Promoter Bob Arum says Tyson Fury’s title defense of his WBC heavyweight belt against Dillian Whyte will be shown on ESPN pay-per-view in the U.S and on BT Sport Box Office PPV in the UK. Arum will be announcing the date for the fight next week in a press conference.
Earlier on Friday, Arum’s Top Rank company, along with ESPN and Frank Warren, won the purse bid with a sum of $41 million. Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs).
In late April, the fight will be staged in the UK, reportedly at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Arum isn’t saying who will be on the undercard aside from Fury’s sparring partner Jared Anderson.
To properly sell the Fury-Whyte fight to U.S audiences on PPV, it will need to have household names because the casual fans aren’t going to pay $75 to order the fight to see Fury fight a no-name that was knocked not long ago by 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin.
Whyte is an excellent British heavyweight, but he’s not as well known in the States as he needs to be for the fight with Fury to bring in substantial PPV numbers unless Top Rank stacks the undercard.
Fury vs. Whyte on ESPN PPV
“We were bidding with our television partners BT in the UK and ESPN in the United States,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype in reacting to him and Frank Warren winning Friday’s purse bid for the Fury vs. Whyte fight.
The time for talking is over! After years of back and forth, the heavyweight showdown is on! 🔥
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) January 28, 2022
“In the UK, it’ll be on BT, and Sky is making its platform is available. It’ll be a massive fight on pay-per-view in the UK,” said Arum said of the UK PPV broadcasters for the Fury-Whyte fight.
“In the U.S, ESPN will be the distributor, and it will be on all platforms. In Demand, DirectTV, Dish, and ESPN+. It’s pay-per-view [in the U.S] in late April. I’m not at liberty to announce the date right now. It’ll be announced next week at a press conference.
Fury requests Jared Anderson
“He’s over the moon right now,” said Arum about Fury. “He spoke to me after the purse bid, and the first thing he told me is he wants Jared Anderson over there to spar with him.
“We’ll make him one of the principles supports on the Fury-Whyte card. I don’t know about that,” said Arum when asked if he plans on trying to put together a fight between Deontay Wilder and Jared Anderson.
“Again, I have to talk to James Prince about the next move for Jared Anderson. He’s a young heavyweight, and there’s no need to push him. So, we’ll do the fight in April, and we’ll see what we’ll do with Jared. “I really believe he’ll be the heavyweight champion after Tyson Fury,” said Arum.
If Arum can match Jared Anderson against a top heavyweight like Filip Hrgovic, Andy Ruiz Jr., Joseph Parker, or Frank Sanchez, that should bring in some PPV buys from American boxing fans.
Why step aside deal broke down
“That was a Middle East deal, and it was so convoluted,” said Arum about why the step aside deal didn’t work. “It wasn’t going to happen because not only were they going to have to pay for Usyk’s fight with Fury.
“They had to pay a step aside to Joshua for a huge amount and for Whyte for two fights. There was a problem with the television rights, and it wasn’t going to come together.
“They couldn’t do the fight in April because it’s Ramadan, and we were talking about doing the fight at best in June. Tyson got impatient with the whole thing,” said Arum.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said on Thursday that the step aside deal didn’t work because Fury requested a tune-up fight in March. He wanted a tune-up before fighting Usyk later this year, and they weren’t going to agree with that request.