A massive heavyweight rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury won’t happen until September, according to Bob Arum.
The Top Rank boss bought himself a piece of the top division pie when offering Fury a whopping £80 million deal earlier this week.
With the investment, Arum gets the chance to have a say over when the fight happens.
Despite negotiations being almost completed this month, Arum gave a solid indication he wants time to build the second installment.
“We envision this (Wilder v Fury 2) can reach 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 LA 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.”
On acquiring Fury, Arum added: “They (Frank Warren and UK team) realized for him to be a star in the U.S., he’s going to need ESPN.
“Now, they have the biggest platform in sports and can fight anybody to achieve that exposure.
“Even Deontay Wilder should be celebrating this because it shows how sincere the involvement of ESPN in boxing is. They’re in with both feet.
“Those people who have a percentage of Wilder’s earnings should be overjoyed. This arrangement will drive him to more (PPV) buys. He’ll make even more.
“If Wilder allows” loyalty to Showtime “to be an issue, he’s a fool. Wilder should only be looking at how much he can make.”
Fans will be disappointed to hear Arum’s words. Effectively, the Hall of Famer has admitted Wilder v Fury 2 is now all about making money.
This could hurt the fight whilst alienating Showtime executives. Wilder now looks more likely to be pushed in a different direction.
With Anthony Josuha doing his own thing on DAZN, Fury with ESPN and Wilder holding ties to PBC and Al Haymon, there could be dark days ahead for the top division.
As a result of recent events, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman admitted he’s worried by the TV intervention.
“These important fights which the public are demanding must take place. The priority for the WBC is boxing and the fans, over television rivalry.’ Sulaiman said this week.
“Anyone who prevents these matches being made will have to live with the consequences of depriving the sport and the people.
“We are entering a different era in boxing. With the major investment through ESPN and DAZN bringing a change in broadcasting platforms.
“Hopefully the internet will put an end to the way in which so many big fights have failed to happen in the past, to the detriment of boxing.”