Fury v Joshua a possibility even if AJ isn't champion, suggests promoter Frank Warren

By Sports Desk October 04, 2021

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could still go head-to-head in the ring even if the latter "isn't a champion" because the British public would still "buy into" the occasion, according to promoter Frank Warren.

Fury is set to face Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on Saturday as they conclude a contentious trilogy, and while the 'Gypsy King' is seen as favourite, he will be well aware of what could happen if he fails to hit top form after seeing Joshua come up short.

Joshua, who was tipped for a long-awaited duel with Fury next year, was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

With Joshua now having to focus on reclaiming his lost WBA, IBF and WBO titles from Usyk in a rematch that is likely to take place in February, any bout with Fury now looks a long way off.

Though Warren, co-promoter for Fury, is adamant an appetite for the fight will remain even if Joshua does not go into the contest as a champion.

"I do believe the public buys into that fight even if AJ isn't champion," Warren told BBC Sport.

"AJ's said a lot of things since the fight [and] a lot of nonsense from 'doctor' [Joshua's promoter, Eddie] Hearn about his eye. You got beat by the better man on the night and Joshua said that, to his credit.

"Joshua is a big fight. They keep talking about him still learning. He's 32 years old. He's an Olympic champion and world champion.

"Of course, you can still learn every day, but at that level, at 32 years of age, with the experience you've got and the amount of professional fights you've got, if you're not absolutely world class at that level, then you're never going to be.

"But having said that, if he did fight Tyson he would have a lot to prove and I do think the public would buy into it."

Either way, Warren expects Fury to return to fight in the UK for the first time since 2018 regardless of who he fights next after Wilder.

"There's no Americans out there for him to fight. I think he'll be back here which will be a great homecoming," he continued.

"If Tyson wins the fight, we'll sit down. There's a few options there. Usyk would be a massive fight here. The Joshua fight is still a massive fight.

"Dillian Whyte is a big fight, providing he beats Otto Wallin, which isn't a foregone conclusion. There's some big fights for him."

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    Joshua decided to shake things up after losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

    Eddy Reynoso, Virgil Hunter and Anthony Wilson are among the trainers Joshua could recruit, while Floyd Mayweather has been giving the Briton advice ahead of an eagerly anticipated rematch with Usyk that has not yet been confirmed.

    Hearn, Joshua's promoter, told iFL TV: "I think AJ will make an announcement when camp starts, which I guess will be end of January, early February.

    "He's worked hard to get it right. A lot of people have said, 'do you think it's risky to bring in a new trainer?'

    "I flip that and say, 'do you think it's risky to not be comfortable with your set-up or your surroundings?'"

    Hearn says having a new face in Joshua's corner will not mean there is no role to play for his long-time trainer Robert McCracken.

    "He'll always be involved in some way," Hearn said of McCracken.

    "He's more than just a trainer to Anthony Joshua... he's a mentor, an advisor.

    "Those two will always talk – in what capacity, I don't know. I'll leave that to AJ to announce. But there will certainly be additions to the training team."

    Joshua was outclassed by Usyk, suffering the second defeat of his professional career after he was also surprisingly dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

  • Fury, Canelo... Dana White? Jake Paul reveals five-man boxing bucket list Fury, Canelo... Dana White? Jake Paul reveals five-man boxing bucket list

    Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, has published a five-strong list of opponents he wishes to take on in the ring.

    Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley on Saturday, with the latter having stepped in at short notice for a rematch following Tommy Fury's withdrawal.

    After the win, Paul expressed his desire to get in the ring with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, both UFC stars.

    However, the 24-year-old has now turned his attention to five other candidates, including Fury's brother, heavyweight champion Tyson.

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    Canelo, the first boxer in history to become an undisputed champion at super middleweight, was also named on Paul's hit list, as was the legendary Mike Tyson.

    UFC boss Dana White, meanwhile, was another inclusion. 

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    "I make more than every UFC fighter f****** combined, including Conor [McGregor]. Y'all work for f****** Dana, y'all work for WME, Endeavor, that's who you work for," he said on his brother Logan's podcast.

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    Paul also said he would knock White out, to which the UFC boss, in an interview with MMA Junkie, replied: 'It actually makes sense. I'm 52 years old. I'm in the age bracket of guys he fights, so yeah, I could see him wanting to fight me. All he fights are 50-year-olds."

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    "[Woodley] is a legend and I respect him for taking the fight on two weeks' notice. Tommy Fury is a b**** for pulling out of the fight.

    "It was a tough fight. I had blood in my eyes. I had the job done. I was setting the punch up the whole fight. He didn't see it coming. Like a lumberjack, timber.

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    Masvidal has a record of 35-15 and is currently ranked sixth in the welterweight division, while Diaz has a record of 21-13.

    Diaz recently addressed rumours of a rubber fight with Conor McGregor after the pair fought twice in the UFC in 2016, with a victory each, and the 36-year-old seemed more focused on getting back in the octagon than entering a boxing ring, asking the UFC to be included on the card for UFC 270 in January.

    McGregor suffered fractures to his tibia and fibula that resulted in a first-round stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier in September.

    "I'm not fighting Conor until his leg grows back and he beats some people so we know he can even fight still till then," Diaz posted on Twitter.

    "Can I get on January card @UFC. Thanks."

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