Bob Arum blames the networks for the trilogy fight collapse
Well by now everyone is up to date on the current debacle dealing with the trilogy fight of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury (30-0-1, 21ko), and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41ko).
Team Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel tried to get everyone to relax and chill, claiming that the fight will happen according to plan. However, the WBC champion himself put a stamp on the fight being dead. He publicly stated that he has indeed moved on and will fight in a hometown appearance December 5.
The Gypsy King defeated the Alabama power puncher on February 22. The former champion invoked the rematch clause for the fight to take place in July. However, no one could have foreseen that a global pandemic would cripple all sports. The crisis pushed everything back and people were uncertain as to when things would get back to normal.
Next, the fight was set for October. However, that date got canceled as well. The general consensus was the powers that be wanted to wait until they could have fans in attendance.
Finally, December 19, 2020 was set and agreed upon and the boxing community was ready for another war.
A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE
In boxing, you can never believe anything will happen according to plan as of right now. The former WBC champion’s rematch clause contractually has expired. During an interview with IFL TV, legendary promoter Arum explained it in a way that all you do is shake your head in disbelief.
“The fight contractually had to take place sometime in July, and there was a provision for a postponement into October. Then Fury agreed to do the fight December 19.”
“Why December 19? Because the big beautiful couple of billion-dollar stadium that has been built in Las Vegas for the Raiders would be available, and we could get permission to get ten or fifteen thousand people in attendance.”
Furthermore, the Top Rank boss explained why the networks also played a part in killing the rematch deal.
“Then what happened was the networks [Fox and ESPN] that were going to distribute the pay-per-view said, you can’t go December 19 because there are five college football championships. They’re huge on that day and two NFL games… on the same day.”
The networks were concerned that with all the games taking place throughout the day, it could hurt revenue, and people would not buy the pay-per-view. Moreover, Arum revealed the networks would offer two more dates.
“We couldn’t go December 19, and then we realized we couldn’t go any other time in December. Fox and ESPN gave us two possible dates, one at the end of January, and one at the end of February. When I discussed it with Tyson, he said ‘Look, I have been training hard, I have to fight by the end of the year’. So we arranged for Frank [Warren] to put him in with a top fifteen guy in the WBC rating, and we will do that fight December 5.
The Top Rank head honcho ended the statement with a little sentiment for the former WBC champion.
“Unfortunately for Wilder, Tyson is not under contract to fight him anymore. So he is another victim of the pandemic.”
By: Garrisson Bland