By: Hans Themistode
Bob Arum was left speechless when it was revealed that former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, had officially won his legal arbitration.
After suffering a seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury in February of 2020, Wilder attempted to enact his mandated rematch. Yet, due to left bicep surgery, as well as the uncertainty of COVID-19, their bout was postponed on several occasions.
No longer willing to wait, both Fury and Arum went in another direction. Recently, the British native revealed that an undisputed title fight between himself and unified champion Anthony Joshua was taking place on August 14th. But while Fury, Arum and fellow promoter Eddie Hearn, continued to tell the public that things were going according to plan, Wilder enlisted the help of arbitrator, Daniel Weinstein.
Now, with Weinstein officially ruling in Wilder’s favor, Fury has until September 15th to face the former belt holder. Despite the news, it was originally reported that Arum intended to pay Wilder to step aside and guarantee the Alabama native a shot at the winner. With that said, Arum doesn’t appear interested in having Fury face Wilder down the road. Instead, he intends on dealing with him.
“We’re not paying Wilder to step aside,” said Arum during an interview with ESPN. “It’s better to get rid of him and go about our business. We can make Fury-Joshua fight for November or December.”
Unwilling to protract negotiations, Arum has already reserved Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 24th for their third, and presumably final, showdown.
As for Joshua, he’ll now be forced to head in another direction. A showdown against WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk appears to be his likely target. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion was deep in negotiations to take on former Olympic Silver medalist, Joe Joyce, while Fury and Joshua took care of their undisputed showdown. The winner of Usyk vs Joyce was originally expected to be awarded the WBO interim title, as well as a mandated shot at the winner.
Nevertheless, with Wilder stepping in to face Fury instead, Usyk will likely pursue his title shot against Joshua next.
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