It’s been a long time coming, and it’s fallen at the final hurdle before, but once again we appear to have a clear path to a Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua all-British megafight.
Twice in the past we have come close to this pair of two-time world heavyweight champions meeting in what might be the biggest fight boxing has to offer right now. But both times they just could not get it across the line.
The closest was in 2021, when both men had signed for an August fight in Saudi Arabia, before a certain Deontay Wilder won an arbitration ruling to force a trilogy fight with Fury. Joshua then lost his world titles to Oleksandr Usyk, and the opportunity was gone.
Fury vs Joshua false starts
Then in late 2022 Fury and Joshua and their camps were in talks for a fight at the end of the year with both men making concessions to make it a reality at last. But once again, ultimately it was a case of no deal.
Now though there is fresh hope for the all-British blockbuster, as Saudi Arabia spends lavishly to put on the fights fans have been craving for years. In October Fury fought former UFC king Francis Ngannou, and then last month we had that mammoth ‘Day of Reckoning’ bill.
Next up of course is the showdown for all the marbles on February 17 – that Fury vs Usyk unification match to crown the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis back in 1999. Less than three weeks after that, Joshua has his own showdown with Ngannou.
The man behind the Saudi move to make boxing great again, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, confirmed his next grand plan at a press conference in London on Monday to officially announce that Joshua vs Ngannou blockbuster.
He confirmed that he wants the winner of Fury vs Usyk to fight the winner of Joshua vs Ngannou. No guarantee Fury and Joshua both prevail of course – we’ve been here before remember – but there is a clear path to that all-British superfight.
Turki Alalshikh on heavyweight blockbusters
“In Saudi Arabia we take care to present to the market very important matches. This is why you are watching and seeing these types of matches being promoted. I deal with boxers, the sportsmen and their promoters as their brothers. They all have my private number and deal with me directly.
“You see the posters and the promotion of the biggest fight, which is gonna happen on February 17 – ‘The Ring of Fire’. You understand now which it’s Joshua vs Ngannou? You will see the result of this match, it will connect with the result of February 17. This is our idea.”