By Charles Brun: Bob Arum says WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury won’t be making a title defense in the summer against Zhilei Zhang but instead will opt to sit idle for the next seven months until December for a lucrative undisputed championship fight against IBF, WBA, & WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia.
As Arum points out, there’s a lot of money in Saudi for the Fury vs. Usyk fight in December, but he doesn’t rule out Tyson changing his mind suddenly if the mood hits him.
Keeping in mind the low-level opposition that Fury has been facing lately with his bouts against journeymen Derek Chisora & Dillian Whyte, it’s unlikely that he’ll suddenly show some ambition to get back in the ring to take a dangerous tune-up against the hard-hitting Zhilei Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs).
“They’re waiting now, both fighters, for the end of the year, to fight each other in the Middle East because that’s where the big money is,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to ProBox TV about Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
“I think he’s going to wait, but with Tyson Fury, it depends on how he wakes up in the morning.”
With the millions Fury has recently made, he’s become a bon vivant, dressing up with high-priced duds, buying high-end things, and no longer acting like the simple country bumpkin he’d been before he came upon all that loot.
After watching him dismantle Joe Joyce, fury may have been scared off from fighting Zhang. Before that, Fury seemed to be on the trail of fighting one of these two for his summer warm-up, but after what Zhang did to poor Joe, Fury has lost his taste for a tune-up.
The huge-punching Chinese knockout artist Zhang has the power to finish what Deontay Wilder started by blasting Fury out if he were brave enough to take that fight.
Zhang recently stopped Joe Joyce in the sixth round last month on April 15th, closing his right eye with his laser-guided left hands. Surprisingly, Joyce wants a second helping, deciding to exercise his rematch clause to face Zhang again. It’s safe to say that Zhang will end the 37-year-old Joyce’s career when that rematch happens.
It’s still not sure that Fury will be fighting in December because Usyk revealed this week that the negotiations with him are at an “impasse.”
If the Fury-Usyk fight fails to be negotiated, we’ll see how eager the Saudis are to throw massive money at Fury to him remain on the December card against a lesser opponent. It’s safe to say the Saudis aren’t going to give Fury $80 million to fight his good friend Joseph Parker or another fight against Chisora.
Usyk still needs to make a title defense in the summer against his WBA mandatory, Daniel Dubois, and that’s not a sure-thing win for him. Will the Saudis want to throw crazy money at Fury for a fight against Dubois in December? It’s doubtful.