Arum: Fury v Joshua must wait until 2021

Omnisport

Promoter Bob Arum is confident a deal can be struck for a heavyweight blockbuster between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua but insists the fight will not take place until next year.

The two Britons hold all of the major belts in boxing's blue riband division, with Joshua avenging his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO straps last December.

Fury then battered Deontay Wilder to a seventh-round loss in Las Vegas in February to take the WBC title, leaving him once again on a collision course with Joshua.

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However, each man has contractual obligations to uphold. Fury is committed to a third meeting with Wilder, with whom he shared a contentious draw in December 2018, while Joshua was set to meet IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in June before the coronavirus pandemic laid waste to those plans.

Arum, who promotes both Fury and Pulev, told Stats Perform News those fights will have to happen first but remains confident he can broker an agreement.

"We're going to have to wait for that fight until maybe the end of the first quarter of 2021. We've been talking about this at length – both Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren and myself.

"Obviously it would require both Joshua and Fury to be successful in the fights that they're already contracted for.

"If that's so, we would work together – all of us, MTK [Fury's management] – to get that fight on sometime early next year."

Arum's Top Rank promotional outfit relaunched boxing behind closed doors in Las Vegas this week and hopes to bring back shows with minimal attendance later in the year.

However, he concedes Fury v Wilder III is a fight of such magnitude and expense that it requires a live gate, meaning reports Sydney's Bankwest Stadium could stage the bout on Christmas Day that emerged this week are not as far-fetched as they might initially sound.

"Dean Lonergan [the promoter behind the proposal] is a good friend of mine. We did the Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn fight and he's been back and forth to me with the idea of doing that fight around Christmas in Sydney, Australia," he explained.

"There's the big, big stadium there. There's been a lot of support from the [local] government to do that fight and the Aussies are used to doing these big events around noon on a Sunday, which is equivalent to prime time in the United States on a Saturday night.

"It's all good but there are a number of questions. Will the authorities allow boxing or any of the sports events with full capacity in an outdoor stadium? We don't know that. I told Dean he's got to find out whether that's so.

"It's the same problem we have in the United States. If we can't do an event with a full capacity, then why go all the way over to Australia?"

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