Top-rank boss Bob Arum is ready to bypass the greatest boxing match in British history for his own interests.
Tyson Fury’s 89-year-old co-promoter would prefer Oleksandr Usyk defeat Anthony Joshua on September 25, rather than let Joshua beat WBO mandatory challenger Usyk to further set up the super fight against Fury – should the WBC The Heavyweight Champion also defeated Deontay Wilder on October 9th.
“Usyk is a friend of mine because he is Vasiliy Lomachenko’s friend. He’s a great guy, funny, articulate and smart, ”Arum told Sky Sports [Usyk] in battle! I just can’t help it. “
Usyk is not sponsored by Top Rank, but is often seen on the ring at the company’s shows supporting his Ukrainian compatriot and Olympic gold medalist, Lomachenko. Both fighters also share the same manager in Egis Klimas.
Arum, together with Frank Warren and Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing, signed a duel pact back in March to fight Fury and Joshua for all heavyweight marbles.
In May, Fury prematurely announced a date for the fight against Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 14th. Days later, a referee ruled that Wilder was entitled to a third fight with Fury. The originally announced July 24th date for the Fury vs. Wilder trilogy was postponed to a later date in the fall after Fury became infected with COVID-19.
Both Joshua and Fury have serious opponents and obstacles to overcome in order for the fight to finally materialize, maybe Joshua and Fury should be victorious and unharmed as early as next February.
Arum seems unimpressed who Fury’s future dance partner will be.
“There are a lot of good heavyweights that we could fight,” he said. “Tyson really appealed to American audiences because of his personality and he’s such a huge favorite in the US. He’s larger than life, he’s a straight forward speaker, and people in the States love him.
“This is a new era. We have never seen heavyweights the size we see now. We have never seen a 6’9″ man like Tyson fighting like he does. Or Joshua. They’re all huge … Usually a guy like Usyk has a really good shot against a 6’2 ” heavyweight. But against a massive guy like Joshua? It can be a bridge too far. “
Meanwhile, Joshua promises to disrupt Arum’s wishes.
“I want to do a good job, do business, because I have other things in mind [after the Usyk fight]“Joshua told Sky Sports.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, author and radio reporter. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He is on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk. accessible[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or at www.ManoukAkopyan.com