Anthony Joshua 'desperately' needs to fight in US, says legendary promoter Bob Arum

By Jack Davenport BBC Sport
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker
Bob Arum believes Anthony Joshua's fights in the UK against opponents such as Joseph Parker, pictured, have damaged his credibility in the US

Anthony Joshua "desperately" needs to fight in the USA to raise his profile, legendary promoter Bob Arum says.

Arum says the world heavyweight champion's fights against "no-hopers" in the UK "damaged his credibility".

He claims Joshua, 29, is being overshadowed by Tyson Fury after his draw with Deontay Wilder in December.

"In the US if you ask people who the number one heavyweight is, I think many people will say Tyson Fury," said Arum, who promoted Muhammad Ali.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live's Boxing with Costello and Bunce, he added: "He needs really desperately to come to fight in the United States. And I say that not because I'm an American, I say that because, economically, the US market is still the most important, because the pay-per-view in the United States has the potential of 200 million, 150 million homes."

Briton Joshua has won all 22 of his fights to date, 21 by knockout.

He has beaten former WBA, IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, former WBO champion Joseph Parker and 2004 Olympic gold medallist Alexander Povetkin in the past two years, but has never fought outside his home country.

There is speculation his next fight, originally scheduled for Wembley Stadium on 13 April, could be moved to the US - depending on the outcome of negotiations between Fury and Wilder.

Barry Hearn, head of Matchroom Sport, whose son Eddie promotes Joshua, said Fury and Wilder have both received "humungous" offers to fight Joshua.

But he conceded a rematch between the two was more likely and expects an announcement in the next seven days.


BBC boxing correspondent Mike Costello

A couple of things struck me about that interview.

Firstly, how Fury's performance, and particularly what he did in the 12th and final round, has resonated across American boxing. But also Arum referring to Joshua's opponents as "no-hopers".

When you think of Joseph Parker, who held a world title, Wladimir Klitschko, who was motivated like rarely in the previous four or five years, even [Alexander] Povetkin, it's strange that there is this perception, but it's a perception that has to be broken down.