Top Rank boss Bob Arum is bothered by Dillian Whyte’s monetary demands as the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury's WBC heavyweight belt, so he’s already drawing up alternative plans to get his prizefighter back in the ring by spring.

Whyte and his team are currently locked in an arbitration case with the WBC over what the British boxer’s purse split should be for the fight. The hearing is not due to be heard until March. 

In a wide-ranging interview with IFL that aired Tuesday, Arum said Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is asking for an unfeasible figure of at least $10 million to fight Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs). 

As a result of “The Bodysnatcher” trying to secure the biggest bag that he can, Arum and Fury co-promoter Frank Warren are now looking at opponents like former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) for a fight in Las Vegas, and Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) for a fight in Manchester as possible alternative fights for Fury in March. 

"Those are the two principal guys I'll be talking to Frank and Tyson later this week and we'll figure out what we'll be doing," said Arum. “It's unfortunate in a sense because Dillian Whyte can have that fight. There is no question we would do that fight. In our view, they are very greedy in what they are asking for. 

"If he thinks he can win, stop crapping around with arbitration and looking to push for the biggest dollar. Tyson is the big attraction. Nobody in the United States has heard of Dillian Whyte, really. We've offered him a deal of 25% with a guarantee [of $5 to $5.5 million] and let them negotiate off that. Again, he says he wants [to start at eight figures at] over $10 million, which is absolutely out of the question. I don't know what he's talking about ... they are just being greedy. That's one thing that is bad about boxing. Look at the purses that you've made throughout your career. This would be by far his biggest purse. We're prepared to pay, and yet, they're just grinding it out. So Tyson will just have to fight for the Ring Magazine title. He'll save his [WBC] sanctioning fee money, hopefully, he'll be successful, and by then [Oleksandr] Usyk and [Anthony] Joshua will have fought, and the winner will be out there to fight them with or without the WBC title. The loser is going to be without any question, Dillian Whyte.”

Whyte won the WBC interim title when he avenged his 2020 knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin by stopping the Russian in five rounds, and into retirement, in March.

The WBC indicates that interim champions can receive up to 45% of a purse split. Pursuant to provisions of Rule 2.11 set by the WBC, the sanctioning body can alter the split at its own discretion.

"We've offered them a big and good deal – a purse far more than they've ever gotten in any fight, and that hasn't moved them. We talked to WBC head Mauricio Sulaiman and he said, 'look, it breaks my heart. Go find another opponent. Fight without the WBC title. We are not going to take it away from you. Go about your business.'”

When asked if Arum would also skip Fury’s WBC mandatory against Whyte and instead have Fury fight the winner of the Usyk versus Joshua rematch, Arum said:

"Sure. Yeah, it's up to Tyson Fury. He's the one doing the fighting. But yeah, of course, that's what I'll do. Again, we love to be WBC [champion]. We love Mauricio Sulaiman, a great guy. But business is business. If it goes this length, and even if they are successful in this arbitration, what are they going to end up with? Fighting some non-entity on a title nobody cares about. He's still Dillian Whyte. Dillian Whyte is not a big attraction. Tyson Fury is a huge attraction. 

"Dillian Whyte and his people should come to the table and make a deal to fight Tyson Fury, period, end of story. But that's not likely to happen. So they are going to play out the arbitration. From what I know about the case, he doesn't have much of a case. What he should do is now come to the table and work out a deal for the fight to happen. I'd like that fight to happen in the UK. Frank has a place in Cardiff. 

“They are looking at this as their last hoorah and are looking to grab as much money as they can. Well, that makes it a tough negotiation.”

Should Arum and company look for foes outside of Whyte like he’s alluding to, both paths he’s picking end up leading him to Premier Boxing Champions, as Ruiz and Helenius are both tied to Al Haymon.

A rejuvenated Ruiz bounced back in May under new coach Eddy Reynoso and beat Chris Arreola via unanimous decision. It was the Mexican-American fighter's first bout since dropping the heavyweight titles to Joshua in December 2019. 

“The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius has revived his career with back-to-back technical knockouts against former undefeated heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki. 

The 37-year-old Helenius dropped a unanimous decision to Whyte in 2017. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on