By Sam Volz: Bob Arum is confident the money will come through from the Middle East to stage the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury undisputed heavyweight fight over there rather than bringing it to Wembley Stadium in London.
Until that money comes in, Arum is keeping his options open, planning on using Wembley as the plan-B option, which, of course, could be problematic, given that Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) will insists on the lion’s share of the revenue to the fight being on his home turf in England.
That probably won’t work for Usyk because he might be better off if the fight is staged in Saudi. After all, they’re both negotiating separate deals, and the money could be better for him over there than if he’s stuck fighting in England in front of a horde of Fury fans, making less green.
If Fury chooses to be stubborn, Usyk could move on and leave the 6’9″ fighter having to back up his tough talk about fighting Joe Joyce, which he won’t do because it’s too much of a risk and it’s all wrong for his mauling style of fighting that has become his trademark style as he’s aged.
That style won’t work on Joyce because he’s physically stronger than Fury and will batter him if he tries to wrestle & lean on him.
What Fury will likely do if the Usyk fight falls out is take an exhibition match against former UFC guy Francis Ngannou to make some coin in the summer, and then try and negotiate a deal with Usyk after, offering him the same plan as before fighting in England rather than Saudi.
Arum waiting on the Saudi money
“When we see the money then we’ll go where it is. Now, if the money isn’t really there, which I don’t believe, I really believe it is, then we’ll make our own money in Wembley,” said Bob Arum of Top Rank to talkSPORT Boxing about a fight between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and IBF, WBA & WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk about them potentially taking their clash to Wembley if the money isn’t there from the Middle Weast.
“It looks like we’re going to make a deal in the Middle East where the money is for the fight,” said Arum.
“You’re saying Fury-Usyk is close, but are the final hurdles that are keeping us from seeing the Fury vs. Usyk undisputed heavyweight championship right now?” said Bernardo Osuna to ESPN+.
“This fight was headed to Saudi Arabia. Now it could be headed to England, which means less money in the pot for everybody, and Tyson Fury wants a lot of money to fight Usyk regardless of what he said in the past. That it wasn’t about money, that he’d fight for free, but this is prizefighting, after all,” said Mike Coppinger.
“They have to figure this out, and it’s looking like it’s heading to Wembley Stadium in London in late April, which is a better site for the fight. You can get 90,000 to 100,000 packed in there. Tyson Fury is a huge star, but they’ve got to figure this money problem right now.
“They’ve got to the Usyk side to get some money from there, and it’s not worked out, of course,” said Coppinger.
Fury enjoying the fruits of his labor
“Look, Fury operates on emotions. That’s what he operates on, guys; understand that,” said Tim Bradley. “He doesn’t miss boxing at this moment. He would be pushing for this fight if he did miss boxing. Understand, he just had a fight [against 39-year-old over-the-hill journeyman Derek Chisora] not too long ago [on December 3rd in London on pay-per-view].
“This man is resting; he’s chilling. He’s enjoying the fruits of his hard labor. He’s had a 14-year career, and he’s extending now. He’s tired of getting up and running, trust me, but when he starts missing the game again, you’ll start hearing the noise from Tyson Fury, and the fight will finally get made,” said Bradley.
“Yeah, but the thing here is that he’s got three mandatory’s. Hrgovic, Dubois, and Joyce, and if this fight doesn’t get made next, the whole business could fall apart,” said Osuna about Fury needing to make this fight with Usyk, or he’ll be stuck fighting his mandatory challengers one by one.