It was once oh so close, and now once again Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua appears to be nothing but a dream.
Hope that these two British behemoths might meet with a world heavyweight title on the line were rekindled last month when Fury challenged Joshua to fight him later this year.
He challenged Joshua to meet him in his next fight with the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles up for grabs. This of course because the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk wants to wait until 2023 for a unification fight.
Call out to @anthonyjoshua @WBCBoxing @frankwarren_tv @trboxing #uk 😎✅pic.twitter.com/P4Yw4mtW1R
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 5, 2022
Joshua, per his management company 258, then accepted “all terms” offered by Fury for a fight later this year.
258 and @MatchroomBoxing can confirm, on behalf of @anthonyjoshua, that we accepted all terms presented to us by Fury’s team for a fight Dec 3rd last Friday.
Due to the Queen’s passing, it was agreed to halt all communication.
We are awaiting a response.
— 258MGT (@258mgt) September 13, 2022
A few days later though and a frustrated Fury said he was pulling out of the fight with no signed contract received from Joshua’s team. A few days later again though, he was giving AJ another reprieve.
This is a message to @anthonyjoshua.
My promoter Frank Warren convinced me to let Queensberry carry on negotiating with your team this week, despite me knowing that you were never going to do this fight… pic.twitter.com/XpcHOpZJzk
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 29, 2022
Finally, after more recriminations and disappointment, Fury has moved on instead to the trilogy fight nobody wanted, vs Dereck Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 3. And anybody dreaming of Fury vs Joshua anytime soon, is left only with a dream.
This is not new of course – remember we are just over a year on from that devastating false start in 2021, the two Brits were close to once again holding all the marbles in boxing’s heavyweight division.
Last May it was announced they would meet in August 2021 in Saudi Arabia, with an eye-popping $155million site fee agreed. Then, within 24 hours, Deontay Wilder won a legal ruling to force a trilogy fight with Fury and the big all-British dream match was off.
Then in September 2021 Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts to Oleksandr Usyk in London, and we were back to square one. Worse in fact. But fast forward six months and we are again just one step away from the biggest fight in British boxing history.
Fury (now 32-0-1) successfully came through that epic trilogy fight with Wilder, before impressively stopping fellow Brit Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April 2022. He remains the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal champion.
So it was again all down to Joshua (24-3), who rematched Usyk in Saudi Arabia on August 20. A win would have regained the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, and set up that dream match with Fury. But no dice as Usyk claimed a split decision.
Fury vs Joshua date and fight time
It had been hoped Fury vs Joshua would take place on Saturday December 3, 2022 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. Of course that will not now happen.
Ring walks would have been between 10pm and 11pm UK time (that is 5pm and 6pm Eastern, 2pm and 3pm Pacific).
Fury vs Joshua TV channel and live stream
With both fighters signed to different networks, the TV broadcast would have been the biggest remaining negotiation point after the venue. All parties were reportedly on the same page but STILL the fight is not happening.
Their current broadcast situation is as follows:
- Fury reportedly has a first/last/matching deal with BT Sport Boxing. All his fights since that 2018 comeback have aired on the network.
- Joshua has ended his long-running association with Sky Sports to sign a global deal with streaming platform DAZN.
- Fury has an exclusive deal with ‘Worldwide Leader’ ESPN, worth a reputed $80million.
- Joshua has a global deal with DAZN (subscription platform, $19,99 a month in the United States or $149.99 for one year). Costs £7.99 per month in the UK.
The likely scenario here is that we would have had a joint PPV in the UK between BT Sport and DAZN and a similar story in the United States with DAZN and ESPN sharing rights.
Fury vs Joshua venue
When Fury and Joshua were set to meet in 2021, the venue was set to be Saudi Arabia.
This time it would have been in Cardiff, Wales with the bout taking place at the Principality Stadium.
Fury vs Joshua tickets
Joshua is a huge box office draw – all 67,000 tickets for his fight with Usyk sold out in a matter of hours.
Fury meanwhile sold out 94,000 tickets for the upcoming Whyte showdown – 85,000 in one day alone.
A Fury vs Joshua fight would do huge business and tickets will sell out in minutes, or maybe seconds…
Fury vs Joshua weights
Fury weighed in at 264lbs (18st 12lbs) for his last fight – that demolition of Whyte. That was almost a stone lighter than the 277 he weighed for the trilogy with Wilder.
Joshua meanwhile tipped the scales at 243lbs (17st 5lbs) for his rematch loss to Usyk.
The weighin for any Fury vs Joshua fight in the future would take place the day before the bout.
Fury vs Joshua purses
Fury and Joshua were due to take home the biggest purses of their careers so far from that planned August meeting in Saudi Arabia. Not so fast…
Their two-fight deal had allowed for a 50-50 revenue split for the first fight, with the winner taking a 60-40 upside for the rematch.
