Bob Arum says this week’s Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua ‘announcements’ are “old news” and just a case of Eddie Hearn “looking to get some press”.
On Wednesday afternoon the internet went into meltdown when first Hearn – then Fury himself – announced that the two fighters have ‘agreed in principle’ financial terms for a two-fight deal.
But Arum – whose Top Rank promotes Fury along with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions – says there is nothing new and that the financial structure (a 50-50 split for the first bout and 60-40 for the rematch in favour of the winner) and rematch clause were agreed some six weeks ago.
He told Seconds Out: “This is bizarre, in discussing a potential Fury fight with Joshua 4-6 weeks ago, we arrived at this formula. That the fight would be 50-50, and then the next fight 60-40 dependant on who won the fight. So for me this was old news.
“Now nothing else is decided, there are a lot of issues – television and so forth – that I am sure in due course will be decided. There’s only two little problems. One problem is my guy Fury still has a match against Wilder and Wilder is not a pushover. Remember how dangerous everybody thought Wilder was gonna be for Fury going into the last fight. Well I think we’re gonna see a different Wilder for this third match between these two guys.
“And then as far as Joshua as concerned, I truly believe my guy (Kubrat) Pulev – and I co-promote Pulev – is gonna knock Joshua on his ass. And therefore that will be the end of any talk of a Fury/Joshua fight. I really believe that.
“So one, there was no news made today. Two, I don’t think Fury and Joshua is gonna happen. Certainly not next year. Now that shouldn’t be a headline because I think the reason is, my guy Pulev is gonna beat the crap out of Joshua when they meet later this year.”
When pressed on why he thought Wednesday’s media statements were made, he claimed: “Because Eddie Hearn was looking to get some press, otherwise none of us thought it newsworthy to make a statement. Obviously these guys want to fight each other, obviously there’s gonna be no impediment everything being equal.
“This is not a news story – how else would you do a fight other than 50-50 – forget about which television network is gonna do it. There is no news – this is obvious. If you’re gonna do a rematch and everybody had agreed six weeks ago that if they fight once you build it up, why not do the rematch, how are you gonna do it? Everybody said, 60 percent to the winner, 40 per cent to the loser of the first fight which is what we did with Wilder and Fury going into the third fight.
“It’s not news man, it’s not news!”
Arum was asked about another fascinating sub-plot to the Fury vs Joshua storyline, that of the battle for TV rights, but he says it’s not even up for discussion yet and re-iterated that he expects Pulev to throw a massive Bulgarian spanner in the works.
“Nobody is really contemplating all that stuff, whether it should be Sky or BT doing the pay per view in the UK, whether it’s ESPN – well it’s gotta be ESPN doing the pay per view in the United States. Will DAZN do pay per view? Who knows, they could. It could be like an arrangement like ESPN and Fox had in the last event (Fury vs Wilder 2). Anything is possible.
“Again, I’m not getting into the weeds and negotiating that now, because it’s not gonna happen – believe me, Pulev is knocking Joshua out. And then I’ll negotiate with myself. I’ll represent Pulev’s side, I’ll represent Fury’s side, I’ll go to bed one night and come to a solution.”
When Fury made his announcement on Wednesday he gave a lot of credit to his advisor Daniel Kinahan, who has been the subject of significant controversy – particularly in the Irish media – about his alleged past.
Arum also praised Kinahan for his part in negotiations, explaining: “Dan is a great source of putting everything in perspective and talking reason to the promoters. Keeping the peace with Eddie and Frank, which is not easy. He’s been a good and calming influence. He acts as the advisor to Top Rank and Tyson Fury. That’s his role and he’s done us a lot of good articulating our position to both Eddie and Frank.
“Again, I’m in a unique position, because I really on a personal basis like Frank – I’ve been dealing with him for years – and I also like Eddie – his father Barry and I did a lot of fights together a couple of decades ago. So again, whenever things seem to get out of line with Frank and Eddie – which happens quite often – there’s Dan to come in and make piece, and also I think myself. I think Eddie and Frank both respect me as well.”