Tyson Fury could turn his attention toward British rival Anthony Joshua for a heavyweight title unification superfight instead of having to face Deontay Wilder for the third time. At least, that’s what might happen if a group of Saudi Arabia investors gets their way per a recent ESPN report.
In February, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) stopped Wilder in the seventh round of a rematch to solidify his claim to being the top heavyweight boxer in the world.
But after Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) enacted his rematch clause, a third fight was thought to be on the way this summer before the global COVID-19 pandemic sunk those hopes and a subsequent injury to Wilder cracked the door open for other options.
The most notable other option, of course, would be a massive heavyweight title unification fight against Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs).
Fury vs. Joshua: ‘Negotiations Are Underway’
On Thursday, ESPN reported that “negotiations are underway for a potential blockbuster heavyweight title unification fight between champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula.”
According to that same report, which was written by ESPN’s Steve Kim and references information obtained by fellow ESPN journalist Mark Kriegel, the potential “offer to Fury would have to be large enough to pay Deontay Wilder, who is coming off surgery, to waive his contractual right to an immediate rematch.”
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger later reported hearing the same news about the potential megafight.
Both Sides Confirmed Talks Are Happening Right Now
Additionally, promoters from each side of the Fury vs. Joshua negotiating table confirmed to ESPN they were at least open to the idea of making Fury vs. Joshua next.
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum told ESPN there was “a real frenzy with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, [and] with the Emirates, to do events” and that it would be “foolish” not to at least consider offers.
Separately, Arum also told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he couldn’t rule out Fury vs. Joshua happening before Fury vs. Wilder 3.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn also seemed to agree with the strategy.
Hearn told ESPN he was “open to [having] discussions” about the possibility of the massive fight happening later this year as the next contest for both heavyweights.
Finally, Fury said he’d be happy to face Joshua next so long as all the numbers made sense from a financial perspective.
“I’ll fight in Timbuktu if the money’s right,” Fury said. “I have a bag, and I will travel.”
Fury vs. Joshua Winner Would Achieve Massive Historical Achievement
Fury, 31, currently holds several pieces of boxing’s heavyweight championship puzzle, while Joshua, 30, holds the rest.
Fury is the WBC, The Ring magazine, TBRB, and lineal heavyweight champion. Meanwhile, Joshua is the heavyweight champ per the IBF, WBA, and WBO.
The winner of the potential blockbuster heavyweight championship superfight between Fury and Joshua would crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.
It’s a rare historical achievement only the best heavyweights in history have accomplished. If those Saudi Arabia investors have their way, the winner would put himself in the history books alongside other all-time great heavyweight champions who claimed undisputed status.
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