Bob Arum referenced recent and decades-old history to remind dismissive media and fans Thursday that Tyson Fury’s third fight with Dereck Chisora isn’t some unnecessary mismatch Chisora doesn’t deserve based on Fury’s first two decisive victories over him.

Fury’s co-promoter pointed out during a press conference in London that the 38-year-old Chisora pushed Oleksandr Usyk harder in their 12-round, non-title fight than former champion Anthony Joshua did during his two 12-round championship matches with the undefeated Ukrainian southpaw.

Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) beat Chisora by unanimous decision nearly two years ago in London. The official scores of that fight – 117-112, 115-113 and 115-113 – are comparable to the margins by which Usyk out-pointed Joshua in September 2021 in London (117-112, 116-112 and 115-113) and this past August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (116-112, 115-113 and 113-115).

Arum stressed the competitive nature of the Usyk-Chisora clash in October 2020 as justification for England’s Fury fighting the London-based, Zimbabwe-born Chisora eight years after Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) stopped Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) following 10 one-sided rounds of their rematch in London.  

“I have a few thoughts about it,” Arum said of the third Fury-Chisora bout December 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. “Number one, people say, ‘Well, Tyson beat Chisora twice early on.’ But I say look what Chisora did with Oleksandr Usyk. That fight was a touch-and-go fight all the way before Usyk was able to pull it out. So, and then when Usyk was made with Anthony Joshua, people said, ‘Hey, Usyk has no real chance because look how he struggled with Chisora.’ But, as you saw, Usyk handled Joshua two times far, far easier than he matched up against Chisora. That’s number one.”

The 90-year-old Arum then told the cautionary tale of the late Tommy Morrison’s first-round knockout defeat to unheralded Brit Michael Bentt in October 1993 to emphasize why Chisora shouldn’t be overlooked versus the heavily favored Fury. Bentt was 10-1 (5 KOs) when he dropped Morrison three times and stopped him 29 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Number two, this gives me nightmares, with all due respect to Tyson, who I love dearly,” Arum said. “I remember years ago Tommy Morrison had won the heavyweight, WBO heavyweight championship against George Foreman and was matched in a unification fight with Lennox Lewis for then-record-setting purses. And his manager said, ‘Hey, give Tommy a tune-up fight to get him ready for Lennox Lewis.’ So, we did, in Tommy’s hometown in Oklahoma, against Michael Bentt. And the bell rang, and Tommy went across the ring and started throwing punches like mad at Michael Bentt.

“And Bentt hit him with a right hand and knocked Tommy cold. And that, for that point in time, was the end of a fight with Lennox Lewis and a $10 million, which was a lot of money, purse to fight Lennox Lewis. This is boxing. Every time you match particularly heavyweights in against hard-punching opponents, you have to really say a lot of prayers that something bad doesn’t happen. So, while I have all the confidence in the world in Tyson Fury – who I believe is the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world – I’ll be as nervous as anyone the night of the fight.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.