Arum expects Fury to play the waiting game with Usyk – and at Zhang's expense

Bob Arum expects Tyson Fury to resist the temptation to fight Zhilei Zhang this summer to instead wait for a lucrative fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

Zhang established himself as Fury’s likeliest next opponent by last month unexpectedly stopping Joe Joyce, and though Joyce has activated his clause for an immediate rematch, he could be offered step-aside money to allow Fury-Zhang to proceed.

Joyce and Zhang had previously been in contention to challenge Fury for his WBC heavyweight title after Fury’s inability to agree terms for the sought-after fight with IBF, WBA and WBO champion Usyk, but Arum not only expects those terms to eventually be finalised for an autumn date in Saudi Arabia, he believes that even if Usyk fights Daniel Dubois, Fury will wait for the Ukrainian.

“I really think any of the money that anybody’s talking about for that fight pales in comparison to what they could make in the middle east,” the promoter told ProBox TV. “They’re waiting now, both fighters, for the end of the year, to fight each other in the middle east, because that’s where the big money is.

Negotiations are also unfolding for another lucrative heavyweight fight in the same destination between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. The richest fights had previously long been staged in Las Vegas, but at a time when it has been suggested Fury would be refused permission to travel to the US because of his links with Daniel Kinahan – who is accused of being the head of an organised crime group in Ireland – Arum, Fury's co-promoter, said: “The idea that he hasn’t had permission to fight here is baloney. 

Asked why he had resisted attending that interview, Arum responded, simply: “He’s Tyson Fury.”