Promoter Bob Arum predicts 500,000 pay-per-view purchases from ESPN for WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s defense against mandatory Dillian Whyte on April 23 in the UK.
It’s a fight that will generate a great deal of interest in the UK, but it may not register on the radar screens for Americans.
Whyte’s knockout loss to 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin two years ago in 2020, and the way he pulled himself out of his recent fight with Otto Wallin. He’s not the ideal heavyweight you want as an opponent for Fury.
Despite the Fury-Whyte battle taking place in the UK, Arum says it will create a lot of interest in the US and that “Everyone will find out.”
Arum has been around long enough to predict what the U.S. response to the Fury vs. Whyte fight will be, so he’s probably right. This will generate a lot of interest from the US and probably bring about 500,000 PPV purchases on ESPN.
What Arum obviously cannot predict is whether Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will help advance the fight. There are some who believe that he is going to drag his feet, and choose not to help because the wallet is not what he wanted.
Arum expects great interest
“I think it’s a great fight and it’s going to get a great reception from fans on both sides of the water,” Bob Arum said. iFL TV on the Fury vs Whyte battle.
“I have never had any dialogue with the Whyte people, and that’s a shame,” Arum said. “When we win a wallet bid, my history is we go and start a big promotion.
“I want both sides to be as happy as possible, and both sides work together in the promotion. “Both sides realize whatever hostility they have with each other, boxing needs that kind of cooperation, because there will be press conferences and all that,” said Arum.
We’ll soon see if Whyte will help advance the fight. If he chooses not to lift a finger in promotion, Arum will have to devise a strategy to have someone from Whyte’s team who will do the talking for him.
Manny Pacquiao’s fights went well in the US with his coach Freddie Roach doing most of the talking work during his career. The American fans did not care. So if Whyte chooses not to help with the promotion, Fury and the media can use Hearn to help promote the fight.
“Frank will be holding a press conference this coming week, and I will be flying over and I hope to have an opportunity to talk to the Dillian Whyte people to make them as happy as possible,” Arum said.
“Whyte has a great chance, because he is a great puncher, and he is a robust heavyweight and a very experienced heavyweight. If anything, he poses a greater danger to Tyson than [Deontay] Wilder did, and Wilder had Tyson on the deck twice.
“I am looking forward to a very big heavyweight fight. You know boxing and you have seen the power that Dillian Whyte has, ”said Arum.
Whyte can definitely hurt Fury with the power he possesses. As long as Whyte’s stamina persists, he’s a real threat.
Arum predicts half a million PPV purchases
“Maybe they use the Usyk-Joshua battle to do that. We think it has a good chance of making half a million purchases, ”said Arum when asked how much PPV purchase Fury vs. Whyte does on ESPN PPV in the US.
“Yes, because everyone will find out. That’s what our projections are up to half a million, ”Arum said in predicting 500K PPV purchases for Fury-Whyte.
“We are a slightly larger country [than the UK]. We’re going to explain to Team Whyte that if Eddie [Hearn] won the bid and they got the 70-30 they wanted, it’s pretty close to 80-20 on our bid and maybe we can work something out.
“I do not like litigation. It’s pretty stupid and takes a lot of time, and it’s just making the lawyers rich.
“I do not know about Cardiff,” Arum said when asked if he played the Fury vs. Whyte fight in Cardiff, Wales, going to host. “It’s up to Frank [Warren]. Maybe Cardiff or maybe the football venues in your part of the world will be available that time of year.
“We may want to breathe in the fresh air and do it outside. That’s not true, ”Arum said when told that Hearn said the reason the step aside agreement did not work was that Fury wanted an essay fight in March.
We’ll see if Arum’s prediction is correct about the Fury-Whyte battle that makes 500,000 purchases. I doubt I know it will, but it is possible.
Purse bid money explained
“It came from two of our partners, who invested a lot of money in Tyson Fury and did not want to lose the battle,” Arum said when asked where the money came from for Top Rank’s winning bid of $ 41 million last year. Friday.
BT will be the main distributor [for Fury vs. Whyte] in the UK, and Sky also made their platform available.
“It should therefore do enormous business in the UK. ESPN in the United States will be the distributor, but not with the exclusion of the normal outlets such as the cable systems and the satellite dishes.
“Even if it gets on ESPN in the early hours, it’s still going to go very well. None of our broadcasters wanted to lose that fight against Eddie. [Hearn] and DAZN. Not that there is any hostility, but competition is competition.
“He [Hearn] had the support of DAZN and it would have been a showcase for DAZN, trying to build a presence, especially in the UK.
“I think from their strategy of virtually failing in the United States to really build any momentum, they had a much better chance in the UK,” Arum told DAZN. “This [Fury vs. Whyte] would have really helped to introduce them to the UK.
It’s going to be tough for the Fury vs. Whyte promotion to raise more than $ 41 million to cover the cost of the wallet bid.
Step aside transaction was doomed
“The way it was handled was complicated,” Arum said of the step-by-step agreement that collapsed for Anthony Joshua and Whyte. “First you had to have Joshua sign to take a step aside. Joshua never drew anything, as he said. This is what Joshua said, that he never drew anything.
“Then they had a real Dillian Whyte problem, because not only did Whyte have to step aside for one fight, but for two fights and I do not know if he drew anything.
“Then there was the whole problem with the Saudis and the television rights. The rights that went to BT and the rights that went to ESPN, and these were never addressed. So it was all wishful thinking.
“They did not take all these factors into account. Tyson saw this and he said, “Wow, this is about a split road that will never end.” He said, “I just want to fight.”
“It’s the easy way to do it,” Arum said of Fury fighting Whyte and Anthony Joshua fighting Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua did not like the idea of being seen taking a step aside transaction, because the image it would offer to boxing fans is that he ducks Usyk.