Deontay Wilder was “thrilled” after Tyson Fury was ordered to face him again and wants to ruin plans to reschedule Fury’s ‘undisputed’ fight with Anthony Joshua, says Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel.
The former WBC heavyweight champion will receive an opportunity to regain his title after an arbitration court ruled that Tyson Fury should take a third fight, which will be held in Las Vegas on July 24.
Wilder has remained silent as he prepares with his training team, including the addition of Malik Scott in his corner, and Finkel revealed his response to the ruling.
“Just thrilled. It was just phenomenal,” Finkel told Sky Sports. “It was a great, great feeling.
“There’s a parable about the dog with the bone. The big bone was Saudi Arabia, and you end up with nothing. [Bob] Arum [Fury’s promoter] wants it in July, because they believe Fury is just going to walk through Deontay, and then they can get that fight on with Joshua, provided he beats Usyk in the fall.
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“That’s what their game-plan is obviously, but we aim to derail that. We’ll see.”
Fury had announced an undisputed fight with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia, scheduled for August 14, just a day before the judge Daniel Weinstein delivered his verdict.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum have declared their intention to reschedule the undisputed world title fight in December.
Finkel said: “I don’t think you have an arbitration out there and you go say, ‘Well, we’ve made a deal already.’
“That to me is just not the logical way to do things and then after that, you don’t hear Eddie [Hearn, Joshua’s promoter] say anything.
“The reason, obviously someone told him, ‘You better not say things, because if Fury fights you, your guy instead, you have massive, massive liability.’ You have induced a breach of a contract, that’s been adjudicated in the court and you induced him to do it, by hanging Joshua out there for it.
“It became obvious to Eddie, because he’s smart, I better shut up, and I had nothing to do with it. But they knew there was an arbitration case. Everyone knew it and there was at one point, Arum went for a summary judgement. It was denied. Once it’s denied, you’ve got to know there is something the judge is thinking, because he would have given you an indication the case was over.
“You have to have your own self logic. You’ve got to say, ‘Look, even if it’s a one per cent chance I’m going to lose, it’s a one per cent chance.’
“I can’t say, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ They deluded themselves. Al and I just continued to press forward. You didn’t hear us in the papers, you didn’t hear us saying anything.
“Avoided all press. I just don’t get that kind of sureness that nothing could happen.”
Wilder was not interested in a step aside deal, although Finkel has questioned whether the other promotional team were even willing to make a serious offer.
“I believe he [Arum] was shocked,” he said. “He really would have preferred to have the Joshua fight.
“As soon as things in court, looked a little bad for the decision, I assume he put some things on hold. He was still hoping for the fight in Saudi Arabia. We did not want anything but the fight. It was obvious.
“We never looked for a step aside or anything. But on my logic, if it were me, and I were in Eddie’s shoes and there’s. Before the decision, I’m looking at 150 million, plus PPV, plus international TV, whatever. Probably looking close to 200 million. What would it take to say, ‘Hey guys, there is a chance we’ll lose, so instead of making 200 million, let’s offer them something and see if they’re interested?’
“It never came to that. It’s just silly. ‘If it were me, I would have spoke to my fighter, and said, ‘Look, instead of making 100 million, make 90.’ A lot more than he’s going to make to fight Usyk, for sure and we hope to disrupt the party.”
Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn declined to comment.
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