Tyson Fury sounded elated to Bob Arum on the other end of the phone Saturday night.
Fury’s 90-year-old co-promoter couldn’t attend his huge fight at Wembley Stadium because he contracted COVID-19 last week and wasn’t allowed to travel to London. Upon speaking to Fury soon after his impressive sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte, Arum “of course” expects the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion to fight again.
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) reiterated after his knockout of Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) that he intends to retire, just as he had promised prior to their pay-per-view main event. The 33-year-old champion claims he has nothing left to accomplish, not after owning all of boxing’s heavyweight titles at one time or another and drawing a record capacity crowd of 94,000 to Wembley Stadium for the Whyte fight.
“It’s good for him to contemplate it and so forth,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “Obviously, if there’s nothing major on the horizon, anything’s possible. I think there’s some major, major fights for him that we’re gonna be looking at down the road.”
The most major of those fights clearly would be a showdown with the winner of the upcoming immediate rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.
Ukraine’s Usyk upset England’s Joshua by unanimous decision September 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, but the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ is contractually bound to a second fight straight away. The date and site for the rematch between Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) and Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) haven’t been finalized.
Facing the Usyk-Joshua winner would afford Fury a chance to own all of boxing’s heavyweight titles simultaneously.
He won the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts from heavily favored Wladimir Klitschko, whom Fury upset by unanimous decision in a 12-rounder in November 2015 at ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. Rather than facing Klitschko in an immediate rematch, the 6-foot-9, 264¾-pound Fury relinquished those titles to seek treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and depression.
Fury won the WBC belt by stopping Deontay Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Manchester native made his second defense of the WBC championship by viciously stopping Whyte with a right uppercut that landed toward the end of the sixth round.
Now that he has satisfied his mandatory obligation by beating Whyte, Fury is free to fight whoever he wants, if he decides to get back in the ring.
“He’s coming to the United States to vacation with his family, and I’ll have plenty of time to talk with him,” Arum said. “I’m not gonna convince him of anything. It’s up to him. He’s a terrific guy. He’s very intelligent and he’ll make his own decision.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.