Tyson Fury to fight Deontay Wilder next, not Anthony Joshua: Bob Arum

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Tyson Fury will be fighting Deontay Wilder next, not Anthony Joshua.

That’s the word from Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, who told ESPN that he will be abide by the ruling of an arbitrator who said on Monday that a rematch clause in the contract for the Fury-Wilder fight last year is binding.

That means Fury will go directly into a third fight with Wilder and then, if he wins, fight Joshua late this year, Arum said.

Arum said he has reserved Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — home of the NFL’s Raiders — on July 24, which presumably means that’s the likely site and date for Fury-Wilder III.

The arbitrator, Daniel Weinstein, indicated that Fury and Wilder could agree to an extension but that would require Wilder to be paid.

“We’re not paying Wilder to step aside,” Arum told ESPN. “It’s better to get rid of him and go about our business. We can make the Fury-Joshua fight for November or December.”

The news of Weinstein’s ruling came a day after Fury, the WBC titleholder, tweeted that he would fight Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship on Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia.

“I have got some massive news, guys. I have just got off the phone from Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 per cent on, August 14, 2021, summertime.”

“All the eyes of the world will on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all times.”

Then came the more-massive news of Weinstein’s ruling, which changed things instantaneously.

Wilder exercised the rematch clause shortly after he was stopped by Fury in February of last year but the third fight never materialized, at least in part because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sport. Wilder also had surgery on his biceps.

Wilder’s representatives took the case to mediation after Fury – evidently determined to move on from Wilder – announced in October that he would face Joshua in two fights.

Team Fury had contended that the rematch clause expired because of the time that had passed, which Weinstein evidently didn’t buy.

Joshua holds three of the four major world titles – IBF, WBA and WBO — after regaining them by outpointing Andy Ruiz Jr. in Dec. 2019. Ruiz stopped Joshua to win the belts six months earlier.

Fury and Wilder fought to a draw in 2018.

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Arbitrator rules that Tyson Fury must fight Deontay Wilder by Sept. 15