The two British world champions are expected to finally meet inside the ropes at some stage in 2021, assuming the COVID-19 pandemic subsides to allow major sporting events to take place in front of spectators again.
Fury, who holds the WBC and Ring magazine belets, first has the small matter of a third fight against American Deontay Wilder to take care of – he battered the ‘Bronze Bomber’ to a seventh-round TKO in Las Vegas in February after their first fight had ended in a controversial draw in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Joshua meanwhile is slated to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Bulgarian mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. That fight had been scheduled for June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but now both camps are looking to set a new date imminently. The fight could now take place outside the UK with even a Roman amphitheatre in the Croatian town of Pula mentioned as a possible venue.
If Fury and Joshua come through those fights unscathed, then an all-British showdown is confidently expected to take place. It would likely shatter domestic live gate and PPV records, and would also be an enormous betting event.
All major UK bookmakers have priced up the big event even though a date and time has yet to be confirmed. And all of them without exception have Fury the odds-on favourite.
‘The Gypsy King’ is a general 1/2 shot while Paddy Power are even more convinced he would prevail, going shortest of all at 4/9.
Joshua meanwhile is a general 13/8 underdog while Betfred are just a little more generous about the Londoner – they offer 7/4. The draw is generally 22/1 or 25/1 while Sky Bet go a top-priced 28s.
US sportsbooks also tell a similar story with New Jersey-based PointsBet making Fury favourite to beat either Joshua (-25o) or Wilder (-270).
There had been talk in the past fortnight that Wilder and Pulev could be persuaded to step aside to allow the all-British showdown to be up next. But Bob Arum – whose Top Rank promote both Fury and Pulev – seemed to dash those hopes over the weekend when he confirmed that Pulev will not give up his right to a fight with Joshua.