Promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank) is still categorically against any mandatory title defenses by British heavyweight Champions Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) and Tyson fury (30-0-1, 22 KO), because he dreams of bringing them together in a face-to-face fight in 2021.
The problem is that both have two contractual obligations at once. The owner of the WBA Super, IBF, WBO titles Joshua must first give a fight to the veteran from Bulgaria Kubrat Pulev, and then meet with the Ukrainian Alexander Usyk. Fury must first fight with American Diontay Wilder, and then with compatriot Dillian white.
Arum fears that one of the candidates may disrupt his plans: “The candidates are serengenti… Our goal is to make the fight a fury-Wilder, and then immediately a fury-Joshua. And Yes, we are aiming for two consecutive fights between fury and Joshua. This is our position. And all these fights are parodies with all sorts of unknown contenders… In the end, let’s do the fights that fans dream of! And if fury passes Wilder, and Joshua-Pulev, then everyone will only talk about their face-to-face confrontation.”
“Fury and Joshua are also interested in a face-to-face fight. It turns out that the whole world is in favor of seeing them fight. No one cares about the WBO wishlist of usyk Or the WBC wishlist of white. The fans don’t care, you know? Everyone wants to see just one thing — how fury and Joshua determine the absolute world champion. What do I think? I think the fan pressure will do its job… We will break through.”
Curiously, promoter Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing) represents Joshua, white and Usyk. In words, he allegedly insists that Dillian fight the winner of the fury-Wilder fight. Arum laughs: “To begin with, no one knows white in the US. I’ll just say that Eddie tells you (the media) one thing and me another. Otherwise, he must pretend to protect white’s interests. I know that the WBC also decided in favor of Dillian. But let’s wait for the fight between fury and Wilder first, because we don’t plan to do anything without fans. In this case, the match may well be postponed again. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We will solve problems as they come.”