Tyson Fury is his usual vocal self on social media, calling out a different fighter daily. This time it was the turn of Brit rival Anthony Joshua.
The fight had immense significance just under a year ago as both were heavyweight champions. An undisputed battle would have made worldwide headlines.
Fast forward to September 2022, and Fury is rooted in the UK after beating Dillian Whyte. On the other hand, Joshua has lost twice since their last negotiations.
The ever-retiring Fury is no longer the number one fighter in the division. Joshua is arguably out of the top five after crashing out of the WBN Pound for Pound Top 50.
Two defeats against the superior Oleksandr Usyk have put Joshua’s elite career in doubt. The 2012 Olympian is now plotting a low-key world tour without any belts to show off.
If both sides did get this fight over the line now, its relevance would have significantly plummeted. Fury must fight Joshua on the up to bring the UK audience back.
AJ’s status is not what it once was following his post-fight rant. His trainer even labeled it “a lack of respect” for the Ukrainian.
Fans in the United Kingdom are certainly not as excited as they once were about the fight. Fury is a massive favorite in what had once gotten billed as a 50-50 fight.
It’s a high-level heavyweight scrap – there’s no doubt about that. But it’s not a top division super-fight around the world any longer.
There’s also the fact that Fury and Joshua will probably want to take the fight overseas to the Middle East. That would be another mistake surrounding the event if they did.
Fury vs Joshua in the UK
Fury vs Joshua has to take place in the UK for significance. It would be the biggest fight of all time on those shores. However, if they go for the money – like Usyk vs Joshua 2, the UK fans tend to be more muted about the contest that when it’s on their doorstep.
At present, the summer of 2024, after Fury faces Usyk twice and Joshua gets a few wins under his belt, would be the best scenario.
Looking at the buzz surrounding Fury vs Joshua, it’s at around 60% capacity from what it was in 2021. That’s not where a fight of this historic magnitude belongs.
Now is not the ideal window. It would be the wrong move even to discuss the event at this moment in time. Build it up and gain more interest from the United States.
And where would it be held if handlers saw sense and promoted it in the UK? – Most probably at the Principality Stadium in Wales – another wrong move.
This fight has to be at Wembley, they can’t rush it for the money, and it needs planning thoroughly.
Putting on Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua now is a mistake.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.