Bob Arum, Tyson Fury’s US promoter, has had enough of negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk being made public.
The two fighters are close to making an undisputed heavyweight championship fight that will see one of them go down in history by uniting all four major belts.
Despite the lack of broadcast or promotional complications, talks have dragged on for longer than expected – or promised – and many fans are becoming doubtful.
The most recent update is that Saudi Arabia is off the table due to timing issues, and that means that so is the huge money they were willing to offer. Arum told ID Boxing News that the UK pales in comparison.
“The money if the fight was to be held in Saudi Arabia, which it’s not going to be because they’re not anxious to do that fight in the time period required, you’ve gotta put that aside because that money was really very big compared to what is realistic.
The real money from the fight, which will be the UK gate, pay-per-view, the American pay-per-view, and the other revenue from foreign sales, will be very very big as a fight – but it pales in comparison to the Saudi money.”
He went on to make comment on Usyk’s manager, Alex Krassyuk, and a recent interview in which he made it clear that he would be pushing for a 50/50 purse split no matter if the fight landed in Fury’s home country.
Arum told him to shut up.
“I like Alexander. He’s a nice guy and he’s Ukrainian. I love Ukraine. But he should shut up and not negotiate in the press. I will not negotiate this fight in the press even a little. The negotiations have to be behind the scenes.”
“I am not gonna talk about percentages of statements, because once you start negotiating in the press, it all falls apart. Because then the ego of people comes to the fore, and that trumps common sense … I’m sure we’ll put it together and hopefully have an announcement shortly.”
Arum himself was talking purse splits in the press not long ago, when he said that a half-and-half split if the fight was a Wembley wouldn’t be fair. In fact, it’s likely that comment that sparked Krassyuk’s statement.