Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury now ‘dead in the water’ for July or August and won’t happen next, according to Bob Arum, but Fury continues to call out AJ on social media

Bob Arum has claimed that Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is now ‘dead in the water’ for July or August and insisted the fight will not happen next.

Fight contracts were signed last month for the undisputed heavyweight title clash, but this was all contingent on a site deal being secured.

Fury is co-promoted by Arum and Frank Warren
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Both camps agreed on a reported $150m deal that would take the fight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and, as recently as today, AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn insisted he is still working to finalise the paperwork for this pact.

However, Fury’s US co-promoter Arum told the Telegraph: “It will take months for the Saudis to do their due diligence on such a huge deal.

“It is not just a site fee, there are ancillary demands from the Saudis stretching into the broadcast deals and other things, it could take months for it all to play out.

“It could even take until 2022 the way it looks right now.

“The fight in July or August is dead in the water as far as we are concerned.

“The two fighters need to go and have other fights this summer while the negotiations for that fight in the Middle East conclude.” 

Hearn promotes Joshua
Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Arum expressed concerns over the site deal last night and met a firm response from Hearn.

Hearn told talkSPORT earlier today that things were taking longer than expected, but insisted: “I’m a one-man army going out to make this fight.

“Like I said, no help from them, all they do is criticise, sitting in his gaff in Beverley Hills, Bob Arum, moaning.

“Get off your backside and do something about it yourself. No, I’ll tell you what, leave it to Eddie.

“Alright, well if you’re gonna leave it to me, be quiet and wait for the contract to come in. It’s on.”

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A post shared by Tyson Fury (@gypsyking101)

Fury’s latest Instagram post indicates he hasn’t given up hope

It appears Hearn’s remarks have fallen on deaf ears.

Arum also told the Telegraph: “Tyson Fury is fuming about it and is refusing to keep waiting…

“We cannot wait around any longer. There was a 30-day turnaround for the site and everything else to be agreed after we signed for the two heavyweights to fight each other, but that has now stretched to 45 days.”   

Despite these comments, Fury has continued to call out AJ on social media this evening.

He posted a new training video with the caption: “Practice makes perfect, imagine Anthony Joshua’s face getting smashed up with these clean rights.”

Fury also put up a story with the caption: “@AnthonyJoshua We want you chump.”

Fury and Wilder may meet again
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Assuming Joshua and Fury now do go their separate ways as Arum suggests, it is clear who they both are most likely to face.

Arum and Fury flew earlier this week to visit the mediator/arbitrator who is ruling over their ongoing legal dispute with Deontay Wilder.

When they initially signed for their rematch last year, it was a two-fight deal – meaning the winner would have to oblige the loser with a trilogy bout.

However, towards the end of 2020, Fury’s team announced that – from their perspective – the contract had now expired and so they started negotiating an undisputed fight with Joshua.

Wilder’s team dispute this and have legally challenged it with the two parties awaiting an arbitration ruling.

Mediation previously failed, but it seems Fury’s camp are now restarting talks.

When asked if these discussions could become negotiations for a trilogy bout after all, Arum added: “A switch to negotiation is possible.”

For AJ, a WBO mandatory defence against Oleksandr Usyk would be forced up on him as the next opponent.