Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who co-promotes WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, expects his boxer to return in the first quarter of 2022 - on a date in March or April.
There is already talk of Fury making a mandatory defense against interim-champion Dillian Whyte, but Arum does not believe Whyte is going to overcome his upcoming bout with Otto Wallin - which takes place on October 30.
In 2019, Fury was nearly derailed by Wallin. The unbeaten champion sustained two severe cuts in the fight - severe enough to have the fight stopped, but the officials allowed the bout to play out and Fury won a twelve round unanimous decision.
“I don’t think Dillian Whyte beats Wallin. I mean Tyson fought Wallin, he’s a tough, tough Swedish dude. So let’s see how Whyte does with Wallin before we make plans for Fury to fight Whyte," Arum told Fight Hub.
Arum would have liked to see Fury have a unification with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who last month captured the belts with a twelve round unanimous decision over Anthony Joshua.
Joshua activated an immediate rematch clause - forcing Usyk to face him for a second time in the first quarter of next year.
Arum indicates that he spoke to rival promoter Eddie Hearn, who advised him that Joshua would not step aside from facing Usyk again.
“Joshua and Usyk, I think they’re going to wait until April 4. I think Fury will fight again in March or April. Then we can look to a September or October match for a unification," Arum said.
“Eddie thought Joshua wouldn’t be amenable to a step aside and would want to do the rematch. Which is sort of stupidity on his part because no way is he going to beat Usyk in his next fight no matter what new strategy he deploys.
“Yeah, too talented, and he’s a little chinny, Joshua is. The only way you’re going to beat Usyk is to pin him and corner him with your high weight and pressure him. But then he can unload against you. Now, a Tyson Fury can absorb that, as we all know, but Anthony Joshua has a suspect chin.”