Bob Arum remains hopeful that the third Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight can happen in November or December.
Fury’s co-promoter is a lot less optimistic about Fury-Wilder III taking place in the United States, where their first two fights were held. Arum told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday that their third WBC heavyweight championship match “probably” will be staged outside of the U.S. because COVID-19 restrictions could prevent crowds from attending sporting events there through the end of this year.
Arum also ruled out the United Kingdom as a potential site for Fury-Wilder III. He revealed that his company, Top Rank Inc., has had discussions with investment groups from two unnamed countries that are interested in securing that high-profile, pay-per-view event.
“We have proposals from entities in two countries that we’re considering now,” Arum said. “And when they become more concrete, which will probably be in the next week or two weeks, we’ll run them by the PBC people because, after all, they’re our partners in that promotion. And hopefully then we’ll make an announcement. Right now, we’re looking to do that fight in the fourth quarter of the year and we’re probably gonna be doing it outside of the United States and outside of the United Kingdom.”
The Fury-Wilder rematch produced approximately $16.9 million in ticket revenue February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. That figure established a new Nevada record for ticket sales from a card headlined by a heavyweight championship bout.
Arum is willing to put on most cards following the pandemic without fans, even the highly anticipated lightweight title unification bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez. The third Fury-Wilder fight is an exception to that allowance because Arum and Al Haymon, Wilder’s adviser, would have to sacrifice too much revenue from tickets sales if it happened without a crowd.
“You can’t do that event without making up for the $17 million in gate revenue that you would otherwise lose,” Arum said. “You can’t do it.”
A site fee from one of the aforementioned parties would help pay the huge guaranteed purses for Fury and Wilder even if their third fight doesn’t generate as much ticket revenue outside of the U.S. as it did in Las Vegas.
England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were tentatively scheduled to fight a third time July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Fury-Wilder III never was officially announced for that date, though, and it was pushed back to October 3 once the coronavirus outbreak brought boxing to a standstill. It is now more likely to occur in November or December, according to Arum.
Wilder quickly exercised his contractual right to a third fight following his seventh-round, technical-knockout loss to Fury nearly three months ago. Fury knocked down Wilder twice – once apiece in the third and fifth rounds – before Wilder’s co-trainer, Mark Breland, threw in the towel during the seventh round of a fight that had become completely one-sided.
Fury and Wilder fought to a controversial split draw in their first fight, a 12-rounder in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Wilder floored Fury twice in that fight, once each in the ninth and 12th rounds.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.