Muhammad Ali would struggle to beat Tyson Fury, says legendary promoter

Tyson Fury is currently preparing to follow into the footsteps of "The Greatest" by entering a trilogy series against Deontay Wilder this summer.

Tyson Fury is the most charismatic heavyweight since Muhammad Ali but if the pair went to blows, who would come out on top?

Bob Arum, 89, has promoted both men and played a major role in resurrecting the career of Fury's alongside Frank Warren.

Following Fury's first encounter against Deontay Wilder, Top Rank signed an exclusive deal to promote the "Gypsy King" for the next six fights.

The last fight promoted by Arum's promotional company saw Fury blast out Wilder inside seven rounds to win the WBC heavyweight championship.

Fury is the first British fighter to have held all four recognised world titles and just the second after Riddick Bowe.

Fury will follow the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier by fighting in a heavyweight trilogy series against Wilder on July 24.

Arum - who also works with Josh Taylor - knows a thing or two about staging a super-fight on UK shores too.

Ali marked his return to Britain with a stoppage victory over Henry Cooper at Arsenal's former stadium Highbury in 1966 - a rematch from their 1963 contest which humbled the then-Cassius Clay.

Other heavyweights Arum has promoted include George Foreman. Big George was under Arum's wing when he became the oldest heavyweight champion in history in 1994 at the ripe age of 45.

Speaking about the trio, Arum told Sky Sports: "I look at Ali, I look at Foreman when he won the title when he was 45, I look at Fury.

"How would Ali have done with Fury? That's a question I wrestle with.

"The Ali before the three-and-a-half years out was absolutely superb. Nobody could touch him, he was so fast.,

"Ali was 6 ft 3in and the guys he fought were about the same size. How would he do against a 6ft9in guy who is an incredible boxer with great footwork?

"I grew up with basketball in New York and the centre was barely 6ft 6in. A guard was 5ft 10in. Now LeBron James is as quick as any guard but he's 6ft 10in.

"Imagine LeBron playing against the small guys of my era. It would be a joke, he would score 60 points every game," Arum continued.

"I can't see Ali competing with a 6 ft 9in guy like Fury. We had big guys in the old days but they were slow, lumbering. They were jokes who couldn't fight, they were just big. It's all changing.

"Look at Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder. They are huge guys. But maybe if Ali was in this era he would be 6ft 6in instead of 6ft 3in because of the nutrition. Everything has changed."

Betting odds

It will be no surprise to anyone to see Fury as the favourite going into their summer showdown.

Despite their first encounter ending as a split-draw and Wilder knocking Fury to the canvas on two occassions, Fury is 1/3 to retain his WBC heavyweight title with Planet Sport Bet.

You can get odds of 15/2 that Fury wins the fight betweens round one to three while Wilder is 9/4 to earn a shock win and 9/1 to stop Fury in between rounds seven and nine.

Fury vs Wilder 3 - repeat or revenge?

Anthony Joshua was the fight Fury wanted but instead he will have to deal with Wilder following a court ruling.

The first press conference ahead of their grudge match at the MGM Grand ended in Fury doing all the talking as Wilder kept his headphones on throughout the media event.

Fury has promised to beat the American even quicker this time round. "All this bloodshed stuff, not so certain. Heard it all before, to be fair," said Fury.

"He said this last time - decapitation, bloodshed all that, and we all know what went down there.

Tyson Fury was his usual charismatic self during his press conference with Deontay Wilder on Tuesday
Tyson Fury was his usual charismatic self during his press conference with Deontay Wilder on Tuesday

"I look forward to the challenge. I hope he's going to bring something different than the last time."

On Wilder's silent approach, Fury added :"It shows how weak of a mental person he is, and how much the beating in the last fight took from him emotionally in his life.

"Obviously he's doing his little thing with his earphones on, and doesn't want to answer any questions. That's up to him, but I'm here to promote a fight."

"Deontay Wilder's a one-trick pony, he's got one-punch power. We all know that.

"What I am going to do this time is to run him over like I'm an 18-wheeler (truck) and he is a human being.

"I guarantee he does not go past where he did before. I'm building my weight up, I'm trying to get up to 300lbs for this fight, because I'm looking for a big knockout straight away.

"I don't believe he's mentally, physically, or emotionally involved in this fight.

"I think he's doing it for the wrong reasons. When people do things for the wrong reasons, they always wind up getting hurt."

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