There is increasing pressure on the American heavyweight to accept a step-aside offer. …
Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that talks to host a heavyweight unification fight between the Gypsy King and Anthony Joshua have taken place, while he has urged all parties to behave like ‘adults’ to find a solution.
Fury was due to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time this summer, while AJ was contracted to fight Kubrat Pulev, but the coronavirus crisis has seen both fights postponed with suggestions that a unification fight later in the year will now take precedence.
In order for that to happen, both Wilder and Pulev will need to accept step-aside offers but the American appears reluctant to do so and Arum has urged Wilder and co-manager Al Haymon to ‘cooperate’ for the good of the sport.
Asked about the chances of Fury fighting again in October, Arum told Seconds Out: ‘Not confident at all. Again, I’m not Dr. Fauci, our medical expert in the United States, I don’t have any medical background, so I have no idea when we will be able to do these fights with spectators.
‘October seems to me to be a little optimistic. Is it possible? Yes. But if let’s say we learn you can’t do it in October but November and December is possible, then Top Rank and ESPN and Fox would come together and choose an alternate date.
‘In other words, we are now in an era of a lot of uncertainty which is not the usual uncertainty that you have in boxing with promoters and fighters scheming for an advantage. This is an uncertainty based on forces beyond our control.
‘So we all have to be adults and we have to work together to get solutions. Now we know that our colleagues at MTK, that great organisation that does fights around the world and is headquartered in the Middle East, is now working with the Saudis as far as doing a – maybe next year, maybe later this year – Joshua-Fury fight, which they want to do.
‘And also MTK tells us that they’re getting offers from other Middle East places, like Qatar, the Emirates, so a lot of things are going to open up. How soon they open up and in which way they’re going to open up, we’ll have to see.
‘But rest assured it’s going to require the cooperation of all the promoters, whether it’s Frank Warren, Eddie Hearn, Al Haymon and ourselves, working together in fairness, like colleagues, to get all of this done and up and running.
‘But I now sort of have the gut feeling that all of us are willing to work together, at least in the foreseeable future, to get these events happening.’
Asked to elaborate on what talks have taken place, Arum added: ‘I know that Eddie had talks with the Saudis, with the Prince there, because he actually promoted a fight in Saudi Arabia with the Joshua-Ruiz fight.
‘And I know that Eddie works closely with MTK, as does Frank, as do we. And I think we’re all very confident having MTK handle the negotiations on behalf of all of us and all of our fighters to see what the best proposal is for doing that fight and other fights.’
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