Promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren are both confident that an undisputed heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will happen, following Usyk’s rematch win over Anthony Joshua this past Saturday.
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO) still holds the WBC title despite being officially retired, a position he’s made clear a few times lately, though with a little gap in between where he was reportedly working on a December fight with Derek Chisora, a fringe contender he’s beaten twice already.
Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) has the other belts — WBA, IBF, and WBO — and also the Ring Magazine championship, which was recently stripped from Fury and put up for grabs in Usyk vs Joshua 2.
Most important, it’s the clear top two heavyweights in boxing, at least if, like many, you aren’t really taking Fury’s retirement seriously. (He’s had others before this.)
Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who has co-promoted Fury for the last few years, Tweeted (or had someone Tweet for him) that he believes the fight will happen:
Top Rank and our co-promoter, Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, are hopeful we can make the biggest heavyweight championship fight since Ali fought Frazier…. Fury vs. Usyk. pic.twitter.com/qQkIflPOYM— Bob Arum (@BobArum) August 22, 2022
Arum’s Tweet mentions co-promoter Frank Warren, who sat down with iFL TV and had this to say:
“At the moment, it’s a fight that both the fighters want to make, and it’s a historical fight. This is four belts, it’s probably the biggest fight since Ali-Frazier. I really do think that. They’re both undefeated. Tyson’s the best of his generation. According to some quarters, Usyk’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It doesn’t get any better than that; this is the blue ribbon event of world boxing, the heavyweight championship for the four belts, to find out who’s the best heavyweight on the planet. These things happen very, very rarely. If a country or somebody wants to host this event, then they have to dig deep.
“We can’t get the fight (in the United Kingdom) until next spring at the earliest, because if it were gonna go on over here, it would have to be at Wembley, and we want to get it done before the end of the year. There has been interest from various places, and we’ll go where the money is. ... There aren’t any politics or TV in the way of this, it’s a much easier fight to get on. The only thing that’s going to be an issue is where we generate the most money from.”
“The fight’s made — both parties want it, there’s no big problem in getting this fight made. It’s where it takes place and how we satisfy the boxers’ financial demands. That’s really it.”
Early signs are at least encouraging for Fury vs Usyk to happen. The fight should generate major money interest from the Middle East, which is pretty clearly the most likely location, whether it be Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Neither side figures to have any issue with that.
Will we get it? I think so. Will we get it by the end of 2022? That’s much more debatable, but even if it waited until, say, the spring of 2023, you’d still expect it to land in the Middle East, simply because the UK will just not be able to match the money that the Saudis or someone in the UAE will likely offer, and even more than normal, a massive amount of money will be the No. 1 way to get this fight done.