Bob Arum wants to bring Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 to the boxing public even after Fury signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank Boxing and ESPN.
The long-time promoter spoke to ESPN boxing analyst Max Kellerman and reiterated his desires to see the highly-anticipated rematch between Wilder and Fury for the WBC heavyweight title. Arum said people shouldn't be worried that the rematch won't happen just because Fury signed with ESPN.
“That’s absurd that we wouldn’t be able to see it. Deontay Wilder himself said that, as far as networks are concerned, he is a free agent. The public deserves to see the best fights and if promoters can’t work together to present the best fights, shame on the promoters,” Arum said.
As far as making an effort to get the fight made, Arum added that he recently sent out a “tremendous” offer to both Wilder and manager Shelly Finkel and advisor Al Haymon. When it comes to Fury coming to ESPN, the network is making a major investment on a heavyweight star and if there is any worry that things between Fury, ESPN and Top Rank go awry if Fury loses a fight, Arum isn't concerned with that.
“Let’s go back to the days of yore. Losing a fight is not a death sentence. Losing a fight, if you fight well and you’re courageous, only builds up interest in your next fight. Tyson Fury has become a face of ESPN and ESPN+ and thanks to our friends at MTK Global who made it all happen, Tyson Fury will remain a big, big face of ESPN and ESPN+ whether he wins or loses against Deontay Wilder,” Arum said.
But Wilder and Fury aren't the only heavyweight stars today. There is still unified champion Anthony Joshua, currently promoted by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, and ready to make his United States debut on June 1 when he takes on Jarrell Miller in New York City.
“For years, I used to do business with (Eddie's father) Barry Hearn and he is a very, very close, good friend of mine… I’ve known Eddie since he has been a young man. There will be dialogue if we have anything to say about it. That fight can happen and believe me, if they look at the record of Top Rank, we want these fights to happen. It’s no accident that we have put on some of the biggest fights in history. It’s a question of sitting down, working out problems, getting everyone satisfied and giving people what they want,” Arum said.
Both boxers have been negotiating a rematch for several weeks, but there is no indication that the two are near a deal in the aftermath of Fury's announcement. The two fought in December 2018 on pay-per-view with the fight ending in a split draw.