Fury vs Joshua in trouble: Bob Arum fears big-fight delay

When you have two promoters negotiating a huge fight, you ideally want them on the same page on where negotiations stand – it’s pretty concerning then that Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum don’t even appear to be reading the same book for Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua.

While Hearn’s mantra this week (as previously) has been that the bout is close to being finalised – “on the doorstep, ready to be delivered” – Arum has a very different take.

The 89-year-old Hall of Famer believes the chances of the unification match happening in early August as planned is “dead in the water”. Instead he says the two men shobould find other opponents for the summer, and meet instead later in the year.

Summer fight dead in the water – Arum

It is the sheer logistics of getting all details ironed out in time for the bout to take place in the summer which lead Arum to this conclusion. The site fee alone – believed to be with Saudi Arabia – is reportedly $150million, not something which can be rushed through.

Arum told The Telegraph: “It will take months for the Saudis to do their due diligence on such a huge deal. It is not just a site fee, there are ancillary demands from the Saudis stretching into the broadcast deals and other things.
“It could take months for it all to play out. It could even take until 2022 the way it looks right now. The fight in July or August is dead in the water as far as we are concerned. The two fighters need to go and have other fights this summer (Arum has already mooted the revival of Fury vs Wilder 3) while the negotiations for that fight in the Middle East conclude.”

Inactivity a concern for Fury

Arum’s stance is likely also hardened by the fact Fury has now been out of the ring for 14 months since that demolition of Deontay Wilder in February 2020. ‘The Gypsy King’ has counselled several times publicly this year about the dangers of inactivity for an elite fighter. It is something that clearly concerns him.

In a nutshell though Arum and Hearn could not appear to be further apart in their take on where things stand. One believes the deal is almost done. The other believes it is a country mile away.

“It is absurd what Hearn is saying that it is a done deal,” said Arum.

“If we had just done a site deal without all the other complications that have arisen, we would have a fight by now. Tyson Fury is fuming about it and is refusing to keep waiting.”