PROMOTER Bob Arum is desperate for Tyson Fury to face Anthony Joshua in the UK – and insisted they never had a prior Saudi Arabia deal.
The heavyweight pair looked all but-confirmed to fight on August 14 in the Middle East – until it was scrapped at the 11th hour.
It came as Deontay Wilder won his right to a trilogy bout with Fury, leaving the historic undisputed title up in smoke.
Wilder will instead rematch his heavyweight rival once more on October 9, while AJ fights mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25.
But if both champion’s prevail, Fury’s Hall of Fame US promoter Arum wants to see the Battle of Britain played out on home soil.
He told Sky Sports: “My hope is that the fight goes to the UK. I don’t care what the money is.
“Both fighters owe the UK fans this tremendous event at Wembley or Cardiff, rather than taking it to a foreign country.”
Opposing promoter Eddie Hearn, who largely led the talks for Joshua to face Fury, recently revealed February is now the most likely date for them to potentially fight.
Arum said: “The problem with Eddie? He cannot stop talking.
“When he says February? He is saying the fight will happen next year which is clearly correct.
“Joshua is fighting in September, we are fighting in October. Obviously [Joshua vs Fury] will take place next year.
“But February, March or April? That remains to be seen.”
Fury, 32, beat Wilder, 35, in February 2020, two years after they drew, but the rematch included a contracted trilogy.
But that was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic and the Gypsy King tried to walk away from the obligation, believing the stipulation expired.
‘IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN’
Wilder then took his case to arbitration and was awarded the verdict, setting up a second rematch between the pair.
But it meant Hearn’s months of negotiations to finalise a deal for the first-ever, four-belt heavyweight unification, collapsed.
Former lawyer Arum argued nothing was ever finalised and as a result, part of the reason they lost their mediation case.
He explained: “We had the fight rolling. The central elements had been taken care of. There were no problems, really, on the deal.
“Why did the deal stall and not get finalised? In my opinion, overreaching. We were all in line: ‘OK, do the fight in Saudi Arabia’.
“If we had struck a deal with the Saudis, the arbitrator would not have [ruled for Fury to fight Wilder instead].
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“He would have allowed [Joshua vs Fury] to happen, and he would have given damages to Wilder.
“But there was no deal with the Saudis. That’s what happened. It won’t happen again.
“Before we negotiate outside of the UK, we will have strict rules as to who is part of the negotiating team.”