Anthony Joshua entered the WBC rankings at No 6 on Monday in view of a potential heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury; Top Rank, Fury's US promoter, confirms all parties are working towards making the Joshua bout: "Both want the fight"
Tuesday 13 September 2022 18:52, UK
Anthony Joshua's team have confirmed they accepted terms set out by the team of Tyson Fury ahead of a potential fight on December 3.
Joshua's 258 Management and Matchroom stated on social media that communication had been halted due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and that they were waiting for a response.
Frank Warren, Fury's promoter, has since replied: "Contract will be with you very soon."
Top Rank, Fury's US promoter, reiterated that all concerned are working towards making the Joshua fight.
"Negotiations are ongoing," Top Rank President Todd duBoef told Sky Sports. "Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua both want the fight, and all parties are working diligently to make it a reality."
Fury recently challenged Joshua to a long-awaited all-British showdown and offered the two-time world champion a 60-40 purse after it emerged a prospective undisputed clash against Oleksandr Usyk would likely have to wait until 2023.
The 34-year-old initially highlighted November 26 at Wembley or December 3 at Cardiff as potential dates for the fight.
The Gypsy King marked his UK homecoming with a sixth-round knockout win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April, and preceded to reiterate plans to retire before informing the WBC he intended to resume his career at the end of last month.
Joshua, who suffered a split decision defeat to Usyk in last month's rematch, entered the WBC rankings at No 6 this week.
The pair had been set to fight in August 2021 before plans were scuppered by an arbitration judge ruling that Deontay Wilder was contractually entitled to a third fight against Fury, which the American heavyweight would go on to lose by 11th-round knockout.
A rematch with Dillian Whyte had emerged as a possibility down the line for Joshua following his defeat to Usyk, while Fury was recently challenged by 37-year-old former WBA regular champion Mahmoud Charr. The aftermath of Fury's victory over Whyte had also seen him express his interest in a potential crossover bout against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, though that was at a time when the former had been adamant he planned on walking away from the sport.
Fury has no mandatory challengers in place as it stands, with former world champion Wilder, No 1 in the WBC ratings, scheduled to face Robert Helenius in an eliminator and No 2-ranked Andy Ruiz Jr coming off a hard-fought win over Luis Ortiz.
Sky Sports Boxing's Johnny Nelson...
"If this fight doesn't happen, the buck stops with the fighters, not their management team, not their extended team, but them. Tyson Fury said 'let's do it', Anthony Joshua said 'let's do it', so if for any reason this fight doesn't happen it falls on the shoes of the fighters.
"Now the realisation of it. If I'm in Anthony Joshua's team I probably wouldn't advise him to do it, it's a great opportunity, but you're coming off two losses, his head is all over the place.
"Before he boxed Usyk in Saudi Arabia, I said if Anthony Joshua loses, what is his motivation going to be? Because he doesn't want to be a backing dancer. So what will it be to motivate him?
"Tyson Fury has to be the only fighter that motivates Anthony Joshua to make the decision to say 'yes, let's do this. This guy is the only person that motivates me to get my head right to get my confidence, get my drive to commit to training'.
"This is the motivation Anthony Joshua needs. Tyson Fury, if he's true to his word, he's done his job and put the offer out there, now we've got to wait and see how time tells its own story.
"If this fight happens, it's a massive, massive fight that the public have wanted to see for so long and these fighters are probably the only two fighters at the moment that could box and be bigger than the belts."