want to see, and you can argue they prefer that one to Joshua-Fury. We can always see Joshua fight Fury down the road after the pandemic is over in two or three years.
In the meantime, Joshua needs to take care of his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk because he’s been waiting since 2019 for his title shot.
Hearn is running out of time for Joshua – Fury
The reason for Hearn’s distress is because Joshua, the #1 fighter in his Matchroom Boxing stable, has only one fight left on his contract. Arum says Hearn wants that fight to be against Fury.
If the fight doesn’t happen, Joshua will need to defend against his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk next, and that’s a much smaller fight than the Fury one.
“Eddie is desperate, he has one more fight with AJ, and he wants it to be the fight against Fury,” said Arum to RingTV on Hearn needing to make the Joshua vs. Fury fight next.
“But if a fight against Tyson is delayed, to the winter, then AJ has to fight Oleksandr Usyk, and that’s not that big a fight. Eddie is a desperado here.”
That would be a massive letdown if Joshua finishes up his deal with Matchroom Boxing fighting Usyk rather than Fury, but what can you do? If Hearn’s Saudi deal turns to be a mere vision, he’s going to need to go with what’s real, and that’s Usyk.
Of course, Joshua can always vacate his WBO title, and that would make his Usyk problem go away. But since Joshua has a hang-up about wanting to try and become the undisputed heavyweight champion, he’ll be stuck fighting the crafty former undisputed cruiserweight Usyk.
Arum says Fury could face Wilder next
Wilder is in training, and he was showing off his bionic right hand on Tuesday, knocking his trainer Malik Scott backward when he would connect with perfect form.
Those right hands that Wilder was throwing looked like they would put Fury to sleep.
Speaking of Fury, Arum met with the arbitrator for the Fury-Wilder mediation process in beautiful Napa, California, on Tuesday.
The arbitrator decides what’s to be done about Fury choosing not to stick with the rematch clause in his contract with Wilder from their February 2020 fight.
But with the way Arum is talking, he seems to like the idea of Fury facing Wilder next. It can easily be made in the United States.
You don’t need to take it overseas and deal with investors, which is backbreaking work to find a country willing to pay a huge site fee while the pandemic is still going on.
“If I had to bet whether the Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua fight would happen or not, I would say no,” said Arum. “As far as I can see, this whole thing with Eddie [Hearn] and is just a mirage.”
When Arum was asked if it’s possible that he can switch from mediation for the Fury – Wilder fight to active negotiations, he said, “A switch to negotiation is possible,” Arum said.
- Deontay Wilder declines step aside for Tyson Fury fight
- Hearn angry at Fury fight disappearing, says Joshua could fight Usyk in summer
- Eddie Hearn: Joshua will move on if Fury doesn’t solve Wilder problem by this week
- Frank Warren says Fury has 2 options for Deontay Wilder