Anthony Joshua’s convinced his £200m undisputed bout with Tyson Fury is heading for June but the Gypsy King has gone on holiday to drink pints while Bob Arum believes a deal is done… what the key men involved in boxing’s BIGGEST fight have said
- Tyson Fury cast doubt over his fight with Anthony Joshua by saying it’s not close
- The WBC champion has also stopped training and is ‘drinking 12 pints a day’
- Fury’s promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren have both said the deal is agreed
- AJ said fight should be in June while Eddie Hearn is waiting for Team Fury to sign
- However, Hearn believes the fight could be just ‘days away’ from being agreed
A few weeks ago, even the most skeptical would have felt Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s Battle of Britain was still nailed on.
Eddie Hearn said in the aftermath of Joshua’s victory over Kubrat Pulev in December that there was no reason why the fight couldn’t be made in a matter of days, and while he remains confident a deal is close to being done, there are still doubts to consider.
Three months after Joshua’s win, there is still no confirmation and concerns have grown that the world could be deprived of the £200million heavyweight battle its been longing to see.
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has revealed he is on holiday drinking up to 12 pints a day
Negotiations over a fight between Joshua (left) and Fury have been going on for months
Contracts have not been signed, while the venue is undecided and there has been talks of the already proposed delay from May to June being prolonged into July.
And now Fury, who has never said anything remotely optimistic about the fight happening, has cast further doubt by revealing he has stopped training and gone on holiday to drink 12 pints of lager a day.
The key men involved in making this fantasy fight become a reality have, at times, spun their own stories about what’s going on, which has created some confusion.
So, with everything up in the air, Sportsmail takes a look at their latest comments about the fight and what is holding it up.
Eddie Hearn, now famously, said the fight could be made in days after AJ’s win over Pulev
The self-styled Gypsy King, who last month said he is no closer to fighting Anthony Joshua than he was a year ago, appears to have given up all hope of it happening anytime soon.
In his latest comments about his proposed fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship, Fury said: ‘Let’s break it down. Eddie Hearn is a boxing promoter. So is Bob Arum. It’s their job to sell a fight. Joshua is saying what he’s saying, I’m not on social media at the moment at all. So whatever they are saying is very unimportant to me.
‘Until I’ve got a fight, a date and hell of a lot of money in my pocket, there is no fight. There’s a lot of things going on that people don’t know about behind the scenes that can scupper a fight like that.
‘So nothing is actually on until you are in the ring. So yeah, we are nowhere near that at the moment.
The Gypsy King has cast doubts over the fight happening by claiming a deal is ‘nowhere near’
‘I can’t do nothing, it’s out of my hands. It is nothing to do with me at all. I’m just a boxer. There’s a lot of things like I say behind the scenes that can alter a fight.
‘Do I think I’m going to be fighting Anthony Joshua in the next 10 minutes? No. Do I think the fight with Joshua will eventually happen sooner or later? Yes. It has to happen. But do I think it’s imminent, right next minute? No I don’t.
‘I am not going to hold my breath for it, that’s for sure.
‘I am not going to put all my eggs in one basket because I have been guilty of doing that before and, when the fight doesn’t happen, that is when I end up in a massive depression and feel like killing myself.
‘I am not going to say “It is definitely happening in June or July.”‘
That, however, is contrary to what one of his own promoters has said!
The Top Rank CEO has put together hundreds of blockbuster fights in his time, including one of the most complicated bouts ever in Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao – which took over five years of negotiating before it came to fruition.
Arum told Sportsmail earlier this month that they are ‘fewer contentious aspects in this fight between Fury and Joshua than in any other major fight I’ve ever done’.
And if that wasn’t encouraging enough, Fury’s co-promoter came out a few days later and declared the deal was virtually done for this summer.
‘As far as I’m concerned, all the points have been agreed to,’ the 89-year-old said.
Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum revealed recently there are no more issues to resolve
‘That’s what each side has said. Now, we’re just scrambling around to get things signed.
‘I can say clearly, based on my view of everything, there are no more issues.
‘Everything is agreed, it’s an imminent announcement and we’ve got to work on a site. It’s absolutely moving in the right direction and everybody is on the same page.
‘Nobody is more frustrated than the fighters and us, we’ve worked like you cannot believe to get this over the line. I think Tyson is a bit peed off about it because it’s dragging on and on and on.’
That was more in line with what everybody else has been saying, but we’re almost two weeks further down the line and still in the dark.
Anthony Joshua has remained fairly consistent in his communiques throughout the whole process, though has suggested that Fury is not the only fish he has to fry.
‘June should be the date,’ Joshua revealed a few weeks back.
‘Trust me. For the fans, for the people that have been calling it on for many, many months.
‘Shoutout to Fury and his team as well, hungry go-getters, that’s what we are. UK stand up. And to the world, we’re bringing it.
‘I can’t wait. Undisputed.’
AJ announced earlier this month the fight with Fury should be taking place in June time
That was a nice assurance, but would have been more comforting if Joshua didn’t then almost directly contradict it by making his desire known to face other heavyweights than Fury.
‘I can’t wait to get in the ring and compete with anyone this year, it’s not only Tyson Fury,’ Joshua said earlier this month.
‘There’s so many great heavyweights I want to get in the ring with and dance with and beat up so Tyson Fury is just one on a long list.’
Of course, that came in-between several statements where AJ made it clear that his priority is to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since the early 2000s before anything else.
… And if that isn’t enough to ease any concerns, Eddie Hearn reiterating ‘the fight will definitely happen’ and revealing that Joshua is already training specifically for Fury will certainly help.
‘Anthony would tell you that he’s training just to improve as a fighter, but I know that all he’s thinking about is Fury,’ Hearn said.
‘He is so focused. He’s working on the plan to beat this guy and become undisputed. I love the work he’s doing, the improvements he’s making, the mind-set.
‘I even said to him, “What about a little bit of warm weather? Go and relax a little bit? You don’t want to over-train.” He said, “No, I’m fine at Finchley.”‘
Joshua’s promoter Hearn (left) claims the fight is just ‘days away’ from being agreed
‘He’s sparring, he’s training, he’s preparing for the fight of his life.’
Matchroom promoter Hearn built up more hope the fight would go ahead after speaking on Friday regarding the fight contracts, adding: ‘We are on the verge of giving everyone some great news.
‘I know I have said that two and five weeks ago but we are days away.’
‘Everyone has worked really hard on this deal and it’s taken a month longer than we would have liked to get everybody to sign. And when everybody signs, we know we have to go out and complete the site deal but it’s quite a big statement from both guys to put pen to paper and for all the teams to say: we’re moving forward, let’s go.’
‘What you are going to get in the next few days is: the teams have now signed and now we are progressing with the venue.’
Despite Fury pouring cold water on the fight, his co-promoter Frank Warren has insisted an announcement is imminent and all that’s left to do is to find a site.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Warren said on Friday: ‘We’ve all agreed to announce any news simultaneously, so I can’t break a confidence I’ve agreed to.
‘But what I can say is that everything is agreed, it’s an imminent announcement and we’ve got to work on a site, and that’s it.
‘Hopefully everybody will be getting the good news soon, they’ll be happy and everyone can move onto the next stage of this, which is to get this site sorted out.
‘We hope it doesn’t happen later, we’re working hard to get it done sooner rather than later.
‘The contracts are agreed and they will be signed, 100 per cent, I’m confident of that. By the end of the week? I hope so!’
Despite Fury’s latest comments, Frank Warren said an announcement could be made this week
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