Bob Arum doesn’t want to wait.
While the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight was all good and ready to go in August, an arbitration judge ruled Monday that Deontay Wilder must fight Fury prior to Sept. 15, throwing cold water on the much-awaited showdown between heavyweight titans.
Top Rank boss Arum, though, doesn’t want to cut a step-aside check for Wilder, instead wanting to put together Fury vs. Wilder 3 on the docket before a unification showdown with Joshua.
“We’re not paying Wilder to step aside,” Arum told ESPN. “It’s better to get rid of him and go about our business. We can make the Fury-Joshua fight for November or December.”
While there’s inherent risk for Arum to pit Fury against Wilder before a title unification fight with Joshua, it’s a no-lose scenario for boxing fans, who have been waiting for either a Joshua-Fury or Joshua-Wilder matchup for years.
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Arum speculates that a Fury-Wilder trilogy fight could take place in Las Vegas on July 24.
Wilder went the distance with Fury in their first fight in 2018, fighting to a split-decision draw, but didn’t have the same luck in 2020: Fury downed Wilder with relative ease, earning a seventh-round TKO victory over the “Bronze Bomber.”
Wilder hasn’t fought since losing the WBC belt last February to Fury.
Joshua, who currently holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight belts, is coming off a title defense vs. Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, and the forthcoming matchup with, well, whoever holds the WBC belt, will be a long-awaited unification bout for the heavyweight straps.
But, for now, Arum, Wilder, Fury and the rest of the boxing world waits — once again — for these fights to be made.