The tense heavyweight boxing scene should become clearer
The heavyweight boxing landscape should become much clearer this week as promoters Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte wrap up drawn-out negotiations over a world title fight that could yet bring Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk into the conversation.
The Fury and Whyte camps were unable to reach an agreement on the division of fight revenue for their proposed fight for the WBC and Ring Magazine belts, currently held by the undefeated Fury.
The WBC has granted an extension to its trading window until Wednesday, when purse bids will take place if no agreement is reached. This would mean rival promoters can bid to stage the fight.
Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren says the champion will fight on March 26 – who would be back in Britain after Fury’s last five fights in the US – and deserves at least an 80-20s split he faces Whyte, the mandatory challenger who has never fought for a world title.
Whyte’s promoter is Eddie Hearn, who is also looking after Joshua – the former WBA, WBO and IBF champion who lost his belts to Usyk in September and has since activated a contract clause for a rematch against the Ukrainian.
No date for their second fight has yet been set and adding intrigue on Monday was a report from UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph saying Joshua may be ready to retire – for what the newspaper says could be 15 million pounds ($20 million) – to allow Usyk to fight Fury to unify the titles. Joshua could then face the winner.
Joshua responded by saying in a video posted by DAZN on Monday that he had yet to sign a contract to do so.
“I am the man who controls my destiny,” Joshua said. “I am the man who manages my affairs. I’m a smart person and I make calculated decisions every step of the way.
It becomes more and more difficult for all the pieces to fall into place.
“It’s boxing, it’s messy and there’s a lot of money involved,” Hearn said last week, “so it gets even more complicated.”
Bob Arum, Fury’s promoter in the United States, described the situation as “utter chaos” and told UK radio station talkSPORT he had “absolutely no idea” who Fury will be fighting next.
Hearn said he would meet with Joshua on Tuesday to discuss his options. It could still imply that Joshua is a kingmaker for a deal that brings the two title holders together.
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