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Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury agree terms of two-fight deal

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Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury agree terms of two-fight deal

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, Britain’s world heavyweight champions, are “making great progress” towards signing for a two-fight unification deal, according to Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn. The news has excited bookmakers but left more disinterested observers wondering when, where and if it will happen.

tyson fury and anthony joshua

There is much wrangling to be done before the most anticipated fight in the business comes even close to fruition, although Hearn insists Joshua, who holds three versions of the title, and Fury, the unbeaten WBC champion, are already “in agreement regarding the financial terms”. That would seem to gel with a surprise statement last week by Frank Warren that his fighter, Fury, would be willing to split the purse 50‑50.

Tyson Fury at a press conference to publicise his fight with Tom Schwarz
‘Grow a set of nuts’: Tyson Fury continues feud with Anthony Joshua
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Such unanimity between promoters who have never even met, let alone exchanged civil words, is as rare as a trusted handshake in boxing, but at least the signs are encouraging. While Fury has captured attention beyond his sport with his giant personality, a story of redemption straight from Hollywood and a rousing stoppage of the American Deontay Wilder, Joshua has had to regain lost ground with the public after losing an unbeaten record and his title to Andy Ruiz last year. He did that with a convincing points victory in the rematch last December to win back his WBA, IBF and WBO belts, the bargaining chips he needed even to begin talks with Fury.

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tyson fury and anthony joshua

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“We’re making great progress,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates.

“It’s fair to say [they] are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight. The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence. The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we’re in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be. We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out.

“We’re pushing towards a place where they can be drafted, for 2021. Both guys are in agreement. The structure of the deal has been put forward, and agreed to by both parties.”

One hurdle is the pandemic that has paralysed sport. There was boxing of sorts on ESPN in the US this week, but without an audience, and it felt as flat as the canvas. Fighting in a near-empty hall robs pugilism of its essence, although Hearn still has plans to hold four nights of boxing over 28 days in July and August in the 15-acre grounds of his Matchroom headquarters in Romford.

There has been no sanctioned boxing in the UK since March, however, and it is difficult to gauge if fans will warm to a promotion with only the televised echo of leather on skin for atmosphere.

Bookmakers, meanwhile, weighed in quickly on a Fury-Joshua match-up. William Hill did not hesitate to make Fury a 2-1 on favourite, with Joshua at 6-4. Their boxing spokesperson, Rupert Adams, said, “Tyson was so dominant against Wilder that we feel we have to make him the favourite to go on and beat Joshua.” Paddy Power have Fury at 7-4 on and Joshua at 11-8, which seems about right.

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As for the venue, the Irish bookmakers think Hearn will take the fight back to Saudi Arabia, where Joshua beat Ruiz, and where there is much money available still in the coffers of the government’s “sportwashing” department.

Wherever it might end up – and Wembley would be a more acceptable venue for British fans – it is unlikely to be this year. Joshua is still committed to defending his title against Kubrat Pulev, and Wilder will make a lot of noise if he is denied his mandated rematch.

Punters would be advised to wait a while before committing their money to any of these eventualities. Those looking for a price on the fight not happening at all can get 5-1. Given Fury’s stated intention to retire after two fights, it’s as good a bet as any.

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Boxing & UFC

Mike Tyson gets Serena Williams to try boxing: Wouldn’t want to get in the ring with this GOAT

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Impressed the boxing great off the court

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One of the most feared boxers of all time, Mike Tyson, suggested that no one is truly fearless after seeing tennis legend Serena Williams working a punchbag.

Tyson won his first 19 professional fights and reigned as undisputed world heavyweight champion for three years from 1987 to 1990, so is hardly a stranger to identifying talent in the ring.

After watching Williams training on a punchbag in 2019, Tyson tweeted his admiration.

“Wouldn’t want to get in the ring with this GOAT,” he said.

Mike Tyson gets Serena Williams
Mike Tyson gets Serena Williams

It’s thought the video came about after the two met in 2019 at an annual camp hosted by Williams‘ coach of 10 years, Patrick Mouratoglou, which always attracts celebrities in and out of the sporting arena.

Serena Williams is back at Wimbledon

However, Tyson is safe for now as Williams is preoccupied with her tennis career for the foreseeable future, most immediately with Wimbledon, which started this Monday.

Entering the tournament as a wildcard, Williams starts her tournament on day two against Harmony Tan, who is ranked 113th in the world.

If she’s victorious in a fortnight’s time, the crown will be the 40-year old’s 24th Grand Slam singles title, and seventh title at the All England Club.

Serena Williams gets boxing lessons from Mike Tyson. Watch | Tennis News –  India TV

Mike Tyson wouldn’t want to be a coach

Despite the spectacular training workout Tyson gave Williams, it doesn’t look like Iron Mike wants to take up full-time coaching any time soon.

See also  Serena Williams nearly died, says husband Alexis Ohanian

Speaking on his Hotboxin’ podcast, he said he didn’t have the patience to wake up every morning for a mentor.

