By Sam Volz: Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum says it’s possible that Fury could face Anthony Joshua later this year if both of them win their next fights in April.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) would need to defeat IBF, WBA & WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk on April 29th, whereas Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) will need to get past Jermaine Franklin on April 1st.
Despite Fury saying this week that Joshua is “dead” as far as he’s concerned, Arum sees AJ as a very real possibility for him, and he says he’d like to make that fight if Joshua’s team doesn’t “mess around” like last November when they attempted to put a fight together.
It would be crazy for the 34-year-old Fury to turn his back on a fight against Joshua out of a petty grudge over the failed negotiations from last time.
There’s too much money that can be made between the two for Fury to childishly hold a grudge and refuse to revisit talks with Joshua.
Of course, if Fury doesn’t care about money, he can always continue fighting guys like Derek Chisora and forget about making tons of dough against Joshua.
Arum will be the voice of reason here to ensure that Fury understands what he has to gain by fighting Joshua. Next time, Arum needs to keep Fury’s trap shut, so he doesn’t start barking about deadlines and other such nonsense regarding the Joshua fight.
Fury-Joshua possible later this year
“If for some reason Usyk retired from boxing for some reason, and if Fury was left without an opponent [for April 29th], then he would fight some Brit, or maybe some European fighter, but he will fight at the end of April,” said Bob Arum to iD Boxing about Tyson Fury’s options for his April 29th fight if Oleksandr Usyk chooses not to face him.
Other than WBA secondary heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois, there aren’t any British heavyweights of note that will be available for April 29th to step in to face Fury if his undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk falls through.
With the way that Dubois was arguably saved from being knocked out in his last fight against Kevin Lerena last December, he would be a terrible plan B option for Fury to fight.
It’s too bad Joe Joyce won’t be available due to his fight with Zhilei Zhang because he would be an excellent backup option for Fury.
“At the end of the line, if Fury is successful and the best fight for him is Anthony Joshua, and they [Team AJ] don’t mess around like they did last time, I would certainly like to put that fight together, provided Joshua wins his fight,” said Arum.
“Again, we can’t have anybody messing around. That fight we were talking about before Tyson fought [Derek] Chisora that we had percentages and everything, and then Joshua pulled out.
“Okay, there may have been reasons for that, but straightforward negotiations if the time is right is what we’re looking for to get that fight over the line,” said Arum about a Fury vs. Joshua clash.
“There’s no reason why that fight can’t happen, but Fury has to beat Usyk first, and Joshua has to beat the guy [Jermaine Franklin] that he’s fighting,” said Arum.
Fury’s plan-B option for April 29th
“We got to see where Daniel Dubois is. That’s a possibility,” said Arum when asked about potential British backup options for Fury if the Usyk fight falls out on April 29th.
“I don’t want to talk about other possibilities because I’m so optimistic that Fury-Usyk will happen, and will happen the last Saturday in April.
“So to bring other people’s names into it is really unfair because I am absolutely confident that we’ll conclude the negotiations satisfactorily with the Usyk people and with Tyson,” said Arum.