As the world continues to wait for an undisputed heavyweight unification fight, Tyson Fury is still trying to determine who his next fight will be against. Top Rank’s Bob Arum shed some light on this situation, which could make things even more complicated than they already have been.
Arum spoke to iFL TV regarding the heavyweight title photo. Fury, the WBC and The Ring Heavyweight champion, is linked with interim WBC Heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte. The idea is that they would compete to determine the undisputed WBC champion. Whyte, who recently sued the WBC for a title opportunity, is demanding what he thinks is a fair share of the stock market money that goes with a fight of this magnitude.
One problem Arum has with Whyte is the asking price; $ 10 million to fight Fury. Arum is now interested in leaving Whyte and has two fighters in mind for Fury: former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and competitor Robert Helenius.
“These are the two main guys that I’ll be talking to Frank (Warren) and Tyson about later this week and we’ll find out what we’re going to do,” Arum said, via Boxing Scene. “It’s unfortunate in a way because Dillian Whyte can have this fight. There is no doubt that we would do this fight. In our opinion, they are very greedy in what they ask for.
“If he thinks he can win, stop shitting with arbitrage and chasing the biggest dollar. Tyson is the big draw. No one in the United States has really heard of Dillian Whyte. offered him a 25% agreement with a guarantee [of $5 to $5.5 million] and let them negotiate that. Again he says he wants [to start at] over $ 10 million, which is absolutely out of the question. I don’t know what he’s talking about … they’re just greedy.
Fury just picked up a knockout victory over Deontay Wilder in October. He retained the titles he took from Wilder in February 2020. Linear champion Fury is now 2-0-1 against Wilder. Whyte, a former British heavyweight champion, won the interim WBC heavyweight title in 2019 against Oscar Rivas. He lost the belt in August 2020 dramatically against Alexander Povetkin. “The Body Snatcher” won the title in March via TKO in what would be Povetkin’s last fight of his career.
According to WBC rules, the WBC states that an interim champion can receive up to 45% of a scholarship. Arum also mentioned the idea of Fury only defending the The Ring belt, with the WBC title in limbo until a possible undisputed unification fight. Currently, Oleksandr Usyk holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles, beating Anthony Joshua in September for the belts. He is expected to fight Joshua in a rematch in early 2022.
Ruiz and Helenius both have deals with Premier Boxing Champions.
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Ruiz made his professional debut in 2009. In 2016, he unsuccessfully contested the WBC heavyweight title, losing to Joseph Parker. After a three-game winning streak, Ruiz was embroiled in one of the biggest upheavals in boxing history, defeating Joshua inside Madison Square Garden to win the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles of the heavyweight. Not staying focused on the task at hand, he quickly lost the titles in a rematch to Joshua in December 2019.
A much more motivated Ruiz is now teaming up with Eddy Reynoso, Canelo Alvarez coach. He last fought in May, beating Chris Arreola by unanimous decision.
Helenius made his professional debut in 2008. A silver medalist at the European Championships, “The Nordic Nightmare” is 6-2 in his last eight fights. The 37-year-old is coming off back-to-back wins over Adam Kownacki, apparently becoming a WBA title contender.
Outside of those fights, Arum isn’t afraid to try to wait and have Fury face the winner of Usyk-Joshua II. That would mean avoiding Whyte altogether and potentially without the WBC title.
“We gave them (the Whyte team) a big, good deal – a more handbag than they’ve ever had in any fight, and it didn’t move them,” Arum continued. “We spoke to WBC to head Mauricio Sulaiman and he said, ‘Look, this breaks my heart. Go find another opponent. Fight without the WBC title. We’re not going to take it away from you. Aim for your business. ‘”
The current plan is for Fury to fight at least three times in 2022.