By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Joshua promoter Bob Arum has said he is opposed to the fight taking place in Saudi Arabia, saying it would be a disservice to British and American fans
A possible match between heavyweight champions and fellow Britons Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could take place in Saudi Arabia, according to Fury’s promoter Frank Warren.
On Saturday, Fury beat American Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas to be crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion.
While Wilder has 30 days to invoke a rematch clause following his defeat, speculation is already swirling about a bout between Fury and Anthony Joshua in a four-belt unification fight that would end with an undisputed world heavyweight champion for the first time in 20 years.
According to media reports, Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, has refused to rule out that the fight could take place in Saudi Arabia.
“In a dreamscape it should be in London, but they’re professional athletes,” he was quoted as saying in the Telegraph, in reponse to a question about the fight taking place in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s no different than when [footballers] Gareth Bale went off to earn money at Real Madrid or [Aaron] Ramsey went to Italy.
“These guys have short careers,” he added. “They go where the money is.”
Despite his comments, Warren admitted that he currently has no idea where the fight could take place.
“Wherever the most money comes from,” he said. “It’s the boxers who get in the ring and they’ll make their choices.
Joshua’s promoter Bob Arum – who has previously said he is planning three or four “shows” in Saudi Arabia in 2020 – said, however, that he is opposed to staging a Fury-Joshua fight in the kingdom.
“If we care about this sport and want to see it grow, then the fight should take place either in the United States or in the UK,” he told Business Insider. “We owe it to our fans to do that.”
Various media outlets have reported that Joshua earned a career-high payday of $85 million for his previous fight – a rematch against Mexican-American heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr – that was held in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah.
In comments following Saturday’s fight, Fury said that he believes a rematch with Wilder is likely to take place before any fight with Joshua.
“I need to enjoy this victory and Deontay will need time to recover from the fight, but I’m almost sure that he will take a rematch because he’s a dynamite puncher,” he said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll run it back again if he wants to.”
“But if he doesn’t want to, these are my promoters and whatever they want to do, I’m happy with,” he added. “Whoever’s next will get the same treatment, that’s for sure.”