This time a different split had been agreed with Fury set to receive 60% of the revenues with Joshua getting 40.
Current world heavyweight champions
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk hold all of the major world heavyweight titles right now.
- Fury is the World Boxing Council (WBC) and lineal heavyweight champion.
- Usyk meanwhile is the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO) and Ring magazine champion.
The last undisputed world heavyweight champion was back in November 1999. That was another Briton in Lennox Lewis. He defeated Evander Holyfield on points in Las Vegas.
Fury vs Joshua promoters
Even outside the ring there is an all-star cast for Fury vs Joshua.
Fury is co-promoted by two Hall of Famers. The Top Rank supremo Bob Arum in the United States. And Queensberry Promotions head Warren in the UK.
Joshua meawhile is promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Hearn. Hearn is a bigger media star than most fighters in the UK, in particular via his social media feeds. The parody ‘No Context Hearn’ Twitter account, which clips some of his best one-liners as short videos, has more than 350,000 followers. Like Hearn himself, it has become a cult thing.
Tyson Fury record and profile
Tyson Luke Fury, now 33 years old. was born in Wythenshawe in Manchester on August 12, 1988. Then a premature baby and weighing just one pound at birth, he is now a huge physical specimen. He is 6ft 9ins tall with a reach of 85ins. He lives in the seaside town of Morecambe in Lancashire.
Fury has a record of 32-0-1 with 23 wins inside distance. His only draw was that first meeting with Wilder in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Tyson (named after Mike Tyson) had his pro debut in December 2008. He disposed of Bela Gyongyosi with ease, and the rest is history.
There are two distinct chapters to Fury’s glittering career. The first from debut to November 2015, when he shocked Wladimir Klitschko to become world heavyweight champion.
Then came that three-year hiatus when Fury’s mental health issues threatened not only his boxing career, but his life. He also ballooned in weight to 400lbs.
Part two – the comeback – began in the summer of 2018 when the new Fury easily beat Sefer Seferi in Manchester. Just six months later he was back at world-title level.
Fury boxed brilliantly against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles in 2018. Despite being knocked down twice, many experts felt he deserved the decision. Instead it was a controversial draw.
After wins over Otto Wallin and Tom Schwarz in 2019, Fury would rematch Wilder in Las Vegas in February 2020. This time he would leave nothing to chance.
Trained by Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward and Andy Lee for the first time, he dominated from the first bell. The result was a one-sided beatdown which ended in Round 7 when Wilder’s towel came in.
Fury vs Wilder 3 was another stellar showing from ‘The Gypsy King’, who recovered from two fourth-round knockdowns to roar back and dominate. He would eventually knock out Deontay in Round 11 of a thrilling bout.
Next up was the domestic engagement with Whyte, and it was a triumphant homecoming for Fury in front of a baying crowd of 94.000 at Wembley Stadium. He dominated from the first bell and closed the show late in Round 6 with a perfect uppercut which landed Whyte on his back.
Anthony Joshua record and profile
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born in Watford on October 15, 1989. He is now 32 years old. Joshua stands 6ft 6ins tall with a reach of 82ins. He has a professional record of 24-3 with 21 wins inside distance.
Joshua was destined for professional stardom right from the start, having won Olympic gold in the amateurs at the London Olympics of 2012.
He was utterly dominant in his entry into the paid ranks, demolishing all-comers (including big domestic rival Dillian Whyte) en route to a 15-0 start and his first shot at a world title.
That came against American Charles Martin in April 2016, and AJ made the most of the opportunity. He blasted out Martin inside two rounds to become IBF world heavyweight champion.
Six more victories followed as AJ added the WBA and WBO belts to his collection. His victims included the likes of Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Carlos Takam.
The signature success though came against Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017. After appearing on the brink of defeat, AJ recovered to win a classic via an 11th-round stoppage.
Joshua’s career suffered its first major blip in June 2019, on his American debut at Madison Square Garden. He was beaten inside seven rounds by late stand-in Andy Ruiz Jr.
AJ though took his defeat graciously and immediately exercised the rematch clause. Six months later, lighter and faster, he adapted his gameplan to box beautifully en route to a points victory in the Saudi Arabia rematch.
After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshua finally returned to the ring against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday December 12, 2020.
And the Watford man produced an impressive display to knock out the durable Bulgarian in nine rounds. Pulev took a standing count and was down in the third and then twice in the ninth. The final exclamation point came via a beautiful Joshua right hand which closed the show in some style.
Joshua lost his belts for a second time when he was outpointed by the brilliant Ukrainian Usyk in a fascinating tactical battle at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, 2021. Despite an improved showing in the rematch in Saudi Arabia in August 2022, Joshua again fell short as he dropped a split decision to the Ukrainian great.
Now he remains very much on the outside looking in when it comes to the world heavyweight title picture.