Bob Arum resents Eddie Hearn’s contention that Arum misled him regarding the arbitration case that prevented Tyson Fury from fighting Anthony Joshua this summer in Saudi Arabia.
Hearn has claimed that Arum knew judge Daniel Weinstein would rule that Fury must fight Deontay Wilder next, yet the 89-year-old promoter proceeded with negotiations for a much more lucrative heavyweight title unification bout between Joshua and Fury. Joshua’s promoter has told numerous media outlets, including BoxingScene.com, that he wonders whether Fury’s handlers ever truly wanted the Joshua fight.
Arum’s Top Rank Inc. co-promotes Fury, along with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. Hearn and Arum are open to revisiting Fury-Joshua negotiations for an undetermined December date if they win their upcoming bouts, but Arum dismissed Hearn’s conspiracy theory during an interview with a group of reporters recently.
“Eddie Hearn has diarrhea of the mouth,” Arum said. “He can’t stop talking and he doesn’t think. Because in the contract, which Joshua signed and Fury signed, we specifically had a section talking about the arbitration and talking about the possibility that the arbitrator would order [Fury] to fight [Wilder next]. So, everybody knew about that. Now, people said, ‘Oh, the papers are clear. The arbitrator will never rule that way.’ But it’s not a secret that it was in arbitration and that this was a possibility.”
Weinstein ruled May 17 that Fury must honor his two-fight contract with Wilder from 2019 and grant the former WBC champion a rematch next. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will attempt to avenge his seventh-round, technical-knockout defeat 15 months ago when he squares off against England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in their third fight July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Instead of facing Fury, England’s Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is expected to make a mandatory defense of his WBO belt versus Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) on September 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Arum claims that if Hearn didn’t get “greedy” by trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of Saudi investors, that Fury and Joshua would still be on a collision course to fight August 14.
“Now, Eddie Hearn was the guy who screwed everything up,” Arum said. “And the reason he screwed it up was the Saudis were happy to pay a tremendous amount as a site fee. Eddie got greedy and said, ‘Pay a bigger amount and take all the television and everything.’ And all the promoters, Frank Warren, ourselves, had deals [with television networks]. It became so complicated that it dragged on for weeks.
“I truly believe that if it had just been a site fee, we would’ve signed it, we would’ve announced the fight, and the arbitrator, if he felt the way he did, would’ve given what’s his name, Wilder, some damages, but wouldn’t have adjourned the fight. But again, that’s all in retrospect. But Eddie should shut up and stop blaming other people. Instead, he would be well-advised to shut his mouth and look in the mirror.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.