Tyson Fury’s undisputed hopes take a hit with Anthony Joshua only interested in one fight

Where does Tyson Fury’s win leave the world heavyweight scene?

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Tyson Fury has been warned over his his undisputed heavyweight title hopes by Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. Fury, 33, wants to prioritise a fight with Oleksandr Usyk as opposed to facing the mandatory challenger to his WBC crown, Dillian Whyte.

Last month, ‘The Gypsy King’ came through a thrilling trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas to retain both his WBC crown and Ring Magazine title, a win which was supposed to finally pave the way for a long-awaited bout with Joshua, 32.

However, that notion had already been scuppered in September after ‘AJ’ was left stunned by Usyk in London, with the Ukrainian outclassing him to take his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles.

Joshua immediately triggered a rematch clause and is currently negotiating a return bout in the spring of 2022, while Fury was widely expected to face Whyte, despite ‘The Body Snatcher’ having to withdraw from his October fight with Otto Wallin due to a shoulder injury.

However, on Tuesday the WBC failed to order the two British heavyweights to arrange a clash, saying there was a legal arbitration to settle with Whyte first.

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Regardless, Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum has publicly said that the Manchester man would favour a unification bout with Usyk, 34, over facing Whyte, who has long touted himself for a world title shot.

Arum’s comments prompted rumours that Joshua would consider stepping aside with a view to later facing the winner. A WBC deadline for Fury and Usyk to agree an undisputed title fight has expired – so it would have needed a concession from Joshua for it to be possible.

However, that notion has been shot down by Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, who also serves as the Watford man’s promoter.

“AJ is already in camp physically and mentally for the Usyk rematch, and it’s all he has thought about since the night of the first fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

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“I have a meeting planned with [Usyk’s promoter] Alex Krassyuk to start working on proposed venues for the spring rematch.

“It’s a huge fight and we believe AJ can become a three-time world heavyweight champion.”

For his part, Krassyuk said three possible options were being looked at for the fight – the UK, Ukraine, or the Middle East.

It was in Saudi Arabia where Joshua avenged his only other career defeat, against Andy Ruiz Jr, back in December 2019.

Fury meanwhile, remains in limbo as Whyte, 33, seeks to sort out issues with the authorities.

The Brixton man has long claimed Fury has avoided facing him, and his pinned post on his Twitter page dates back to June 2020 where he labelled his rival a “coward.”

He lost his mandatory challenger status when he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin in August 2020, but regained it by dismantling the Russian fighter in a rematch seven months later.

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