Bob Arum will need to forget about having WBC heavyweight Tyson Fury wait until 2021 before defending against Deontay Wilder next February because he doesn’t want to wait. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) wants to return to the ring by December to face former WBC belt-holder Wilder (42-1, 41 KOs) in their trilogy match.
Once Fury is done with Wilder, he’ll go straight towards a unification match against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Antony Joshua, according to his promoter Frank Warren.
Fury won’t be defending against Whyte
There will be no title defense by Fury against WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte in February. That’s NOT happening in 2021, period. That means the World Boxing Council will need to decide whether to strip Fury or elevate him to Franchise champion. You can probably guess which direction the WBC goes in.
The downside of Fury fighting in December is it means that he’ll be giving up the lucrative gate money that he could make by waiting to face Wilder after crowds are allowed back. Arum is banking on the fans returning by February of next year, but he’s not certain.
It could be a gamble on his part if he had Fury wait until February because there’s a good chance that nothing will change by then in terms of the pandemic.
“We have just had a long talk and he’s made it clear that he won’t wait any longer than that to box again,” said Warren via The Sun.
‘He’s at his best physically and mentally when he’s busy as a boxer and it’s my responsibility to help keep him in the great shape he is now on both fronts.’
It’s important for Fury that he stays busy because he’s someone that loses motivation when he’s not fighting, and he can’t afford to let that happen. If Fury does agree to sit idle for a year, he’ll be inactive for 12 months by the time he fights next February.
‘Tyson cannot be kept idle that long,” continued Warren. “If not Wilder then a decent opponent behind closed doors in the UK.’
Arum wants Fury to make as much money as possible, and he can’t do that if he fights without fans in December. Maybe at this point in Fury’s career, he’s less worried about money as he was before.
His career looks to be in great shape right now, and it’s certainly possible that he’ll be able to dominate the heavyweight division for the next several years before he starts having problems.
Arum targeting December 19th for Fury vs. Wilder 3
“We were very confident that n December 19th that we would have the availability of this brilliant new stadium in Las Vegas where the American football team, the Las Vegas Raiders play and it would be the first non-football event in that stadium,” said Arum to IFL TV.
“Now I’m not sure if they’ll even allow a limited number of spectators. So we’re working on it, speaking to the right authorities in Nevada,” said Arum in trying to figure out where to stage the Fury vs. Wilder III fight. “Certainly all the team officials at the stadium, and right now, we’re set on December 19th.
“Now whether that truly is able to happen or not that remains to be seen. We’re very powerful people here in the United States, but we’ve never gone up against this coronavirus. You understand. We were hoping, for example, Lomachenk-Lopez.
“I put in October because I thought in my mind that surely by October they would allow us to do an event with spectators with a limited number of spectators, and that isn’t going to be the case. So now we’re talking about that fight going into The Bubble [in Las Vegas] and doing it without spectators. What else can you do?
“It’ll creep into 2021,” said Arum of the Fury vs. Wilder III fight on the possibility he may need to move the match to next year. “We have a good opportunity to do to it [Fury vs. Wilder] in Asia at the beginning of February. That is the second option at the moment.
“If that’s not to be the case at all, then we’ll have to sit down and figure it out. I don’t want to abandon that fight at the last minute, and I’m somewhat optimistic for December 19th. I’m even more optimistic that if that doesn’t work out, then February 1st or 2nd,” said Arum on the potential that Fury-Wilder could take place next February.
So there it is straight from Arum on when and possibly where Fury will be facing Wilder for their trilogy match. We’ll have to see which promoter, Arum or Warren, get their way in terms of when Fury will be facing Wilder. Arum seems to be leaning in the direction of February based on his statement.
He wants to make sure that the fight between Fury and Wilder can take place in front of boxing fans, and it doesn’t look like the December 19th date will work.