Fury vs Joshua: The (new) route to that British superfight

A Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua superfight has been close before, and some people believe it will NEVER happen.

Before last Saturday night’s ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia it appeared a world away. But events in the desert on a spellbinding night of big-fight action gave us a new route to the showdown British fight fans have been thirsting for.

Latest Heavyweight Rankings: The Top 10 AFTER ‘Day of Reckoning’

While there is some way to go, there is now a route which sees Fury vs Joshua happening either at the end of 2024 or in early 2025. With world heavyweight titles on the line. So what needs to happen?

The route to Fury vs Joshua

So let’s look at Tyson Fury first of all. He is booked for a huge unification match vs Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh on Saturday February 17, 2024. And after that, likely an immediate rematch. Ideally we need Fury to win those two fights to remain THE MAN in boxing’s marquee weight class.

While Fury vs Usyk SHOULD crown boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight king since Lennox Lewis back in 1999 (no draws please…), the belts are likely to start being broken up immediately after that. Which brings us to Anthony Joshua, and his new path.

Until Saturday night, AJ had been tabbed for a two-fight deal vs Deontay Wilder, with the first fight taking place on Saturday March 9. All he and Wilder had to do was avoid defeat in their ‘Day of Reckoning’ fights vs Otto Wallin and Joseph Parker respectively.

But while AJ was impressive in keeping up his side of the bargain, Wilder dropped a one-sided decision to Parker, wrecking plans for that mammoth March match.

Now AJ will likely look elsewhere for his next dance partner, and the likeliest path takes him towards the IBF title – which will likely become available after Fury vs Usyk. The winner has been mandated to fight top contender Filip Hrgovic, but of course they will instead rematch.

Joshua’s win over Wallin should see him take the Swede’s spot as #2 contender in those IBF rankings, which would put him in position to fight Hrgovic for the vacant title – hopefully in March. If he wins that, he’s back at the top table and at the front of the queue for any major fight.

What needs to happen next?

So in short, the following needs to happen for a fast track to Fury vs Joshua:

  • Fury and Usyk fight twice in 2024
  • The IBF title becomes vacant after that first Fury vs Usyk fight
  • Joshua fights Hrgovic for the vacant IBF title, and wins
  • Joshua fights again later in 2024, while Fury and Usyk rematch

THEN, assuming Joshua continues to win, and Fury sees off Usyk, the commercial value of a match between the British behemoths will be at an all-time high. Both will own world titles and the Saudi Entertainment Authority will SURELY want to make a meeting of the pair the centrepiece of their next ‘Riyadh Season’.

It sounds simple, but of course this is heavyweight boxing (ask Deontay Wilder). So again we wait, popcorn at the ready….

We’ve been here before

Of course, as we said, Fury vs Joshua has been so close before, notably back in 2021. Both men signed to fight in Saudi Arabia, only for Wilder to win an arbitration ruling to force a trilogy fight vs Fury instead. Then AJ lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts to Usyk and the whole thing fell apart.

Then there was much speculation and talk that Fury vs Joshua would meet in late 2022, and for a little while it seemed like a real possibility. But in the end hopes were again dashed and Fury instead engaged in a trilogy vs Dereck Chisora.