Joshua eyes Wembley for Tyson Fury heavyweight showdown

By Sports Desk April 17, 2021

Anthony Joshua has declared Wembley would be an "ideal" venue for the first of his two fights against fellow heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.

Promoter Eddie Hearn this week said the location of the upcoming fight had been agreed by both fighters, but he did not disclose where it would take place.

A deal is in place for the pair to fight twice before the end of the year, with Fury invited to sign off the arrangements after talks with Hearn in Las Vegas.

Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, while the unbeaten Fury is the WBC champion after dethroning Deontay Wilder last year.

Saudi Arabia has been mooted as a potential location for the fight and may still stage the first clash, even if Joshua would love to tackle Fury in London. He has previously fought both at Wembley Stadium and in the adjacent SSE Arena.

"I've signed my side of the deal," Joshua told ITV's Jonathan Ross show.

"We've sent him a good offer, one I'm sure he won't refuse. He wants the fight, no doubt about it, so do I and more than me and him, the whole public want it. I put my crystal ball out there and I say it's going to happen this year 100 per cent."

Joshua added, according to several UK newspapers: "I'm pretty sure it'll be this year. End of July, early August.

"Where? That's what's the delay, because of this pandemic. We want to have people coming to the venue. It's just finding the right location. For me, Wembley would be ideal."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said last week that the English capital is ready to host the lucrative fight, despite the restrictions in the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A number of pilot events are taking place with spectators, in the hope crowds can return to normal capacity levels in the near future.

Snooker's 17-day World Championship began in Sheffield on Saturday with indoor crowds limited initially to one-third capacity, but there are plans for a full house come the final in May. Hearn's father, Barry Hearn, is the chairman of World Snooker.

Fury's most recent three bouts have all been staged in Las Vegas while Joshua reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch held in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

The 2012 Olympic gold medal winner fought once in 2020, with Joshua beating Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena in front of a restricted number of fans.

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    Tyson Fury has seemingly confirmed Dillian Whyte will be his next opponent after Eddie Hearn claimed the WBC heavyweight champion does not want to face Oleksandr Usyk.

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's world title, but the WBC this week granted a 48-hour extension for the two parties to negotiate a deal for a fight.

    Purse bids for that all-British bout are now set to go in on Friday.

    It was reported by The Telegraph that Anthony Joshua was prepared to step aside from a rematch with Usyk in order for Fury to do battle with the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO champion in a unification fight.

    Joshua, who was dethroned by the Ukrainian last September, dismissed those claims and Fury appeared to clear up all the uncertainty on Thursday.

    The 33-year-old tweeted: "Who else can't wait for the fight. The best of Britain."

    Fury had earlier mocked Joshua and his promoter Hearn for supposedly rejecting a huge offer to step aside from a rematch with Usyk.

    "Had to do this video. Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua have to be the worst damn businessmen in history! Today they lost $90m, goddamn sons of b****es, crazy!" he posted on social media.

    Yet Hearn, also Whyte's promoter, says Fury is not prepared to fight Usyk next.

    "There are four people in this mix – Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua – and everybody has to be on board with the same proposal," Hearn told BBC 5 Live.

    "Ultimately it's Tyson Fury who doesn't want to fight Oleksandr Usyk next in an undisputed fight, he wants to have an interim fight in March. There's no conversation to be had.

    "As we stand here right now, Dillian Whyte against Tyson Fury will go to purse bids tomorrow [Friday] in Mexico City."

    Hearn, however, knows nothing is set in stone.

    "They're never over, up until those envelopes are open," he added.

    "But there's no real negotiations for Fury against Whyte outside of purse bids. It would take Tyson Fury probably to say, 'Yeah, okay, look, maybe I'll fight Usyk', but you never know what he's going to do.

    "Right now this morning he wants to fight Dillian Whyte. He hasn't really mentioned that before but right now that's what we're doing. We'll be ready to bid tomorrow."

  • Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended Fury tells Whyte to 'step up and take your beating' after negotiation deadline is extended

    Tyson Fury has told Dillian Whyte to "step up and take your beating" after an extension was granted for the two fighters' camps to agree on the terms of a bout.

    Fury and Whyte were permitted an additional 48 hours by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to negotiate their fight before purse bids are made.

    The deadline had been 6pm on Wednesday but has now been pushed back two days, though the WBC confirmed that it would be the final extension.

    A statement posted on the WBC's website said: "The World Boxing Council has received once again requests from the teams of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, to extend the period of free negotiations.

    "The WBC has granted this final extension and If there is no agreement, a purse bid will be held this coming Friday, January 28."

    Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury's WBC heavyweight title but is currently in arbitration with the governing body.

    After the announcement of the extension, Fury took to Twitter to say: "Time to step up and take your beating."

    Fury's camp had previously made it known they wanted Anthony Joshua to step aside from his planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk after the latter's triumph in September, which would allow the WBC champion to go up against the Ukrainian in a unification bout.

    The Telegraph reported that Joshua had agreed to forego the rematch for a fee of £15million, though the former world champion denied claims a deal had been struck.

    In a video posted to his official social media channels on Tuesday, Fury made it clear that he had had enough of waiting, saying: "Tick tick tock. The time has run out of the bottle. You're all getting a good hiding – cowards."

  • 'Tick tick tock' – Fury sick of excuses from Joshua and Whyte 'Tick tick tock' – Fury sick of excuses from Joshua and Whyte

    Tyson Fury is running out of patience as the heavyweight champion waits to find out who his next opponent will be.

    Fury's camp want Anthony Joshua to step aside from his planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk after the latter's triumph in September.

    That would allow Fury to go up against the Ukrainian in a heavyweight unification bout.

    The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Joshua had agreed to forego the rematch and receive a £15million payout in return.

    However, Joshua denied the claims a deal had been struck. Should nothing be agreed by Wednesday, then purse bids with Dillian Whyte – the WBC mandatory challenger – will go ahead, with that lined up as Fury's next fight instead.

    In a video posted to his official social media channels on Tuesday, Fury, who defeated Deontay Wilder last year in the final fight of their trilogy contest, made it clear that he had had enough of waiting.

    "Another gym session done, Tuesday morning smashed," the 33-year-old said.

    "Tick tick tick effing tick tock is the subject of today. Is Dillian Whyte going to fight me? Is Anthony Joshua going to step aside?

    "Let me know. Because I am sick of looking at these bums, sick of listening to their excuses.

    "Tick tick tock. The time has run out of the bottle. You're all getting a good hiding – cowards."

    Usyk, who is two years older than Fury, has won all 19 of his professional fights, including 13 knockouts.

    Fury's record stands at 33 victories and one draw – the contentious first fight against Wilder in 2018.

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