While Anthony Joshua may hold the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, Bob Arum believes Americans view Tyson Fury as the number one heavyweight.
British heavyweight Anthony Joshua needs to fight in the United States to raise his profile in boxing’s biggest market, according to Bob Arum.
The unbeaten Joshua – who is the reigning IBF, WBA and WBO champion – is a huge draw on home soil, with his last four bouts split between the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Wembley.
Yet the 29-year-old has yet to fight in front of an American audience in his professional career, something Top Rank boss Arum feels must change if he wants to be considered the biggest name in the division.
The renowned promoter – who worked with legendary heavyweights Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in the early stages of his career – feels Tyson Fury sits top of the pile in the US, his stock boosted following the split-decision draw against Deontay Wilder in December.
“In the US if you ask people who the number one heavyweight is, I think many people will say Tyson Fury,” he said when appearing on BBC Radio 5 live show Boxing with Costello and Bunce.
Later during the interview, Arum added: “He [Joshua] needs really desperately to come to fight in the United States.
“And I say that not because I’m an American, I say that because, economically, the US market is still the most important, because the pay-per-view in the United States has the potential of 200 million, 150 million homes.”
Joshua is next booked to fight at Wembley again on April 13, though it is not yet known who will be in the opposite corner.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has a quartet of names in the frame – Fury, Wilder, Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte – and admits negotiations have been a “little bit frustrating”, albeit all four options remain on the table.
“We’ve got April 13 on lockdown – AJ is training now for April 13, just to make sure if that comes about he is ready. That’s our preference, that’s what we want to do,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Obviously we need an opponent. I feel like we’ve made a number of good offers to several of the world-ranked fighters and other champions. Some of those don’t think we’ve made particularly good offers.
“It depends really also what value they put on winning a world title, or unifying four of the belts in the division. It’s a little bit frustrating, but everything is in play right now.
“Wilder, Fury, Whyte and Miller – they are the four it could be. Any one of those can step up and take the fight.”