Tyson Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum claims a deal to fight Anthony Joshua this summer is now “dead in the water”, meaning the Gypsy King may be forced to turn his attention elsewhere.
Fury and Joshua reached a two-fight agreement back in March, but negotiations over a site deal for their first contest has dragged on for over a month.
AJ’s longtime promoter Eddie Hearn remains adamant that confirmation of an undisputed heavyweight showdown in Saudi Arabia this summer is imminent, with The Athletic reporting that it could come this weekend.
However, Arum has told The Telegraph that both Fury and Joshua may need to switch their short-term focus elsewhere as site-deal negotiations could rumble on until 2022.
If the mega-fight doesn’t happen this summer, the Top Rank chief believes his man could instead face old rival Deontay Wilder for a third time.
Fury was controversially denied victory in his first bout with Wilder back in December 2018, with the judges sparking outrage by deeming their contest a split-decision draw.
But he didn’t leave it in the hands of the judges when they met again 14 months later, instead battering the American from pillar to post inside seven rounds and ripping the WBC heavyweight title from his grasp in the process.
Fury was contractually obliged to face Wilder for a third time after delivering his first professional defeat, but due to Covid-19 difficulties the rematch failed to materialise in 2020.
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Nevertheless, with negotiations over the Joshua mega-fight now stalling Arum has hinted that a trilogy with Wilder could be back on the cards.
He told Boxing Scene: “Maybe we’ll breathe some life into Wilder, and Fury will fight Wilder and Joshua will fight [Oleksandr] Usyk.”
In the event of a Wilder trilogy somehow falling by the wayside, Dillian Whyte will be licking his lips at the prospect of finally securing his long-awaited mandatory position with the WBC.
Whyte spent over 1,000 days as mandatory challenger before he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin in August of last year, but a conclusive stoppage win in their rematch last month has reenforced his position.
If he doesn’t get his undisputed battle with Joshua over the line, Fury will likely have to settle for a dust-up with either Wilder or the Brixton man this year.
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