Anthony Joshua has called Tyson Fury’s bluff by accepting a December 3 fight date for an all-British heavyweight title fight.
Joshua’s management team announced out of the blue after Fury went silent due to the passing of The Queen.
The revelation came a day later than Fury had stated Joshua must agree to the offer.
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua update
AJ’s 258 said: “Joshua-Fury update: 258 and Matchroom Boxing can confirm, on behalf of Anthony Joshua, that we accepted all terms presented to us by Fury’s team for a fight on December 3 last Friday.
“Due to the Queen’s passing, it was agreed to halt all communication. We are awaiting a response.”
Fury had given Joshua an ultimatum after his UK rival’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he wouldn’t fight until December 17.
“The Gypsy King” must now get the ball rolling on a Fury vs Joshua battle at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, or risk the wrath of the British fans.
Before AJ’s acceptance, US promoter Bob Arum accused Hearn and Joshua of not wanting the fight after their Saudi Arabia loss.
On Thursday, the Top Rank boss, who was in the UK for the canceled Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall event in London, spoke about an offer made by Fury for late November or early December.
Bob Arum on Anthony Joshua
Arum added his views after Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren said his man doesn’t want to fight on Joshua’s reported preferred date of December 17.
Fury wants to get his next event out of the way to face Oleksandr Usyk in February 2023. The cut-off date is December 3, with a deadline for Joshua to agree last week.
No agreement was forthcoming, leading WBN to declare the fight dead in the water. As it turns out, Joshua contacted them a day after the deadline.
Frank Warren then clarified that Fury’s Thursday deadline was not in effect despite the stipulation from “The Gypsy King.”
It’s undoubtedly good news for UK fight fans.
Joshua wanted a rematch clause to include a split of 60-40 in his favor if he gave the same right to Fury in the first meeting. It’s unknown whether the former WBA, IBF, and WBO champion got his wish in the terms he accepted.
Hearn contact for Fury vs Joshua
It’s a far cry from what Fury’s promoter Arum said about a potential collision at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Thursday, though.
“I really don’t think Joshua’s people are anxious to make the fight now,” Arum told Sky Sports. “Because he’s come through a devastating loss.
“I think, conventionally, Joshua is going to want a couple of soft touches to get back in the swing of things.
“Our guy, Tyson Fury, wants to fight this year. I tried to see if we could get Usyk this year. Apparently, they don’t want to do it until February.
“We’re going to try to get an opponent for Tyson Fury – Joshua or somebody else. To make sure he gets in the ring this year.”
On Hearn, Arum added: “Eddie Hearn is just talking. Eddie Hearn. If he wanted to make the fight, he knows me well enough and knows I’m over here.
“He knows the Warrens. We haven’t really heard from Eddie Hearn. He’s really good at making statements to the press and television.
“But he’s not – I don’t think – anxious to make this fight.”
Fury had previously berated the DAZN fighter with social media videos. One stated: “This is it now, AJ, don’t get scared now.
“Agree to the fight, and let’s give the fans what they want.”
Usyk in 2023
On the Usyk champion vs champion fight, Arum said it would happen in the first few months of 2023.
“I talked again yesterday with Usyk’s manager [Egis Klimas], who said: “please don’t rush us. We’ll do it in the first quarter of next year.”
The WBC released their September rankings earlier in the day to add more to the Fury vs Joshua British showdown drama.
They rated Joshua at six to give him a sufficient rating to challenge Fury for the title.
American heavyweight Deontay Wilder remains number one ahead of his WBC title eliminator. Ex-AJ conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr. is number two as Luis Ortiz dropped to eleven.