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Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Tyson Fury denies reports he’s in talks to fight the winner

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Tyson Fury
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Tyson Fury denies reports he's in talks to fight the winner

The Daily Mail claimed that the undisputed clash for all the marbles will be held in the Middle East just days before the World Cup final is due to take place on December 18.

But the retired WBC heavyweight world champion has since fired back by sensationally denying those allegations as hearsay.

Fury, known to fans as The Gypsy King, wrote on Instagram: “This is all news to me! Biggest load of rubbish ever!”

Queensberry Promotions chief Frank Warren added: “We haven’t had negotiations with anyone.”

Tyson Fury

Fury’s retirement has been met with considerable scepticism in certain quarters.

The undefeated Brit cemented his reputation as the best in the world with a sixth-round knockout win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium back in April.

With an unbeaten record of 32-0-1 to his name, Fury promised his wife Paris he would retire as he has essentially nothing left to prove following Joshua’s loss to Usyk.

anthony-joshua-oleksandr-usyk-rematch-announcement
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, however, disagrees, as he doesn’t think the interest will ever go away.

Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I think the fight between AJ and Fury is always there.

“I mean, I still get questions walking down the street, even today, ‘When’s AJ fighting Fury?’

“It’s like, ‘He’s got Usyk first’. ‘Oh, has he?’ So of course, you don’t want to go back-to-back defeats but Usyk is also pound-for-pound, I think possibly no.1 right now.

Tyson Fury

“Losing to Usyk is never terrible, the Fury fight is always there, but for the undisputed heavyweight world championship, which it would be, it would just be the biggest fight of all time.

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p1f2j1r6qd34g13iq2ap7l5khp3.jpgThe Ultimate Tyson Fury quiz: Where was Tyson Fury born?Newcastle
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“And I think if AJ beats Usyk, that would be an automatic fight that you will see in December.”

Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum also believes he will be back in the ring in a heartbeat if a suitable opportunity presents itself.

Tyson Fury

Arum told FightHype: “Tyson Fury is retired and he will be retired until we come to him with the next big event and then he will unretire.

“Well, I think Fury is going to wait to see how the [Anthony] Joshua fight comes out with [Oleksandr] Usyk, and then he’ll make a determination whether he wants to continue.

“Other than fighting the winner of Joshua-Usyk, there’s really nothing that’s really of interest to Tyson Fury, so we will have to see.”

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Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is ‘automatic’ for December if AJ can beat Oleksandr Usyk – but could be alive even if he loses

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Tyson Fury
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is ‘automatic’ for December if AJ can beat Oleksandr Usyk – but could be alive even if he loses

Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could clash in December this year.

Fury, the WBC champion, retired from boxing after defeating Dillian Whyte, in April, but precious few in the sport believe the Gypsy King has donned his gloves for the last time.

Fury and Joshua simply have to face each other before their careers are over

Tyson Fury
Fury and Joshua simply have to face each other before their careers are over
Hearn joined talkSPORT and explained when AJ might finally fight Usyk again

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Hearn joined talkSPORT and explained when AJ might finally fight Usyk again
Hearn confirmed on talkSPORT’s White and Jordan on Friday that Joshua’s rematch with Usyk, where he will try and win back his belts, will be announced next week with an August date in Saudi Arabia widely expected.

Regardless of whether AJ wins or loses against Usyk, Hearn believes Fury would take the fight against him in December.

“I think the fight between AJ and Fury is always there,” he explained.

“I mean, I still get questions walking down the street, even today, ‘When’s AJ fighting Fury?’

“It’s like, ‘He’s got Usyk first’. ‘Oh, has he?’ So of course, you don’t want to go back-to-back defeats but Usyk is also pound-for-pound, I think possibly no.1 right now.”

In an ideal world, Joshua avenges his defeat to Usyk and then faces Fury for all the heavyweight titles, but Hearn doesn’t believe the fight is dead with Fury if he doesn’t.

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Usyk beat Joshua to win his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in 2021

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Usyk beat Joshua to win his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in 2021
“Losing to Usyk is never terrible, the Fury fight is always there, but for the undisputed heavyweight world championship, which it would be, it would just be the biggest fight of all time.

“And I think if AJ beats Usyk, that would be an automatic fight that you will see in December.”

The fact Hearn is calling the fight automatic tells you he is confident of luring Fury back, but the fact he has not yet vacated the WBC heavyweight title is even more telling.

Tyson Fury

Fury and Joshua were scheduled to meet last summer before a court of arbitration ruled that Fury had to complete his trilogy with Deontay Wilder first.

The Gypsy King did that in one of the all-time great heavyweight clashes last October, a month after Joshua lost to Usyk

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There were talks between all parties that Fury might pay Joshua and Whyte to step aside to face Usyk for the undisputed title earlier this year, so he clearly has an interest in fighting for the ultimate prize.

However, he eventually decided to face Whyte, his mandatory challenger, and now the ball is back in AJ’s court.

 

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Anthony Joshua’s new coach rates heavyweight’s rivals including Tyson Fury

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Tyson Fury
Anthony Joshua's new coach rates heavyweight's rivals including Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua’s new trainer has claimed the heavyweight is more talented than rivals Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk and Deontay Wilder.

