Joshua is a pay-per-view cash cow in the UK via his hugely successful partnership with Sky Sports, but his bouts air on streaming platform DAZN in the United States. Big rival Tyson Fury meanwhile – co-promoted by Arum – has a lucrative Stateside deal with broadcast behemoth ESPN.
Bob Arum on Joshua
Arum, talking about the huge global interest in a Fury vs Joshua superfight, told Barbershop Conversations: “Not true in the United States. Because Joshua doesn’t mean c**p in the United States, doesn’t mean that much. But around the world, the big big big fight is Joshua and Fury.”
Hall of Fame promoter Arum also outlined the background and rationale for his decision to work with Fury back in 2019.
“Fury was interested in an American promoter. He wanted to come over and fight in the United States. Through somebody that would have give him a big platform. I realised that this guy was larger than life and had a tremendous personality that would capture the interest of a lot of people. This was after the first Wilder fight, he had demonstrated tremendous ability in that fight.
“So I knew I had a pretty good fighter and a great personality. I talked with my friends at ESPN and they signed up for it and that’s why we did it.”
Fury vs Joshua nearing a deal
Fury vs Joshua appears to be nearing contractual confirmation with Arum and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn saying a date in late May or early June is likely.
The huge match – which will hopefully take place with all of the heavyweight world titles on the line – appears highly unlikely to take place in the UK. COVID-19 has resulted in a third national lockdown there and the chance of 100,000 fans being allowed to fill Wembley Stadium in the summer appears to be nil.
Hearn revealed this week that the territories in the running to stage the fight are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Singapore, China and America.
Saudi Arabia of course staged Joshua’s rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019.