By Jack Tiernan: Promoter Bob Arum is working on a deal for Tyson Fury to face Oleksander Usyk for an undisputed heavyweight match in the Middleweight that would involve Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte stepping aside.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn sounded like a stick in the mud on Wednesday, expressing skepticism about Fury-Usyk undisputed clash happening.
To be sure, Joshua wouldn’t be getting the rematch with Usyk that he wants, but it would work to his advantage that he’s not taking this fight.
Fury to take care of Joshua’s problem
The money Joshua can make fighting the Fury vs. Usyk winner would be out of this world good, and the attention AJ will receive from this fight would be priceless.
If Joshua defeats the Fury-Usyk winner, he’ll be back to his #1 spot in the heavyweight division as the best fighter on the planet.
Fury can take care of Joshua’s problems by beating Usyk, and then AJ can face ‘The Gyspy King’ afterward in a huge mega-fight in the UK or the Middle East in the summer. In terms of business, this is the ideal path to take.
Arum expects to have a clearer picture by Friday of this week whether he’ll successfully put the Fury vs. Fury undisputed clash together.
That’s the fight that the boxing world wants to see right now. Joshua and Whyte are more roadblocks in the way of the fight fans want to see between the unbeaten world champions Fury and Usyk.
Not surprisingly, the negotiations are complicated, and Arum is doing a little bit of grumbling over the process.
One can imagine the money that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) and Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) would ask to step aside, but it works out better for them if they do.
As things stand, Whyte’s chances of beating WBC champion Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) in March or April are virtually nil. If that fight happens, Whyte will make good money, but he’d almost certainly be beaten soundly.
It would be better for Whyte to wait until the smoke clears from the Fury vs. Usyk fight before fighting for a world title against the last man standing.
That would likely involve Whyte waiting for Joshua to face the Fury-Usyk winner, but we’re still talking about him getting his shot by early 2023.
If it happens, Joshua avoids a career-ending loss to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) that his promoter Eddie Hearn is currently steering him towards.
“What’s happening is just promises coming out of the Middle East about doing a unified fight with Usyk and Fury, and is Dillian Whyte going to step aside?” said Arum to TalkSport.
“And people that have absolutely no contractual ties – like Frank Warren’s Queensberry and our Top Rank do – are getting involved.”
Arum hopes the situation is sorted by Friday
“It’s a typical terrible kind of situation, but hopefully it’ll get sorted out, and probably it will get sorted out with a purse bid on Friday.”
“I have absolutely no idea,” said Arum on who Fury will be fighting next. “Who are these people in the Middle East? And what’s their backing and all of that stuff? That’s not clear,” said Arum.
Even if the Fury vs. Usyk fight doesn’t occur, it’s unknown if Tyson will face his WBC mandatory Whyte next.
There’s been a great deal of resistance on Hearn and Whyte’s part about the 80/20 split for the fight against Fury, and they’re still pushing the World Boxing Council to bump that number up to 55/45.
Arum says Robert Helenius and Manuel Charr are possible Plan-B opponents for Fury’s next fight on March 26th. If Fury vacates his WBC title, Whyte will likely be elevated to the full champion by the sanctioning body.
The money that Fury can make fighting the Joshua-Usyk 2 winner makes it too risky for him to face Whyte.