Anthony Joshua “desperately” needs to fight in the USA to raise his profile, legendary promoter Bob Arum says.
Arum, 87, who promoted Muhammad Ali, says the world heavyweight champion’s fights against “no-hopers” in the UK have “damaged his credibility”.
He claims Joshua is being overshadowed by Tyson Fury following his draw against 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,” Arum said.
“He needs really desperately to come to fight in the United States,” he added on BBC Radio 5 live’s Boxing with Costello and Bunce.
“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.”
There is speculation that Joshua’s next fight, originally scheduled without an opponent 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.