Arum admits Sydney is ‘best option’ for Fury-Wilder

AS a new proposal has emerged for Auckland’s Eden Park to host the heavyweight world title trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, promoter Bob Arum has labelled Sydney’s bid the clear favourite.

With uncertainty around when crowds will return to sporting events in the US, Arum has been fielding international proposals and Australian-based promoter Dean Lonergan’s plan to stage the event at Sydney’s new Bankwest Stadium has Arum most excited.

“Sydney is the best option. Right now Sydney would be a favourite to host this fight,” says Arum.

“Sydney works. It’s an English-speaking country, with great people, great sports fans, great facilities and a history of doing great events. I have extraordinarily good feelings about doing another big event in Australia.

“We did the Pacquiao-Horn fight with Lonergan in Australia and it was a very successful event that was watched live in the US by five million people on ESPN.”

Lonergan put his Sydney proposal to Arum over a month ago but with the New Zealand government announcing an end to Covid-19 restrictions he has today added the option of staging Fury v Wilder 3 at Auckland’s Eden Park, as soon as October.

However, strict border controls remain in force in New Zealand and Arum says that provides a major hurdle.

“When we did Fury and Wilder in Las Vegas in February something like 8,000 fans travelled to the event from the UK to support Tyson Fury. The way I understand it those people would now need to quarantine in a hotel room for 14 days if they travelled to New Zealand for the fight,” says Arum.

“I’ve told Dean Lonergan that makes the New Zealand proposal a tricky one but there is certainly merit to it, given they are up and running immediately so I’ll have to see what he comes back with.

“We have to do this fight this year. It’s a massive event and a tremendous fight so if we could do it on a Sunday in Sydney, or potentially in New Zealand, and beam it back to the US live on ESPN in prime time that would be fantastic.”

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Arum has revealed he plans to speak with ESPN about broadcasting the domestic super-fight between Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu, which is expected to be rescheduled for late August or early September.

The legendary promoter has co-promoted three Jeff Horn fights and says the former WBO Welterweight champion remains a big name in the US.

“Horn is very popular here. Everybody saw what he did with Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane and he developed a big following. US fans may not have seen much of Tim Tszyu just yet but they all know the name Tszyu so they’ll be very interested,” he added.

“I’ll be talking with ESPN about that once we have a date and I’d expect they will be very interested in that fight.”

Top Rank is commencing boxing behind closed doors in Las Vegas this week with Australian twins Andrew and Jason Moloney headlining shows in the third week of the series.

Andrew is the WBA super flyweight world champion and will face Joshua Franco on June 23, while Jason will fight Oscar Negrete on June 25. Arum expects the bouts to springboard both fighters’ careers.

“I’m so glad the Moloney twins were able to make it to Vegas and it’s tremendously exciting that in the third week of the series each of them will be headlining one of our shows,” he said.

“They’re good looking kids. They’re well spoken. And they can both fight! I think they’re both going to be real stars over here in the US.”

Words: Ben Damon/Follow Ben on Twitter
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank