A few months ago, Tyson Fury claimed to be walking away from boxing forever. He has become world champion twice beating Klitschko and Deontay Wilder. He has had a walk of redemption losing 10 stone and quitting his alcohol and drug addictions, and overcoming depression. He has deepened his faith with God, and is considered one of the best heavyweight boxers of this generation.
However, a few weeks ago Tyson Fury released a statement that he would be considering coming back to boxing. His statement said “Everything is for sale, everything has a price. At £500million, is my price. 'If anyone's willing to pay that, then I will gladly give them what they want.” Fury said this during his appearance on Good Morning Britain. He also expressed that he is considering fighting the winner of Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as part of this deal.
This could be a possibility since in the Middle East they have already been offering fighters hundreds of millions to host the fight in their country. As we have seen with the FIFA bid, countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are offering sporting organisations huge amounts of money to host sporting events. It is reported by the Athletic that “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has shown massive interest in boxing lately.” This is partly due to these countries wanting to change their economic structure from oil to tourism and entertainment.
The Athletic in a great article reported that Saudi Arabia have already tried making the Tyson Fury fight. It is reported that “Saudi Arabia is paying around $150 million to land the fight, sources tell The Athletic... ESPN’s Mark Kriegel first reported the $150 million number.” Saudi Arabia was expected to offer a huge sum of the revenue to both fighters, including PPV's from around the world which were anticipated to be in the millions from BT Sport, ESPN, Sky Sports, DAZN.
There is a saying that 'everyone has a price', and at first it may appear that Tyson Fury's demand for £500 million is ludicrous. However, the more it is looked into, it does have some reality to it. The sums for the Saudi Arabia fight would be monumental, and record breaking in boxing. However, Saudi Arabia have already spent huge amounts of money before on sporting events. This may not even be a one time thing. This could be a regular pattern that becomes normal for Saudi Arabia. To land these huge fights, they will have to spend big money.
Some fans may question Tyson Fury's comments. Is he being satirical, is he being for real? We don't know for sure. However, were his comments to be authentic then there is the money and backing from organisations to fund this fight. Sponsorships, PPV's, and a deal over 3 years with rematch clauses could be worth the amount spent. The rematches that follow the first fight could bring in even more attention and money to boxing.
Boxing fans saw this in the Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury trilogy. As each fight came along the numbers of people watching, the media attention, and money grew. The Anthony Joshua versus Tyson Fury fight could be another fantastic trilogy that fans are desperate to see. This may be why the fight is so appealing to Saudi Arabia. As reported by the Athletic “It’s easily the biggest fight that can made in all of boxing and it’s also the biggest heavyweight title fight since Mike Tyson fought Lennox Lewis in 2002.”