Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have been exposed for their lack of movement over an October 3 fight.
Despite deadlines and disagreements, they certainly had time to agree on a British showdown in the last fortnight.
WBC Champion Fury initially made a substantial leap from wanting to exchange with Mahmoud Charr to pouncing on his vulnerable British rival.
Fans have since raised serious questions about Fury’s mindset due to some of his strange social activities. His want for a stipulated deadline has also come into question.
But now, more than five weeks after they began negotiations, both Brits have been exposed as never wanting the fight in the first place.
If they did, it would have gotten made in the time that’s expired.
Fury vs Joshua
Firstly, Fury said he’s retired. Then he wanted to fight Anthony Joshua for free. He went on to agree to a fight with Oleksandr Usyk before accusing the Ukrainian master of ducking him.
Furthermore, “The Gypsy King” hoped Joshua would accept a lowball 60-40 deal as his next WBC voluntary challenger. AJ has lost twice, has low confidence, and needs a victory badly.
As World Boxing News reported first, Joshua would have needed special WBC sanctioning for that until the organization rated him in September.
After his ties to IBF, WBA, and WBO titles subsided, the WBC gave him the honor.
Fury vs Usyk was the only fight to make. But now Usyk wants to spend time with his family, and who can blame him in a war-torn country?
That fight is certainly on the line for next year as Middle East investors pencil the clash in for March, April, or June.
WBN understands that Cardiff is no longer being considered for any British fights this year. Fury’s team made a u-turn after knowing any fight without AJ won’t sell as well.
Usyk is certainly not “ducking” Fury by any stretch of the imagination. Usyk would sign on the dotted line now to face Fury if they stipulated that in the contract.
But they haven’t, and everyone is happy to wait – except the fans.
Fury vs Usyk in 2023
Usyk wants it, just not until the spring of 2023, after he thought against being ringside for Deontay Wilder.
He wants that WBC strap when he can get it, though.
“I want the WBC title. It was captured by “The Gypsy King,” but we don’t know what Tyson Fury has in his head [about this fight],” he told Parimatch.
“Everyone knows that this is a very crazy guy. I would really like this fight to happen next year,” he added.
The delay will come as a blow to promoter Lou DiBella and heavyweight great Lennox Lewis, who both called on the fight to be made now.
“Give me the two best heavyweights in the world. They are arguably the two best fighters in boxing. And give it to me right now,” said DiBella. “Give the fans Fury vs Usyk!”
DiBella also added that Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua still made sense to make without Usyk or Fury in the mix with the belts.
“Usyk is an all-time great. AJ is still one of the four best heavyweights in the world. Boxing needs to get out of its own way.
“Wilder needs to beat Helenius. There is nothing that makes more dollars and sense than Wilder vs. AJ.”
Lewis stated: “Hey, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, can we finally give the fans an undisputed heavyweight championship fight?
“Nineteen years is a long time, and fans deserve it. Let’s get it cracking!”
Sadly, that won’t be the case in December as Usyk nurses injuries and aims to return late next spring or early summer.
Whether we got Fury vs Joshua was always up for debate. They attempted to make it last year and failed miserably.
This time, they failed again. As they say, fights are easy to make if both fighters want it.
Charr and Zhang
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn mulled over overs from investors for Joshua during the Fury talks, but offers are nothing if the fights are out of bounds.
After Wilder defeated Robert Helenius, everyone knew the next fight was with Andy Ruiz Jr.
“I recently had an offer for Deontay Wilder to fight in the Middle East. But I reached out to his team and said, ‘This is a huge offer.’
“I never even heard back. It was a potential fight that could be with Dillian Whyte. That’s the fight we wanna make for early 2023,” Hearn told DAZN.
He added that Joshua had a three-man shortlist that included Fury – if the deal was right.
“I see the Dillian Whyte fight as a must-make fight. I see Deontay Wilder as a must-make fight. And I see him fighting Tyson Fury because it’s still a huge fight.”
If you read between the lines, we may eventually get Tyson Fury vs Mahmoud Charr and Anthony Joshua vs Zhilei Zhang instead of an all-UK title battle.
That still remains the case.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.