US promoter Bob Arum confirms that Tyson Fury's next fight will be against Deontay Wilder

Planned superfight against Joshua in Saudi Arabia now on hold with Wilder-Fury lined-up for July

Tyson Fury's US promoter, Bob Arum, has confirmed that the British boxer's next fight will be against Deontay Wilder.

Fury had agreed to take on Anthony Joshua in a much-anticipated heavyweight unification clash set for Saudi Arabia in August.

But those plans are now in tatters after an independent arbitrator ruled on Monday that Fury must take on Wilder for a third time. Arum told ESPN the contracts could be signed in the coming days. Fury, 32, would get 60 per cent of the purse with Wilder receiving the lower sum.

The Wilder-Fury fight could be held as early as July 24 in Las Vegas, the American sports broadcaster said, adding that August 14 has been set aside as a backup date.

The heavyweights drew their first fight in 2018 while Fury defeated Wilder to win the WBC heavyweight title two years later.

The arbitrator ruled that Wilder, 35, was contractually obliged to a rematch, with retired judge Daniel Weinstein upholding a claim lodged by the American that Fury must face him in a third fight by September 15.

"There's no chance he [Wilder] will step aside," Arum told Boxing Social in a separate interview. "He doesn't want to step aside, except for a totally preposterous number.

"Whatever it is, the judge said he had a right to the rematch and we are going to go ahead with it.

"Tyson wasn't very happy. But he's going to take out his frustration and anger on Wilder, and he tells me he's going to knock Wilder out quicker this time."

Arum insisted he was also taken aback by the ruling, saying it was "totally unexpected and I think it was the wrong decision.

"I believe that the law and the facts were on our side and that Fury could go ahead and fight Joshua. The arbitrator saw it differently."

Monday's ruling came just a day after Fury announced he had agreed to fight Joshua on August 14 in Saudi Arabia, where the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts will be up for grabs.

Neither Fury nor Wilder have fought since clashing in February 2020, when Fury outclassed the previously unbeaten American to win via a seventh-round technical knockout.

The two fighters had battled to a memorable draw in 2018 at Staples Centre Arena in Los Angeles after Fury survived a 12th-round knockdown.

Joshua, 31, could now take on former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who is the WBO mandatory, in his next fight.

Updated: May 22, 2021 06:46 PM

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