Now that lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury has signed that big, big deal with Top Rank and ESPN, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is very much calling the shots with regards to the future fights of “The Gypsy King,” to a large degree at least. And Arum has an idea on how he wants to see that big Fury/Deontay Wilder rematch go – Arum wants it to be massive, as in 2 million views massive.
Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, Arum says he wants “the general sports fan to really get to know” both Fury and Wilder, so as when they do the fight will reach “one to two million homes.” But this will take a bit of time and Arum suggests both fighters should face another guy first, before engaging in their fan-demanded return fight in September.
“We envision this can reach 1 to 2 million homes,” Arum said of Fury/Wilder II. “The only way to do that is to allow the general sports fan to really get to know these guys. If that takes each of them fighting another opponent first, then rolling them into a September fight, the money on the table then would be more than they can conceive of……that’s the way I look at it.”
But is this the way fight fans look at it? Don’t we need to see this rematch NEXT. What if, heaven forbid, one, or both guys, lost the planned interim fight Arum speaks of? And really, how much further could Fury and Wilder boost their profile in six or seven months? Arum has as we know, allowed certain fights to “marinate” for too long in the past, and boom, one guy did lose and the sure-fire big fight fell apart. We can’t risk that with Fury and Wilder.
But as he’s put up so much of the cash with Fury’s ESPN deal, of course Arum is going to try and do things his way. Arum says Wilder would be “a fool” to show loyalty to TV network Showtime, that he should “only be looking at how much he can make.” It would of course be great, and cheaper for the fans, if Wilder/Fury II went out on ESPN, but who might the two giants fight in the meantime? And again, what if either man lost?
Things could change and the Wilder/Fury rematch could still happen next. But don’t bet on it. Look instead for Fury to box a pretty “safe” foe in the first fight of his multi-fight deal with ESPN, and for Wilder to get his WBC mandatory defence against Dominic Breazeale out of the way. Hopefully both men can avoid a banana skin in doing this.