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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  • Fury camp 'bent over backwards' for Joshua fight, Charr bout likely alternative Fury camp 'bent over backwards' for Joshua fight, Charr bout likely alternative

    Tyson Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren has accused Anthony Joshua's camp of radio silence, stating they have "bent over backwards" in pursuit of an agreement.

    The saga surrounding the 'Battle of Britain' bout on December 3 rumbles on without an apparent conclusion, after Fury issued his rival a deadline of Monday to sign a contract before he walked away.

    Joshua failed to do that, leading Fury to close the door on a bout, but he handed an olive branch to his compatriot once again on Thursday, though made it clear a verdict would need to be reached before the end of the day.

    On AJ's side, Eddie Hearn has said he was 'baffled' by Fury's behaviour and dubbed the deadlines as 'unrealistic' but Fury's camp have a contrasting view, claiming they are not getting any responses.

    "We've done all that's necessary with BT, ESPN and DAZN. They're all happy. We gave them a contract. They've had it for two weeks and it hasn't come back yet," he told TalkSport.

    "Ticketing and the venue is ready to go. We've agreed transparency with them. Everything in the pot. Everything they needed, co-promotion, the lot – we've bent over backwards. We've not had anything back.

    "I had a bet with Tyson that we'd get it done in the next few days. He said 'no, Joshua doesn't want the fight'. I've lost the bet. Joshua said he wanted the fight, so let's get it done. I don't understand this."

    Fury has consistently made it clear he will fight in December regardless of the opponent, having stepped back into contention after announcing his retirement after defeating Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April.

    If a fight against Joshua does not materialise, Mahmoud Charr stands as the most likely opponent for Fury after he took to social media on Thursday to verbally accept a proposal to face the German.

    "Mahmoud Charr, it seems now that AJ is finally out, he's ducked his way out, coward, and you're the man who wants to fight, so I like that," he said on an Instagram video.

    "I like the fact you're very vocal and you're calling for a fight like a man should do. Any man who wants to fight a man should call him out as you've been doing to me. So I accept your challenge Mahmoud Charr, let's get it on."

  • Hearn left 'baffled' as he slams Fury's 'unrealistic deadlines' for Joshua Hearn left 'baffled' as he slams Fury's 'unrealistic deadlines' for Joshua

    Eddie Hearn has slammed Tyson Fury for his antics in the ongoing discussions for a bout against Anthony Joshua, saying he has been left "baffled by the situation".

    Fury had initially set Joshua a deadline of Monday to sign the contract for a December 3 bout and said discussions were "officially over" after the paperwork was not received.

    However, the WBC heavyweight champion then backtracked on Thursday and issued his compatriot another deadline for the 'Battle of Britain' bout, giving him until the end of the day to agree terms.

    An imminent end to the saga seems unlikely, however, with Joshua's promoter Hearn questioning why the Gypsy King was setting "unrealistic deadlines".

    "I don't want to get involved with back and forths that are going to negatively impact this fight being made, but to be honest, we are quite baffled by the situation," he told Sky Sports.

    "Firstly, when we agreed terms for the fight, it took us over a week to receive a draft contract. We have not had that contract for 14 days.

    "Over the next week, we've worked tirelessly and had a number of meetings with Queensberry to get the contract in some kind of decent shape. Last Monday, we sent our final draft of the contract to Queensberry, only to see that Tyson Fury had publicly pulled out of the fight and it was no longer on the table.

    "Yesterday we then received comments back from Queensberry on our final draft of the agreement, of which is now being reviewed.

    "I'm not sure why Tyson Fury keeps setting unrealistic deadlines whilst also offering the fight to a number of other heavyweights for the selected date. If he is serious about the fight being made, I suggest he allows Matchroom and Queensberry to keep working hard to make the fight, of which everyone has been trying hard to do.

    "You can't publicly keep pulling out of a fight and then restart negotiations when there has been so many positive conversations had. We'll see what happens from here."

  • Fury sets Joshua new deadline for heavyweight title fight and warns: 'You cannot escape!' Fury sets Joshua new deadline for heavyweight title fight and warns: 'You cannot escape!'

    Tyson Fury has backtracked on his decision to rule out a December bout with Anthony Joshua after giving his rival until the end of Thursday to agree terms.

    WBC champion Fury opened the door for a 'Battle of Britain' with Joshua last month after it became clear a unification bout against Oleksandr Usyk would not occur this year.

    After weeks of talks between the fighters' camps, however, Fury said on Monday any chance of the pair meeting was "officially over" after his self-imposed deadline was not met.

    But Fury set Joshua, who has lost three of his past five fights, a new deadline in his latest video message on social media that was directed at the two-time world champion.

    "My promoter Frank Warren convinced me to let Queensberry [Warren's company] carry on negotiating with your team this week, despite me knowing you were never going to do this fight," Fury said.

    "So the deadline was Monday. I allowed Frank to continue doing meetings with your team and your broadcasters and all that."

    Fury said the broadcasters were "all on the same page".

    "They are happy with everything, they are all ready to rock and roll," he added.

    "You guys ask for a lot of stuff. You want to be co-promoters when you're a voluntary challenger. Guess what, I said give it them, let them be co-promoters.

    "You wanted full transparency, even though you're not an equal shareholder in this party. You know what I said? Give them full transparency, I've got nothing to hide.

    "I'm not trying to rob anybody, I've not robbed anybody of a penny in my life. Now you've got full transparency, everything is clean and fair. Joshua, the ball is really in your court."

    Fury revealed earlier this month that he has offered Joshua a 60-40 purse split in a bid to get the heavyweight title fight made after years of build-up.

    Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said last week an initial contract offer sent by Fury's camp was not acceptable, but the parties were "working positively" to reach an agreement.

    That led to Fury making his ultimatum to Joshua to sign the contract by Monday or forget about a fight, which had been set to be held in Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

    "Everybody is done," Fury added in his Twitter post. "If you're a man, and if you've got any sort of dignity and pride about you, you'll get this contract signed today. This is it.

    "There is no more days, weeks, months, you've had the contract now for over two weeks and you still haven't signed it.

    "Show the public that you're really the big coward that I know you are, and don't sign it. I don't care either way if you sign it or you don't, it makes no difference to me at all.

    "You're a beaten man and I'm a world champion. I'm chucking you a massive bone, but I know I can punch a face in so I'm willing to give you an opportunity.

    "There's nothing more to do, everyone is happy. Get your team onto mine, they will be available all day, like they've been available the last two weeks. Get this contract signed!

    "Let the British fans have what they want. There is no running, you have to fight me. You cannot escape. The Fury is coming."

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