Tyson Fury has set a deadline of Monday, Sept. 26, for Anthony Joshua to get a deal done for their proposed Dec. 3 “Battle of Britain” fight.
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO), who says he’s retired but also still holds the WBC heavyweight title, threw out the challenge for Joshua (24-3, 22 KO) after Joshua lost to Oleksandr Usyk for a second straight time on Aug. 20 in Saudi Arabia.
“I was optimistic about three weeks ago, but it shouldn’t be taking this long to sign a contract,” Fury said from the crowd at today’s Joyce vs Parker fight in Manchester.
“We’ll know by Monday, anyway, because if it’s not done by Monday, I’m moving on. I’m not waiting around for some guy who’s lost three of his last five fights.
“He’s lucky I’m giving him a world title shot. I don’t mind chucking him a bone, but I don’t want them to start dictating shit to me. He is an invited guest at my party. My rules. If you want to play the game, come to the banquet and take your seat.”
If Fury does not fight Joshua and does still fight in December — which makes it seem like he’s definitely not retired! — then it’s really unclear where he’d look.
The WBC have no mandatory challenger for him to deal with. Andy Ruiz Jr just beat Luis Ortiz in an eliminator, and the upcoming Oct. 15 fight between Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius is another eliminator, with PBC pretty obviously looking to set up Wilder vs Ruiz next year, either as a final eliminator or, preferably for them, a vacant title fight.
Fury has talked about possibly fighting Derek Chisora again, so that could be an option, and maybe Oleksandr Usyk would be back in the mix; maybe not in December, but perhaps in the late winter or early spring of 2023.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn also recently addressed the fight in an interview, and seemed to agree that the fight needs to get done quickly.
“We’ve been sent a contract which had quite a few issues,” he said. “We’ve sent it back to Queensberry to get it right. Everyone’s working practically. I’ve got nothing bad to say about them and I don’t think they have, either. Timing is key now, we need to get a move on.”