Tyson Fury’s next fight might not be another rematch against Deontay Wilder after all.
The WBC and lineal heavyweight champion’s camp is negotiating a potential title unification fight against WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, according to ESPN.
While both boxers are British, the fight would reportedly be held in Saudi Arabia or somewhere else on the Arabian Peninsula, where promoters are currently soliciting offers to host the fight.
The foreign location reportedly doesn’t matter much to Fury:
As for Fury, when contacted by ESPN, he said, "I'll fight in Timbuktu if the money's right. I have a bag, and I will travel."
Boxing fans have been eager to see any unification bout between some combination of Fury, Wilder and Joshua for years, which hasn’t really happened for various reasons. There hasn’t been an undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis at the turn of the century.
Contracts in the way of Fury-Joshua
Fury is already set to face Wilder to complete a trilogy, but their third fight has been postponed indefinitely. If Fury won’t be facing Wilder — who recently underwent biceps surgery — anytime soon, it makes Joshua could step in and give the boxing world what it has been waiting for.
However, Wilder still holds a contractual right to an immediate rematch, which he has formally exercised, and would reportedly need to be financially compensated to waive that right.
Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s adviser, disputed a claim from ESPN sources that the boxer’s camp was aware of Fury and Joshua’s negotiations, saying that Wilder’s next fight is still Fury.
As for Joshua, he was previously scheduled to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20, but that fight has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He might also have to sort out some kind of buy-out with Pulev.
While that all might sound expensive, fight organizers in Saudi Arabia could have enough money to make that happen.
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