Frank Warren has added his voice to the growing fears that Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua will not happen in July – and his is the most important voice so far.
Warren, as co-promoter to ‘The Gypsy King’, is right at the business end of negotiations. And with more than four decades behind him as a promoter, he knows exactly what is still to be done before this unification match can go ahead.
Late August or September more likely
The Queensberry Promotions supremo feels late August or even September are more likely landing spots for the first meeting of the two British world heavyweight champions.
He told talkSPORT: “I’m seeing all these various stories, ‘It’s gonna be Wembley on July 24,’ and so forth. But I don’t see how any of that can happen in July or even early August from my perspective.
The McCracken factor
“Robert McCracken is AJ’s trainer, he’s also our Olympic team’s head coach, so he’s gonna be in Japan – I think the Olympics start on July 23, and I don’t know what the quarantine period is.
“He can’t be in two places at once. That’s if Robert McCracken’s still training AJ, maybe he’s not training the Olympic squad, I’m not sure. That’s one issue. I don’t believe this fight will go on until – if it’s late August we’ll be very lucky, maybe September.”
On a more positive note, Warren does agree that the bout will smash all domestic pay-per-view records when it does eventually happen. The current record is 1.6million buys at £24.95 each for AJ’s rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019.
The Hall of Fame promoter predicted: “I think it’ll be a massive event. I would be very disappointed if it did less than 2.5million.”
Fury and Joshua have of course signed a two-fight deal. They will split revenues 50-50 for the first bout and the winner will take a 60-40 upside for the rematch.
London calling at last?
Up until now it had been hoped the first fight would happen no later than July, with an immediate rematch before the end of 2021.
The longer the wait goes on for the first fight of course, the more chance there is it could happen against the odds in the UK. Saudi Arabia has been hot favourite up to now with a full Wembley Stadium impossible due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But in a London emerging from the pandemic thanks to a mass programme of vaccination in the UK, could that be about to change? We’ll learn more in the coming days.