Bob Arum says he wants WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to face IBF/WBA/WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship next, with the winner to face Anthony Joshua.
First, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) will need to take care of Deontay Wilder this Saturday in their trilogy match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Arum isn’t overly concerned about the possibility of Fury losing to Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
Arum needs help with one thing for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn to agree to step aside to allow Fury to face Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) next.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has a rematch clause in his contract from his September 25th fight with Usyk, which he lost by a 12 round unanimous decision.
Arum wants Fury to take on Usyk instead of Joshua because he feels that his guy has a better chance of beating the Ukrainian than AJ, and he doesn’t want to ruin a massive fight between the two prominent Brits.
If Joshua goes through with his plans to fight Usyk in an immediate rematch in early 2022, Arum sees him losing to the talented Ukrainian.
That’ll hurt Joshua’s popularity and create less interest in a fight between him and Fury.
Another problem that Aum has is the World Boxing Council confirming this week that the winner of the October 30th fight between WBC interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin will fight Fury next.
Arum has no interest in making a fight between Fury and the Whyte vs. Wallin winner unless he’s forced to due to Joshua and Hearn rejecting the idea of them stepping aside for the Fury-Usyk battle to take place.
Arum expects Wallin to beat Whyte
“This has happened to Dillian Whyte all the time. The last time when he was mandatory, he fought the Russian guy [Alexander] Povetkin and got knocked on his a**,” said promoter Bob Arum in reacting to the news of the WBC installing Dillian Whyte as Fury’s mandatory and want him to take that fight next if he’s victorious against Wilder on Saturday.
“Let me tell you, this Wallin guy, the Swede, is a hell of a fighter, and I look for Wallin to clearly beat Whyte, so I’m not even taking it [WBC wanting Fury to face Dillian next] into consideration. I don’t think Whyte gets by Wallin.
“Wallin is a really good fighter, and I don’t think Whyte is a good fighter. Among others. Wallin gave as good as he got in that fight [with Fury in 2019]. Forget the punch [from Wallin] that caused the cut on the eye, but don’t forget that.
“Wallin is a hell of a fighter, and I don’t think Dillian Whyte is, so we’ll see,” said Arum.
There’s a perfect chance that Dillian Whyte will lose to the 6’6″ Swede Otto Wallin on October 30th because it’s a bad match-up.
We’ve already see Whyte get knocked out by 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin in 2020, and he took a beating before that against 40-year-old Mariusz Wach in December 2019. Whyte gets hit too easily, and his chin is too weak for him to be counted on to beat Wallin.
If Fury has no choice but to fight the winner of the Whyte vs. Wallin contest, he will, but it means Joshua’s career could be toast because he’ll precede with his crazy plan of trying to avenge his loss to Usyk in early 2022 and likely lose again.
Bob wants Fury to face Usyk next
“We’re all going to sit down and everyone involved in the heavyweight division,” said Arum on the next move for Fury should he defeat Wilder on Saturday night.
“We’ll sit down if Tyson Fury wins [against Deontay on Saturday] and figure it out.
“For me, the best scenario would be for Tyson Fury to fight Usyk for one champion [undisputed heavyweight championship] with a contract for the winner to fight Joshua. I think that’s what everybody would want to see. Whether that can come about, I don’t know.
“I talked to Eddie [Hearn] about it. I told Eddie, ‘Here’s what I’ve been telling everybody about what I think should happen.’
“Obviously, Joshua has the rematch provision with Usyk, and he has to agree, Joshua. You have to agree. Usyk, I haven’t talked to Usyk, who is a good friend of mine, about fighting Tyson Fury.
“If we could put that together plus the fight with Joshua. Whoever wins the Usyk – Tyson Fury fight, that would make a lot of money for everybody.
“I’m not confident at all, but I throw this out for everybody involved to discuss. Certainly, it’s worth discussing. Now, whether it comes to fruition or not comes to what everybody figures, but I think that would be the way to go,” Arum added
As long as Joshua and Hearn listen to reason, they’ll realize that Arum’s plan is best for business.
They’ll make more money if they let Fury take care of Usyk rather than Joshua fighting him again and getting beaten for the second time.
Joshua will likely lose to Usyk in the rematch
“The truth is, if Joshua fights Usyk again, the chances are very likely that the results will be the same,” said Arum. “Usyk is a tremendous boxer, he’s left-handed, and Joshua shows no real ability to fight a southpaw.
“Can he learn? Maybe, but you don’t go in against a skilled southpaw like Usyk and expect to change your tactics and beat him. Based on their performance, I gave Usyk nine rounds, maybe eight. What is Joshua going to do to beat him?
“And again, some people say, ‘Joshua should go forward and beat the hell out of him and bully him and so forth.’ But look what happened when he [Joshua] tried to do it in the 12th round.
“He nearly got himself knocked out. Another 10, 20 seconds, and he would have been knocked out.
“The fact that he didn’t get it is his own fault because he got knocked out by Povetkin,” said Arum about Whyte blowing his chance for a world title shot against WBC champion Fury by getting stopped by Povetkin in their first fight in 2020.
“If the unification fight [between Tyson and Usyk] can’t be made and Fury winds up fighting Dillian, so beat it. It’s not a bad fight. Yeah, of course, in Vegas. The big fights belong here.
“Sometimes you do them in the UK. The pay-per-view in the U.S is robust, and the gate, once there’s no travel ban, which we lifted in November.
“10,000 Brits would come over here for the fight. They would want to come over to Vegas, and Vegas is made for those types of tourists,” said Arum.
Bob could be right about Usyk beating Joshua again, and that would be terrible for the sport of boxing. Joshua will have lost 3 out of his last five fights at that point, and his popularity would be nowhere.