Bob Arum on why Tyson Fury reminds him of Muhammad Ali ahead of ‘huge’ Deontay Wilder rematch
Bob Arum has seen it all in boxing. The Top Rank CEO is now preparing to promote yet another classic in the making as Tyson Fury bids to win the WBC title against Deontay Wilder on February 22.
The rematch between the two titans will take place at the MGM Arena with both looking to end any controversy from 2018’s split-draw at the Staples Center.
Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, and Manny Pacquaio are just a host of iconic names Arum has promoted.
The new era of the Top Rank stable includes Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez and Terrance Crawford.
Fury is one of the newest high-profile additions having signed a lucrative deal alongside Arum. Working alongside ESPN and UK handler Frank Warren.
Arum is backing Fury’s upcoming fight to potentially deliver over two million PPV buys in America.
Asked if it could reach the dizzy heights of previous classic fights, Arum said: “It is so hard to say where this fight sits amongst ones we’ve done before because events were so different before.
“I did most of those great fights with Hagler and Hearns, Leonard and Duran – and those were huge events.
“Later with Mayweather and Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya. I have done so many big events and it is very hard to categorize this. It will be a huge event.
“Will it be as big as Ali-Frazier if that took place now? Probably not, but only because Ali-Frazier had political issues, which this fight doesn’t.
“We’ll sell it out completely,” added Arum, who then responded to the question of if he has come across a character like the Gypsy King before.
Fury has had a huge impact on promoting mental health since returning from a three-year absence.
After losing over 100-lbs, the ‘Gypsy King’ wasted no time in taking on one of boxing’s most avoided fighters on the planet in Wilder.
Since his co-promotional deal with Arum and Warren, Fury’s wins have come against Tom Schwartz and Otto Wallin in Las Vegas.
His charismatic persona seems to be winning over the hearts of Americans as he prepares for Wilder with new trainer SugarHill Steward.
Speaking about Fury’s characteristics and skills inside the ring, a complimentary Arum said: “Well, a little bit of Ali, a little bit of George Foreman – he blends a lot of the strengths of those guys together, with a little bit of Roberto Duran.
“He is a promoter’s dream and it reminds me of when I promoted Ali.
“Ali was such a brilliant self-promoter, but a lot of people would then give me credit for having him say this or that. Of course, I had nothing to do with it.
“It is the same with Tyson Fury. The only input I have is to have my staff tell him where he has to be at a certain time. You don’t tell Tyson Fury what to say.”