Bob Arum: Deontay Wilder manager has ‘never read’ Tyson Fury contract

"The contract has expired. It's clear. Shelly can say what he wants!"

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has claimed that Shelly Finkel, Deontay Wilder's co-manager, has never read the contract for the trilogy fight between the 'Bronze Bomber' and Tyson Fury.

After Wilder vs Fury I ended as a split decision draw in December 2018, the rematch was set for February 2020.

This time Fury dominated the American. He weighed in 17 pounds heavier than the first fight, and he used this extra weight to add more power to his punches.

The 'Gypsy King' annihilated the WBC world heavyweight champion, eventually stopping him in the seventh round to become a two-time world titleholder.

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Wilder activated his rematch clause shortly after his defeat to set up a trilogy fight later in 2020. The original date was in July, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the fight to be put back.

Then October was mentioned, before that it was then put back until December 19. Given the state of boxing at the moment, with fans not allowed to attend events, it made it difficult for the fight to be agreed.

The rematch clause meant that Fury was not allowed to fight anyone else legally until his third fight against the 'Bronze Bomber'. But Fury's team revealed that this clause expired a couple of weeks ago after Wilder and his management played hardball in negotiations.

With Fury now free to fight other people, he is set for a homecoming fight in the UK on December 5th. A number of fighters have been mentioned, but it is now believed that Carlos Takam and Agit Kabayel are the leading contenders to face the Brit.

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Despite this, Finkel has claimed that Fury is not able to fight anyone else just yet, as he believes that the rematch clause is still active.

Arum has disputed this in an interview with IFL TV, and he even alleged that Wilder's manager has not even read the contract himself:

"Fury has Robert Davis as his lawyer in the UK. He's read the contract. The contract has expired. It's clear. Shelly can say what he wants. You know the thing that's crazy about it is, the last time I talked to Shelly Finkel was the night of the fight after Wilder had been beaten.

"And I haven't talked to him since. Shelly hides in the bushes and then when something that he sees as being averse to his fighter or himself happens, then he comes out and makes statements. I am sure, I am absolutely sure, not knowing, but I think Shelly Finkel has never read the contract."

Given the silence from the Wilder's team, the majority will side with Arum on this one. Since the second fight, fans and the media have not heard a word from Wilder.

This has fuelled talk that he may have lost his love for boxing. Until he comes out and answers his doubters, questions about his passion for the sport will grow stronger.

For UK fight fans, the Fury-Wilder trilogy fight falling through will be welcome news. This is because it has pushed forward the unification fight with Anthony Joshua.

Should AJ get past Kubrat Pulev, and if Fury gets past Takam or Kabayel unscathed, they are set to fight next summer.

In a separate interview with IFL TV, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that they are eyeing April, May or June 2021 for the first bout. With their second meeting pencilled in for November or December 2021.

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