Top Rank chief Bob Arum has shared his thoughts on the upcoming mega-fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder – revealing he expects it to get over two million pay-per-view buys.
The highly-anticipated heavyweight rematch between lineal champion Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) and WBC champion Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on February 22, live on ESPN+ PPV & FOX Sports PPV.
Boxing legend Arum is extremely excited about the battle, and has given his take on how he expects the build-up and the fight to play out.
Arum said: “This is an event that has a lot of interest both sides of the pond, so that is good and what I like. This fight has taken on a life of its own and will be the biggest boxing event in years. Particularly because it has the two biggest sports networks in the US behind it in ESPN and Fox.
“They do all the major sporting events and will be plugging this fight from now until February 22. Tyson Fury was not known in the United States and he took everybody by surprise when he fought Wilder.
“Now, thanks to ESPN, he’s been built up to be a huge personality in the sport. Wilder has been doing a lot of campaigning too and I think this is going to an event that will go into well over two million homes on pay-per-view.
“It was certainly well worth the time spent in building him up in the US. I cannot believe that Fury would have the popularity and notoriety that he now has without the build-up on ESPN and what he did with the WWE wrestling definitely helped!
“There will now be continuous promotion of Fury-Wilder across the networks and that is something we have never had before. The public over there has a very short attention span so you’ve got to go back to the well each time and hit them with it time and time again to refresh their minds.
“It is so hard to say where this fight sits amongst ones we’ve done before because events were so different before. I did most of those great fights with Hagler and Hearns, Leonard and Duran – and those were huge, huge events.
“Later with Mayweather and Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya… I have done so many big events and it is very hard to categorise this. It will be a huge event. Will it be as big as Ali-Frazier if that took place now? Probably not, but only because Ali-Frazier had political issues, which this fight doesn’t.
“Tyson has a little bit of Ali, a little bit of George Foreman – he blends a lot of the strengths of those guys together, with a little bit of Roberto Duran.
“He is a promoter’s dream and it reminds me of when I promoted Ali. Ali was such a brilliant self-promoter, but a lot of people would then give me credit for having him say this or that. Of course I had nothing to do with it.
“It is the same with Tyson Fury. The only input I have is to have my staff tell him where he has to be at a certain time. You don’t tell Tyson Fury what to say.”
Tickets for the fight are now on sale and can be purchased from https://www.axs.com/events/389526/wilder-vs-fury-ii-tickets?skin=grandgarden