Top Rank CEO Bob Arum believes IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is lacking the proper exposure in the United States by having his fights carried by streaming service DAZN.
Joshua makes his United States debut on June 1, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the other corner will be undefeated challenger Jarrell Miller.
Arum recently signed lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to a multi-fight co-promotional deal. Fury is Joshua’s main rival in the UK.
Arum’s company has an exclusive content deal with ESPN – and the network has a rival streaming service, ESPN+.
Top Rank’s events are carried on ESPN or ESPN+ – but the more high profile fights are going to be showcased on ESPN Pay-Per-View – like next month’s welterweight fight between Terence Crawford and Amir Khan.
In the option of Arum, Joshua’s worth in the United States is being watered down by having his fights on DAZN. Joshua’s fights are carried on pay-per-view in the UK by Sky Sports Box Office.
“Joshua is completely isolated because he has in effect, been captured and rolled into this DAZN arrangement. This frankly inhibits his ability to make major fights and his ability to really become a factor. He’s fighting in the US against Miller but it’s on DAZN. Nobody has DAZN,” Arum told World Boxing News.
The veteran promoter believes Joshua has been misled by his current promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom. Arum would strongly advise Joshua to finish his contractual obligations with Hearn – and then join Fury by inking a deal with Top Rank and ESPN.
“I think Joshua has been used. Joshua and his people should wake up and really join the world. He should finish up his contract with Hearn and join us,” Arum said.
“It makes no sense [to continue placing his fights on DAZN]. It makes no sense to deprive him of PPV. If he fights in the UK, he can’t turn that into PPV dollars in the United States. That’s because of the difference in time.”