Fury vs Joshua on time-out
One of the most anticipated bouts of the British calendar this year has unfortunately been called off, as reported by various news outlets this October.
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury was a match-up that’s been talked about for years, with fans on both sides of the pond eager to see these champion heavyweights go toe to toe. This autumn, it seemed the blockbuster fight was a goer with confirmation from both sides that it would take place on British soil at the Cardiff Principality Stadium.
But the first week of October has seen both Warren and promoter Eddie Hearn confirm the bout is off the cards.
What went wrong and what are the chances of us seeing Joshua vs Fury in 2022? Let’s take a look.
The Build Up
After what seems like years of negotiations and several callouts from the Gypsy King, a fight between two of the UK’s most famous heavyweights finally seemed like it was going to happen. In September 2022, Olympian Anthony Joshua took to social media to confirm that he would be signing the contract to fight Tyson Fury in Cardiff on 3rd December once his lawyers had finalised the details.
Following 12 months of several stellar moments in British boxing, 2022 would’ve been going out with the bang that boxing fans deserved. After all, this match would see Fury and Joshua put both the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles on the line.
Why It Mattered
2022 hasn’t exactly gone according to plan for Anthony Joshua. His first fight against Oleksandr Usyk at the tail-end of 2021 in a disappointing loss for the Brit, despite himbeing heavily fancied to win by stoppage. Sadly, Joshua vs Usyk 2 brought about the same result. The Ukrainian outboxed AJ throughout the full 12 rounds and walked away with a split decision win.
Although Johsua would’ve been coming into the Fury fight with 3 losses and a two-loss streak, a bout of this calibre would’ve ended the year on a high note for the Londoner, particularly when you consider it offered the opportunity to fight on home soil.
To Fury, the much-anticipated fight would’ve presented the chance for the controversial Mancunian to potentially unify the heavyweight titles, and cement his legacy as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
A Short-Lived Affair
There were rumours of dissent from Fury’s camp mere days after Joshua posted his intention to go ahead with the bout on Twitter. The big man set a deadline of 26th September for AJ’s camp to sign and return the contract, declaring he would be “out the window” if he didn’t do so by then.
Clearly bothered by the two-time world champion’s demands, Eddie Hearn went on to state that Fury was playing a game and that if he truly wanted to fight Joshua he’d let the negotiations run properly.
Then, come Monday 3rd October, Hearn confirmed that “Tyson Fury is not fighting Anthony Joshua…we’ve been told the deadline has passed”. With Joshua’s camp “ready to go”, having agreed to the date set by Fury’s team, it looks as though things stalled on Fury’s end — at least according to Hearn.
George Warren, leading the negotiations for team Fury, has a different take on why things broke down. According to the son of legendary promoter Frank Warren, Joshua’s side showed “no ambition…to try and keep the thing going” and the communication received back from them was either “lacking” substance or non-existent.
Fury vs Chisora?
Both sides agreed on one thing, however, they’re both still open to negotiations and seemingly want the fight to take place. Whether that’s likely to happen remains to be seen, especially when you factor in the rumours that Derek Chisora and several other fighters received offers to fight Fury in December 2022. Fury's no stranger to calling out whoever he wants to callout, even causing a commotion in the UFC's heavyweight division after sending a KO warning to reigning champ, Francis Ngannou.
This time around, however, it looks as though the offer sent to Chisora was genuine. In a video posted on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel, Eddie Hearn informed viewers that Derek Chisora “received a contract for the Tyson Fury fight” as have “other fighters”. Who these other fighters are is anyone's guess at the moment, but camp AJ – at least – have been left believing that Tyson Fury won't be fighting Anthony Joshua anytime soon.