Bob Arum wants Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua to build their profiles in America before throwing his fighter Tyson Fury in with either of the heavyweight champions.
Fury signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank and ESPN, and the announcement derailed rematch talks between the Gypsy King’s camp and Wilder’s team.
Wilder was furious when Fury opted out of the rematch, but Arum insisted it was the right move to make.
Arum aims to make Fury into a pay-per-view star on ESPN in the next year and sent a message to Wilder and Joshua about their star power.
‘If Joshua is built the way Fury is being built, Joshua will be huge in the United States,’ Arum told Boxing Scene. ‘The trick is to build these fighters up so that the people, the sports fans, everybody knows who they are and has a rooting interest.
‘We can do that now with Fury. Hopefully they’ll be able to do it with Joshua, they’ll be able to do it with Wilder.
‘If that’s the case, then the money in the heavyweight division will be enormous. ‘You can match these guys and count on two million pay-per-view homes, you can do that. ‘But you’ve got to build up these fighters to get to that point. People don’t know Wilder, really.
‘You walk down the street and you talk about Wilder, very few people even know who he is.
‘Now I remember in the 80s, when I walked down the street and I talked to people about [Sugar Ray] Leonard or [Marvin] Hagler, everybody knew who they were.’
Joshua is scheduled to make his debut on American soil against Jarrell Miller in June on streaming service DAZN, while Wilder is expected to fight his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in his next outing.
Wilder’s broadcast future is up in the air as the American considers leaving his usual home of Showtime, but he turned down a deal with ESPN last month.