Tyson Fury could have paid £15million to avoid his mandatory trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder this Saturday night.
Fury's long-awaited title clash against domestic rival Anthony Joshua was signed and sealed for August 14 before Wilder brought forward an arbitration case for their trilogy.
US judge Daniel Weinstein ordered in favour of the trilogy, going against Fury's manager Bob Arum's wish that Wilder would be issued damages instead of forcing the third fight.
The highly anticipated fight between the two Brits was now off the table, but Wilder's co-manager Shelly Finkel said Fury and Joshua's managers could have paid £7million each to avoid the trilogy.
He told ESPN : "The arrogance of both Eddie [Hearn] and Bob [Arum] — before we won the arbitration — they were throwing around numbers; they were both going to earn $75million. Why not offer $20million? It's $10million each side.
"Never happened and we never asked; we were going forward with the arbitration. But we would be a fool if we're offered $20million and didn't listen. It's not a lot of money [for them, compared to $150million].
"You have to be out of your mind to at least not try. Just pick up a phone and say, 'Hey, we want to make an offer. Is there something you would consider?' You never know. After I won I wasn't going to do anything like that."
The fight between Fury and Joshua was scuppered by Joshua's loss to Oleksandr Usyk last month, as Joshua was outpointed by the Ukrainian in London.
Usyk won Joshua's WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight belts and will likely rematch Joshua in February or March of next year.
Who wins in the trilogy this weekend, Fury or Wilder? Let us know in the comments section below
Joshua said he still wants to fight Fury even if none of the heavyweight belts are on the line.
Fury confirmed Wilder's team asked for $20million to avoid the trilogy, but the Brit said he'd rather give Wilder a "good hiding" than pay him step aside money.
He told BT Sport : "He asked me for 20 million dollars and I said I don’t pay people to step aside, I pay them in arse kickings. That was the truth. They asked for 20 million dollars to step aside – I said I wouldn’t give you 20 grand you piece of s***.
“I’ll smash your f***ing teeth in. I wouldn’t give him a million quid to step aside because I’d rather give him a good hiding. Put him into retirement.”
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