Now that Bob Arum has lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury under the Top Rank banner, the Hall of Fame promoter has different plans on how the rematch with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder should unfold.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO's) and Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO's) fought to a controversial split draw in a classic heavyweight title fight on Dec. 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Fury outboxed Wilder for most of the fight, but Wilder scored two knockdowns, one in the ninth round, and a massive one in the 12th round.
Last week, FightNights.com reported that a deal for the rematch was nearly done, with the fight likely to take place on April 27 or May 18 in New York or Las Vegas. However, Arum is pushing for a more business-centric approach, which is generally not very popular, but is very effective from a long-term standpoint.
Sure, fans had to wait five years for Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao, but the much-hyped 2015 bout broke every financial boxing record, including 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and more than $600 million in gross revenue across all revenue streams.
Wilder-Fury II will not come even close to those numbers, but surely the rematch stands a better chance of making more money if both fighters face another opponent first.
Arum believes this idea could reach as many as one to two million homes.
“The only way to do that is to allow the general sports fan to really get to know these guys," Arum told The Los Angeles Times. "If that takes each of them fighting another opponent first, then rolling them into a September fight, the money on the table then would be more than they can conceive of'; that’s the way I look at it.”
But September might not be a feasible option, either. Unified middleweight world titleholder Canelo Alvarez, who signed five-year, 11-fight deal worth $365 million with DAZN last September and is one of the most popular fighters in the world, is likely to fight again during that month.
In a head-to-head battle with Canelo, Arum would not stand a chance. Arum may have to consider the summer as a potential option, or push the rematch back to 2020. Fans, though, should not be concerned about the fight never happening, as Arum has a history of making bouts that have been co-promotions dating back decades.