Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum is as excited as anyone as the clock ticks down to the biggest heavyweight fight in two decades this week.
The 88-year-old Hall of Famer was an integral part of making Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury II the event it is today, having made a huge offer to the latter in early 2019.
Arum’s deal came on the back of Fury ‘rising from the dead’ in the twelfth round of the first meeting. It was one of the biggest underdog stories for years in December 2018.
This rang true with Arum. He immediately saw the opportunity to make Wilder vs Fury II the most lucrative fight on the planet.
Halting an initially agreed return on May 18 was a masterstroke by Arum, who persuaded Frank Warren, Shelly Finkel, Jay Deas and Al Haymon to hold fire.
That nine-month wait, coupled with Fury’s enhanced reputation due to appearances on US TV and with the WWE, and Wilder has found his position elevated into the bargain.
Stunning knockout victories over Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz (again) pushed Wilder as the top guy at 200 pounds plus.
It’s now up to Fury to take the WBC crown. In what Arum says will be an eight-figure earner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday night.
Add to that the numbers paying $100 to watch the fight on screens in hotels and up to 80 bucks for PPV. It’s big business for Wilder vs Fury II.
“Nobody would have dreamed that would we have this mass of publicity rolled out by ESPN and FOX,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I mean, FOX gave the fight two thirty-second commercials on the Super Bowl. That was was watched in the United States by 125 million people. That’s never happened before a big fight.
“We have all the seats sold. So we are putting in 20,000 seats in various hotels at closed-circuit locations. The gate should be over $16 million for this fight.
“I just think everybody is saying it’s the biggest heavyweight fight in a long, long time.”
Asked for a prediction on the impending battle after Fury went for a round two stoppage, Arum was unwavering in his answer.
“I don’t know about the second round. Don’t know about the third round. I don’t know about the fourth round. But I’m really looking at Tyson Fury knocking Wilder out,” he said.
Wilder vs Fury fight week continues ahead of the weigh-in on Friday. Followed by the first bell of the Pay-Per-View on Saturday afternoon, Pacific Time.