Fury vs. AJ heavyweight clash is not done, undisputed status not certain

Tyson Fury Anthony Joshua new logo 2021 Heavyweight

The long-running heavyweight saga between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua is in jeopardy of losing one of the world titles needed to keep it undisputed.

World Boxing Organization chiefs are currently pondering a ruling that could see Joshua stripped of the WBO strap if they don’t complete a deal soon.

Oleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce, who are both due to scrap over the vacant title, are pushing President Paco Valcarcel for their opportunity.

Valcarcel confirmed on Tuesday that those involved had filed a grievance over the purse bid which could eventually lead to a decision on the title.

“Please be advised that the World Boxing Organization Championship Committee has referred the Usyk vs. Joyce Purse Split matter to the WBO Grievance Committee to proceed accordingly.

“Upon rendering their ruling, the WBO will duly notify all relevant parties. Thank you,” he stated.

Usyk and Joyce will seek an outcome on the purse bid soon as the talks between Fury and Joshua have dragged on for months.

Usyk said: “I’m still waiting for the WBO Paco Valcarcel decision. When do you think it will happen?”

Joyce added: “I’m also tired. Hurry up, AJ; make the fight so that I can beat Usyk up!”

There’s been talk of a potential interim title encounter to keep Fury vs. Joshua for all the marbles.

Soon Valcarcel will announce the outcome.

HEAVYWEIGHT DELAY

Despite a fanfare on Tuesday of a “date and venue being confirmed” by promoter Eddie Hearn, WBN understands the deal is no further along.

Both sides are not on the same page when it comes to the finer details, like releasing funds from Saudi investors, meaning there’s still work to do.

Hearn hopes to have a deal done this week. However, the Matchroom boss said the same last week and the week before that.

Eddie Hearn
Mark Robinson

“There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen this week,” Hearn told Sky Sports News.

“This is kind of like the moment where you could turn around at this point and say, ‘This is dragging on too long, or I can’t be dealing with this anymore.’

“But we have to nail this. I’m not going to stop until I nail it, and everyone has just got to move forward collectively.

“We’re ready to go from our side. We’re not far away from their side, and it is inevitable, but at the same time, we’ve got to close the door on it.”

One way or another, one championship fight will be a step closer this week. Which one will it be?

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.