The British star has teamed up with the world-renowned American to prepare for his revenge bid against Usyk this summer. A win for Joshua could set up an undisputed title clash against Fury, who is largely recognised as the leading fighter in the division.

Tyson Fury

However Garcia believes Fury is a different beast in comparison to Joshua’s upcoming rival Usyk. “Who’s the most talented heavyweight? I’ve always said Anthony Joshua,” Garcia told Little Giant Boxing. “Tyson Fury’s a different beast, a different monster. Oleksandr Usyk’s very technical and difficult. Deontay Wilder has tremendous power. But overall talent, for me, I pick Joshua.

Tyson Fury gives nod to successful career with name for £20,000 guard dog
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Tyson Fury spends up to £20,000 on Rottweiler guard dog as boxer beefs up security
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“Another thing is that Anthony Joshua also has insane power. He has great power, more than anybody else I think. Wilder, I have never felt his power, he is one of them guys too who has that one-punch power. But Joshua has it also and he is very strong.”

‘AJ’ was finally set to settle his rivalry with Fury in an undisputed fight last year but it collapsed after the ‘Gypsy King’ was forced to stage a trilogy with Wilder. Joshua instead suffered the second defeat of his career last year, losing his unified titles in a mandatory defence against Usyk.

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Now the Briton is expected to now face Usyk on August 20 in Saudi Arabia to attempt to steal them back. The two-time champion came into criticism for his tactical approach to the first meeting, with his trainer Rob McCracken also coming into the firing line.

Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua will train with new coach Robert Garcia this summer
Anthony Joshua will train with new coach Robert Garcia this summer ( Image: AnthonyJoshua/Snapchat)

He has since replaced McCracken with Garcia while Angel Fernandez has continued to work with Joshua at Loughborough University ahead of the sequel. Garcia has been added to Joshua’s camp for further experience having trained the likes of Marcos Maidana and four-weight world champions Mikey Garcia and Nonito Don

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Tyson Fury v Anthony Joshua delayed as Fury commits to trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder

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Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury v Anthony Joshua delayed as Fury commits to trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder

Tyson Fury has signed his contract to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time, in a defence of the World Boxing Council heavyweight title set to take place on July 24 in Las Vegas. The venue, as well as Wilder’s agreement, are yet to be made official.

Fury had seemed on course to meet Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight crown late this summer in Saudi Arabia, but the richest fight in British boxing history, with a fee of £107 million being offered from the host country, collapsed a week ago when a judge in the US ruled that Wilder had the contractual right to a third contest with the ‘Gypsy King’.

Tyson Fury

Fury, who won the WBC belt from Wilder by seventh-round stoppage in Las Vegas 15 months ago, was in attendance at promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank event in Las Vegas on Saturday night at which Scotsman Josh Taylor claimed the undisputed super lightweight title with victory over Jose Ramirez.

Fury signed his fight contract in public at the event. Fury pledged that Wilder would be “seriously smashed to bits”. Fury said. “I’ll give him another shoulder injury, biceps injury. One round, you’re going. I have got your soul, your mojo, everything. I own you.”

Joshua, meanwhile, is fully expected to defend the IBF, WBA and WBO belts against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in August.

If Joshua and Fury win their respective contests, both sides have said that talks to fight will resume and that the blockbuster event could still go ahead in 2021. Arum told Telegraph Sport that “a round table with all parties” would be the way forward to get the fight over the line. But two fights stand in that way.

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“[Fury-Wilder III] going ahead,” Arum told Telegraph Sport.” Everybody’s in different places. It’s a two-page document because we have the terms from the prior deal. Everybody’s agreed. The signing will be finished today [Saturday] and in my opinion the deal is done.”

Tyson Fury

Arum admitted that the arbitration ruling from retired judge Daniel Weinstein was a “shocking moment”.

“Yeah completely, I was absolutely in a state of shock. But listen I’m not a lawyer myself and I did believe our position was crystal clear and the contract had expired. But if you’re watching a baseball game and the pitcher throws a ball and the umpire calls it a strike, the pitch is a strike. Even though it really is a ball that should have been called a ball. That’s it. The arbitrator looked at it differently from the way we did and came to a different conclusion and ruled the way he did. That’s it. You can’t just say cry to the sky.

“The ruling is made and so you proceed with accordance with the ruling. It’s a basic thing. Should we have won the case? Yes. Did we win the case? No. So you have to proceed with that set of facts.”

Arum believes Fury will defeat Wilder. “He knows the best way to fight Wilder is to take it to him”. The promoter expects Joshua fight talks to begin again in August.

Tyson Fury

“By then, I think more encouraging is that it will be in a world and a situation where covid is in the rear view mirror. And that fight belongs, I don’t care what the money is, in the UK. Let’s say in November or December in Cardiff, which has that big indoor arena. That would be tremendous, unbelievable. I’m not ruling out Saudi Arabia, I’m not ruling out anything. But there’s something poetic about the biggest fight in British history taking place in the UK.”

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