World Boxing News can exclusively reveal that any fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in the near future will NOT take place in the UK.
Speaking to Top Rank promoter and Hall of Famer, Bob Arum, WBN has been informed that there’s no way the all-British bout work under the current climate.
Fury vs Joshua has been touted to take place instead of contracted bouts with Deontay Wilder and Kubrat Pulev this year.
Wilder was signed to face Fury as part of their trilogy saga. Whilst Pulev had already agreed to challenge Joshua under an IBF mandatory.
Both events were signed and seal until the coronavirus crisis hit. Now, there are clear question marks over which, if any fights can go ahead.
Middle Eastern and Asian venues are being considered. With Fury and Joshua squaring off seemingly the most likely of all the options.
As the blockbuster is an undisputed heavyweight unification, a heap of money could come from Saudi Arabia or Macao, China to host.
One place that will not be on the agenda for the UK collision is Fury and Joshua’s home soil.
Arum explained why when answering a question on whether it makes more sense to wait for Tyson Fury vs AJ until Wembley Stadium is ready to host with 90,000 plus present.
“No, not necessarily. Again, on a Tyson Fury and Joshua fighting, the major source of income is on the Pay-Per-View in the United States. That’s a major source of revenue.
“How do you make up for that by doing the fight in the UK?
“The fight would then be in the afternoon in the United States. History has shown us that this would diminish the Pay-Per-View revenue by as much as sixty or seventy percent.
“How do you make up for that?”
Steering away from the obvious situation with the time difference, Arum was then asked whether the current climate had impacted a UK diversion.
“Remember, you’re talking about people paying huge money for tickets if the fight was at Wembley Stadium. That’s even if we would be allowed to fill it up. If and when – we don’t know.
“I don’t know how the situation is exactly in the UK. But I know in the United States that more than thirty million Americans are out of work.
“How the f*** are they going to buy a Pay-Per-View, no matter what the price is?”
At this point, it seems to be a case of Tyson Fury taking on Anthony Joshua, indeed Fury vs Wilder or even Joshua vs Pulev – somewhere COVID-19 is yet to be a major problem.
Saudi Arabia has had almost 43,000 cases of the virus and 264 deaths (as on May 13, 2020). Macao has seen 45 cases and no fatalities.
Furthermore, the question is…where?
Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay