Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua is the fight everyone wants to see – but sadly, it won’t be happening any time soon.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter and the main man behind the proposed heavyweight showdown, had previously said that it was ‘a done deal’ for this summer.
Contracts were signed for the undisputed all-British clash at the start of the year and a date and location were even confirmed.
However, Deontay Wilder then won his arbitration case for a third fight with Fury and is now set to be the Gypsy King’s next opponent.
Fury vs Joshua: What we know
Fury and Joshua agreed a two-fight deal with the first supposed to happen in the summer of 2021 and the rematch expected around mid-December or in early 2022.
Promoter Hearn had said the first bout would take place on Saturday, August 14 in Saudi Arabia.
Just as an official announcement was about to made in the middle of May, news emerged that Wilder had won his legal bid in the US for a trilogy fight against Fury.
The pair fought in February 2020, with Fury winning the rematch in impressive fashion and taking Wilder’s WBC belt after their first fight had ended in a controversial draw.
Fury moved on to pursue Joshua after growing tired of delays over a planned third fight with Wilder with the Brit’s camp believing the contractual obligation they had to give the American another shot had expired.
That proved not to be the case as Wilder’s team activated the dispute resolution provision within the contract and a US judge ruled in his favour.
That ruling meant that Fury vs Joshua could only go ahead for August 14 if Wilder agreed to a step-aside deal.
Wilder has refused to do that – whatever the money offered – and an all-British super fight is now off for now.
Fury vs Joshua: What is next?
Fury has now signed his contract to face Wilder for a third time and will take to the ring on Saturday, October 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
An original date of Saturday, July 24 had to be scrapped after Fury tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, AJ – the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO champion – is set to face Oleksandr Usyk next.
‘The Cat’ is a dangerous opponent, having moved up to the heavyweight division after becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion.
Their clash will take place on Saturday, September 25 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Should both Fury and Joshua win their blockbuster fights this autumn, talks will begin again over an eagerly-anticipated undisputed showdown in 2022.
Fury vs Joshua: What has been said?
Joshua has branded Fury a ‘fraud’ on social media and accused him of letting boxing down over the collapse of their fight.
“Tyson Fury the world now sees you for the fraud you are,” Joshua posted. “You’ve let boxing down! You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout not a fight.
“Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”
That prompted a response from Fury, who fired back: “Anthony Joshua your [sic] more full of s*** than Eddie, spouting absolute s****!
“Your full team knew there was an arbitration going on, it was out of my hands!
“But I tell you what if I’m a fraud let’s fight this weekend bare knuckles till 1 man quits? Let’s put up 20 mill each!!!”
Joshua responded by calling Fury a ‘waste man’ and vowed ‘I’ll slap your bald head’.
He wrote: “If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting! The fight was signed! UNDISPUTED.
“Bare knuckle? You’re a good kid, don’t play with me Luke! I’ll slap your bald head & you’ll do nothing! Waste man.”
Fury fired back, insisting he would deal with Wilder again before dishing out some hurt to his British rival.
He wrote: “Not going in to the details on line! You’ll slap me about will you dosser please come and try Bum, I’m waiting… Femi AKA Bottlejob! 24/7 365.
“Ready. I’ll smoke wilder first then you will get yours as well.”
Joshua then had the final word, sharing a video of Fury’s reaction to an incident ringside at Billy Joe Saunders’ recent fight.
Saunders’ dad was manhandled by security, sparking a furious row, as Fury watched on and chose not to get involved.
Joshua wrote: “You’re not about that bare knuckle life. A barrier held you back, not even a bouncer.”
Jonny Nelson has even hinted that the fight may never take place, saying that ‘the trust has gone from both parties.
“Hindsight is a great thing,” Nelson told iFL TV. “And you look, when that fight was spoken about and almost done, the only person that didn’t talk – and this is the lesson that I learnt – was Anthony Joshua.
“At one point, you didn’t see Anthony Joshua come out and say ‘yes this fight is done’. Not one word.
“So when you have both fighters talking about it, both promoters talking about it, the fight is a done deal. I think the possibility of the fight ever happening again is done, it is dead.
“The reason being is that Joshua’s team will not trust Fury’s team and that’s it. They’re never going to make that commitment and that fulfilment of saying ‘Yeah alright, I’m committing this date to you.’
“So that trust has gone and it is convenient for both parties to think they are never doing business with one another.
“It is showbusiness and, unfortunately, it is the business of our sport that stopped that fight from happening, I don’t think it will happen.
“It’s about trust and the trust has gone from both parties.”