It appeared as though the deal would be made for the two British heavyweights to collide this year, but it fell apart a few months ago.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fight would’ve had to have taken place in the likes of Abu Dhabi, or Saudi Arabia. Talks for the first of the planned mega-fights were indicating that the boxers were set to fight in the Middle East, but these negotiations fell through.
Bob Arum on Fury vs Joshua
Speaking to Sky Sports, Top Rank CEO Arum lambasted Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn before confirming that the fight will be going ahead next year.
In the interview, Arum said: “The problem with Eddie? He cannot stop talking. When he says February? He is saying the fight will happen next year which is clearly correct.
“Joshua is fighting in September, we are fighting in October. Obviously [Joshua vs Fury] will take place next year. But February, March or April? That remains to be seen.”
Arum also expressed that he wants the fight(s) to take place in the United Kingdom, with either Wembley or Cardiff as the preferred destinations. He said: “My hope is that the fight goes to the UK.
“I don’t care what the money is. Both fighters owe the UK fans this tremendous event at Wembley or Cardiff, rather than taking it to a foreign country.
“My position is: if Fury and Joshua win, screw any mandatories! Fury vs Joshua is the fight that people want to see. Period. End of story. That is an easy fight to make. It is not a hard fight to make.”
Saudi Arabia deal falls through
Arum would finish by confirming that the fight was set to go ahead in Saudi Arabia, but talks fell. He stated: “We had the fight rolling. The central elements had been taken care of. There were no problems, really, on the deal. Why did the deal stall and not get finalised? In my opinion, overreaching.
“We were all in line: ‘OK, do the fight in Saudi Arabia’. If we had struck a deal with the Saudis, the arbitrator would not have [ruled for Fury to fight Wilder instead].
“He would have allowed [Joshua vs Fury] to happen, and he would have given damages to Wilder. But there was no deal with the Saudis. That’s what happened. It won’t happen again.
“Before we negotiate outside of the UK, we will have strict rules as to who is part of the negotiating team.”
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