Bob Arum says Tyson Fury could fight three times in 2022
By Jim Calfa: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says Tyson Fury could fight three times in 2022, starting with a defense against his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte.
That’s a fight that Arum would like to make next for the unbeaten Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs), given that Anthony Joshua is tied up with a rematch against Oleksander Usyk.
The clash that British boxing fans would like to see is Fury vs. Joshua, but that can’t happen now because AJ chooses to force a rematch with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk in the first quarter of 2022.
With Joshua busy getting revenge against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), the best fight available for Fury domestically is against interim WBC champion Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs).
That fight would play out well in the UK, but it won’t do much business in the United States because Whyte is an unknown with casual boxing fans.
Does Whyte deserve to be WBC mandatory?
The U.S fans that know of Whyte remember him getting knocked out by 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin in 2020. Whyte was knocked unconscious by the Russian fighter.
What’s surprising is the World Boxing Council gave Whyte his mandatory position back to him after he defeated Povetkin in their rematch last March.
That move strikes Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti as an odd one, as he feels that Whyte should have had to do more than win one fight to become mandatory after he was knocked cold by Povetkin.
It does seem kind of strange. Some would argue that the World Boxing Council should have ordered a title eliminator and had Whyte take on the highest-ranked contender, be it Luis Ortiz, who he previously refused to fight, or Joe Joyce.
If boxing were run like the NFL or NBA, Whyte wouldn’t be the mandatory for Fury because he was beaten only two fights ago.
When a team loses in the Super Bowl in the NFL, they don’t go back to the Bowl after winning one game against an aging over-the-hill level team.
It takes many games before a team can potentially earn a second Super Bowl berth. What the WBC did is let Whyte right back in his mandatory spot after he beat a Covid-19 depleted Povetkin in their rematch, treating him like he’d never been beaten.
You can argue that the WBC must like Dillian a lot for them to be putting him back as the mandatory after being knocked out in his fight before.
Arum says Whyte should be next for Fury
“I think Dillian Whyte should be the next fight for Tyson Fury,” Arum said to talksport.
“We’ve got to push ahead and get a date and an opponent for Fury. And it seems to me that it is logical that it should be Dillian Whyte.”
“What I would like to see, and this is what he would like to see, [Fury] getting in the ring at the end of February or March and doing at least three fights in 2022.
“There that he would be reluctant to fight,” said Arum of Fury.
“First, it [Fury vs. Whyte] has to be ordered, and it probably does once the courts do whatever they do,” said Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti to iFL TV on whether the World Boxing Council will order Fury to face Dillian Whyte.
If Arum focuses on Fury making the most money possible in his next title defense, Whyte would be a good choice, at least for the UK market. Whether a fight between Fury and Whyte would play out big in the U.S is hard to know.
Like this writer said, Dillian is an unknown to Americans, and the ones that do know of him remember all too well the sight of a pre-COVID-19 version of Povetkin knocking him out in the fifth round in 2020.
It’s difficult for some U.S fans to understand Whyte when he speaks because he has a really thick British accent, and trying to understand him in his interviews might require a little doing for Americans.
The ideal opponent for Fury would be Andy Ruiz Jr, as he’s well known in both the U.S and UK, but unfortunately, he’s only fought once since losing his IBF/WBA/WBO titles to Joshua in their rematch in December 2019.
Ruiz looked terrible in defeating 40-year-old Chris Arreola last May, getting dropped in the process of winning a 12 round decision. But if the objective is for Fury to make the most money for his next fight, Ruiz Jr. might be the better option for him over Whyte.
Dillian was knocked out two fights ago
“I think what’s being missed here is I don’t know how you get to 55/45 [the split Whyte wants]. If Dillian believes he’s going to win and take the fight, he should get in the ring and knock out Tyson Fury if he believes is going to happen.
“What some people seem to forget is two fights ago he was the one that was knocked out, and I think they just stopped counting a couple of weeks ago, even though he beat Povetkin again,” said Moretti alluding to Dillian Whyte being knocked out in the fifth round by Alexander Povetkin on August 22nd, 2020 in his first fight with the Russian fighter.
“I’ve never seen a guy knocked out cold still become mandatory again for beating a guy that knocked him out,” said Moretti of Whyte. “If it’s a new way of making mandatories, I’m going to try it and say, ‘Don’t worry about it, guys. If you get knocked out, we’ll get back and win this thing.’
My whole thing is, yes, it probably should have been 75/25 [for Whyte] or maybe 70/30, but I doubt it. His [Dillian] last purse was 350,000, but he got knocked out cold, and that you can’t dispute.
“That, I think, takes away these fairer purse bid splits. Yeah, he was there forever, but he got knocked out, so that kind of wipes that whole thing out.
“Let’s see how this thing turns out, but that’s how I think,” said Moretti.
Yeah, it does seem a little off-putting that Whyte is back in his mandatory spot with the WBC as if nothing happened to him last year.
If you want boxing to be viewed as a sport, Whyte should have had to go through a series of fights ending with a title eliminator with the WBC for him to be given a title shot as a mandatory, but the WBC has done it their way, and now he’s back in the pole position.
- Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte purse bid extended to Jan.26th
- Anthony Joshua says he’s going take Oleksandr Usyk’s titles away from him
- Bob Arum in talks for Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk for Middle East, Joshua & Whyte would step aside
- Eddie Hearn says Fury vs. Usyk is doubtful, Joshua-Usyk 2 & Fury-Whyte “the favorite right now”