Fury and Joshua Agreed to Fight in 2021

Sports | December 21, 2020, Monday // 13:30
Bulgaria: Fury and Joshua Agreed to Fight in 2021 pexels.com

The fight boxing hopes to see in 2021, Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury, could well be the very next in-ring appearance for both men. However, for now, the megafight that could give us the first undisputed world heavyweight champion in more than 20 years remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Part of this stems from fears that boxing politics will ensure that one or more governing bodies will remove their versions of the championship from the fight before it happens. The WBO has already warned Joshua that Oleksandr Usyk is their mandatory challenger and that Joshua has been allowed to delay that obligation for long enough. And promoter Eddie Hearn has retorted that he isn’t afraid to entertain the idea of Fury vs. Joshua happening with zero world title belts at stake.

However the other source of nervous energy surrounding the bout, to which both sides had already agreed on financial terms earlier this year, comes from Joshua’s awkward interview immediately after knocking out Kubrat Pulev to retain his titles on Dec. 12.

The Londoner, who holds the WBA and IBF titles in addition to the WBO strap, seemed reluctant to directly acknowledge that he wants Tyson Fury next, instead surveying the 1,000 fans allowed into the SSE Arena for fight night.

On an appearance for the Jonathan Ross Show, airing on ITV in the U.K. on Saturday evening, WBC champion Fury was far more forthcoming about the bout everybody wants.

“Next year, the fight has to happen,” Fury said. “He’s come over his final hurdle last week against Pulev. And now we’re both free to make this fight. I’m willing to do the fight.”

On that confusing interview by Joshua, on which Fury commented almost immediately on social media, he continued: “He was asked the question: ‘Do you want to fight Tyson Fury?’ Very plain and simple, and he never answered the question. It was a simple yes or no answer, wasn’t it?

“Then they said: ‘Do you think you’re the best heavyweight in the world?’ And he went . Didn’t answer the question. Ask me: ‘Do you want to fight Anthony Joshua?’ Yes!”

The Gypsy King” asked Ross to ask him who was the world’s top heavyweight before replying: “Me, by a mile. There we go, that’s how you answer the question.”

Though Joshua’s failure to address Fury in a simple manner was perceived by some as a sign of reluctance to fight, Joshua had previously told DAZN’s Chris Mannix that he was tiring of the usual media appearance routines, noting that everybody would verbally attack and doubt him before downplaying his achievements regardless.

As a result, he said he has resolved to focus purely on his fights and leave the promotion to others. “Less talk, more action” he said repeatedly during the post-Pulev interview.

And given the prior discussions between both heavyweights’ teams, plus Joshua’s determination since turning pro to unify the division, it’s fair to assume Joshua is more enthusiastic about the fight than he lets on publicly.

Days after an old radio interview from 2010 resurfaced, during which Fury told the BBC’s Steve Bunce that he had just sparred with then-amateur Joshua and received “a bit of a beating” from his current rival before slowing him down with body shots later on, the 32-year-old admitted that his praise was sincere, but that he will nonetheless come out on top when they do it for real.

“He’s a great fighter,” Fury said. “Olympic gold medalist, two-time heavyweight champion just like me, he’s won all the best, he’s a great, great athlete. Of course .

“He is unified champion now. I was in 2015 before my problems and I had to vacate them all. So it’ll be the first time since Lennox Lewis that there’s been an undisputed champion.

“When I beat Joshua next year, I’ll have beaten the best from the last era and my era. So then there’ll always be someone else to fight. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve done this since in the womb, basically. Came out fighting, fists ready.

“I’ll continue until there’s no more challenges, no more proper challenges to fight.”https://www.ustoday.com

 

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