Tyson Fury has now set a deadline for fellow Brit Anthony Joshua to agree for a fight on either November 26th or December 3rd before presumably moving on to look for different opponents.
Fury offered to fight ‘AJ’ at the end of the year this week in a video posted online, with Joshua duly responding in a tweet of his own accepting the challenge and asking for any offers to be sent to his management team. Fast-forward to Wednesday and Joshua’s Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed to iFL TV that Joshua had accepted a 60-40% purse split in favour of Fury, though both sides were currently on a different page regarding the fight date.
Team Joshua prefer to fight on December 17th, a date for which Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions, Fury’s UK promoter, reportedly have booked at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, while Fury remains firm on fighting either late November or early December. In a video posted on Thursday, Fury said, “Just to clarify there has never been a December 17th date ever. There’s only ever been November 26th at Wembley or December 3rd at Cardiff, there never has been a date for the 17th“. A video posted later in the day saw ‘The Gypsy King’ call out Joshua and Hearn again. “This is it now AJ and Eddie, don’t get scared now. Agree to the fight and let’s give the fans what they want“.
In an interview with iFL TV, Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren spoke on why December 17th isn’t a viable date for a showdown with Joshua. “The reason this has come about [Queensberry booking the Principality Stadium in Cardiff] is because of what we were intending to do with the unification fight [against unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, who outpointed Joshua in their rematch two weeks ago] which was intended to take place in December. That was where Tyson’s head was and also Usyk’s, but Usyk subsequently has said he won’t be available until February or March, so Tyson wants to fight, he’s only had one fight this year. As he said, he feels he’s comfortable in beating anyone who’s put in front of him but he wants to make sure there’s no problems for the Usyk fight in February/March, and he needs a decent run-up for that. That’s why he wants to do it earlier“.
Warren also revealed that Fury has now set a deadline for the end of today (Thursday 7th September) for Joshua to agree to fight on the two dates laid out by Team Fury before Fury presumably moves on to other opponents. “The offer’s there but we need an answer quickly because Tyson has told me this morning again if they do not come back with the thumbs up then we move on. This is not going to drag on“. When asked whether there is a deadline, Warren’s response was simple, “yeah, today“.
Warren revealed that Fury will fight regardless before the end of the year, in UK soil, whether that be against Joshua or another opponent.
While a fight between Fury and Joshua would no doubt be the biggest in the history of British boxing, putting a fight of this magnitude together in such a short space of time is certainly a big ask. One way or another, we should get an answer by the end of the week with December looming just eleven weeks away. One would hope that the issue preventing the fight from taking place will not be the date of the bout taking place, especially when both sides are just two weeks apart in their preferences.