Arum: Joshua vs. Fury Wouldn’t Sell Now
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury never had true negotiations for a possible title fight, but any chance of the two fighting at all is now out the window, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Joshua, Fury and Deontay Wilder were consistently seen as the three best in the heavyweight division, with the thought that one of them could be the undisputed champion by some point next summer. Those plans took a major turn last week, however, when Andy Ruiz Jr. upset Joshua to end Joshua’s undefeated record and claim the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO championships.
Arum feels Joshua losing that fight, his first time competing on U.S. soil, has significantly damaged his reputation.
“The trouble is, Anthony Joshua had no reputation in America before. He has no reputation now,” Arum said. “He got knocked out by Andy Ruiz, that says it all. If you put Joshua in with Wilder or Fury in the United States, it wouldn’t sell at all. Nobody knew Joshua before. I mean DAZN, for all the money they paid him, they got very few new subscribers from the fight.
Who the [expletive] is going to pay to see [Joshua vs. Fury]?
Arum adds that he feels putting Joshua in an immediate rematch with Ruiz is a major mistake, and a possible desire of Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, to gain back the four heavyweight championships may be putting his fighter at greater risk than necessary. Both Ruiz and Wilder, the WBC champion, are a part of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), headed by Al Haymon.
Arum says what Joshua’s team needs to do is build him back up in a matter like how Wladimir Klitschko was. Joshua defeated Klitschko to retain the IBF title and win the WBA and IBO titles in late April 2017.
“What it takes now is really serious boxing people building him up again,” Arum said. “The same thing happened years ago with Wladimir Klitschko. Samuel Peters had him down. Also got knocked out by Lamont Brewster…but they built him back up. He came back and became superlative. That’s what you gotta do with Joshua. Not rush him into an immediate rematch with Ruiz. The same thing may happen before you’re able to rehabilitate the guy.”
Original Story: World Boxing News