With Tyson Fury co-promoter Bob Arum sounding very confident that we’ll get a Fury vs Anthony Joshua fight successfully negotiated soon, a lingering issue other than the status of the WBO belt (one of three Joshua holds) is Deontay Wilder’s attempt to force a third fight with Fury for the WBC title.
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO) was dominated and stopped in the seventh round by Fury in Feb. 2020, and many months later went on a bizarre social media campaign accusing Fury and others of having cheated and conspired against him. In the meantime, the time frame for Wilder to actually exercise his rematch clause with Fury seemingly came and went, and Fury decided to move on.
Intending to fight in December, Fury instead sat out the rest of the year as Wilder took the case to mediation. Arum has previously said he doesn’t think Wilder has a case, and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn tells Sky Sports Arum still feels that way, and that Wilder’s challenge isn’t a problem they’re concerned about:
“(Arum) is not too concerned. He feels like the contract is over. There is an arbitration going on in that respect. I don’t see that as an issue. If there is, Fury has to give Wilder some kind of compensation to take these two fights.”
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) and Joshua (24-1, 22 KO) represent arguably the biggest fight that can be made in all of boxing right now, and Wilder has become sort of a forgotten man; that might not have happened, but Wilder’s actions in recent months have led to a lot of people kind of wanting to forget him, too.
If Fury were ordered to fight Wilder a third time and Wilder wouldn’t accept “some kind of compensation” to allow Fury-Joshua to happen — and as Hearn said, it’d be a two-fight deal — then there is also the chance Fury would just vacate the WBC belt and go back to simply being LINEAL!!!!!!!!! champion, which like Joshua potentially vacating the WBO instead of facing mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, probably doesn’t have any significant impact on how much the average person will want to see Fury-Joshua.