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Fury vs Joshua: Promoters consider leaving out title belts to make mega fight happen

Fury and Joshua hold all the major heavyweight world titles between them, but their current obligations present a road block.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

It’s clear that the biggest fight to make right now in the heavyweight division is an undisputed title unification between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, for the winner would be crowned the clear king of the division. But with all those world titles come mandatory obligations and such, which presents obstacles in going straight to the fight everyone wants to see.

Fury is currently in legal mediation with Deontay Wilder over a contracted third fight which has long been delayed, while Joshua is due to make a mandatory WBO title defense against Oleksandr Usyk. But with promoters hoping to strike on the bigger fight while the iron’s hot, representatives for both Fury and Joshua have considered matching them up with no belts formally on the line, as a way to possibly circumvent other interim bouts — though that’s obviously not their preference.

Frank Warren shared his thoughts with ESPN:

“It will not make any difference what belts they are fighting for because the public are not watching for the belts, they want to just see them in the ring, but we want them on the line because it’s the first time all four world heavyweight titles could be unified,” Warren told ESPN.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn also mentioned having no titles could be a possibility, but that they want to do everything they can to have all the belts on the line for the fight. That said, Hearn makes it clear that he’s not willing to be held hostage by the sanctioning bodies.

“We’ve just got to be a bit careful because you may be on the verge of going, ‘Let’s just get rid of politics right now. Let’s just drop all the belts because if we lose one belt, we might as well lose them all.’”

If representatives from both sides can work everything out, the idea would be to stage Fury-Joshua by next spring, but that of course can’t yet be guaranteed with so many kinks to be ironed out on top of the ongoing pandemic which continues to hamstring the sport.

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