Long-time promoter Lou DiBella has broken down the obstacles which stand in the way of a potential megafight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua – and it’s fair to say he doesn’t think the prospect of them meeting is likely in the very near future.
DiBella, former promoter of Deontay Wilder, says there are so many imponderables right now as boxing looks to head out of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially into a global recession, nobody can be certain of anything.
He doesn’t expect to see massive events any time soon as boxing feels its way back into action, telling The Athletic’s Pug and Copp Show: “I tend to think the first fights back are going to be the most affordable fights, so I don’t think they are going to be fights involving our biggest stars. A lot of the conjecture I’ve read from certain writers and fans – ‘Oh when we get back we’re gonna get only the biggest and the best’ – bulls**t you are, bulls**t you are.”
There has been much talk of Wilder potentially stepping aside from his contractual right to a third fight with Fury to allow ‘The Gypsy King’ to go straight ahead to a unification match with Joshua. But DiBella feels that makes much less sense now the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the global economy so hard.
“Before there was a pandemic and before I knew he (Wilder) had surgery and before there was a lot of other stuff, maybe letting him fight Andy Ruiz and if he wins – and by the way I assume he probably would win – he gets the winner of Joshua and Fury for some guaranteed astronomical payday. I don’t think anyone’s guaranteeing astronomical paydays heading into a deep recession coming out of a pandemic when you don’t know whether people are gonna be willing to pay 80 dollars or 70 dollars or 60 dollars for a pay-per-view.
“And when a Bob Arum is out there being quoted two days ago saying pay-per-view is not gonna work at 80 bucks, we gotta look at 40 bucks, how much money are you gonna generate to make this incredible amount of money to make Fury against Joshua and pay a lot of money to this guy (Wilder) to stand down. I just am not sure of any of that.”
Further speculation about a Fury vs Joshua fight taking place this year in the Middle East has been rampant in recent days, but again DiBella is unconvinced at this stage.
“Maybe Fury and Joshua is so enormous in the UK, and they can get a big site number from Saudi Arabia or UAE. They can get some giant Middle Eastern site fee and the PPV is big enough in the UK to justify it,” he said.
“But there’s a lot of ifs in all of this. The stuff that you’re starting to hear that is starting to sound really crazy, it’s because it is really crazy at the moment.
“For Wilder to agree to a step-aside, he’d have to know what else is he gonna be doing. Who is gonna put up the money for him to fight somebody else, and where is that gonna go? What if pay-per-view fails royally if we head into an international recession that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression and no-one wants to buy pay-per-view. There is a lot of ifs right now.
“Some of this s**t, honestly some of the conjecture and the stuff that is out there, to me seems to be really naive, premature and probably not real.”