Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk looked all set to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world earlier this year until talks suddenly collapsed – and Anthony Joshua believes that was down to one man.
When Fury beat Derek Chisora in his last outing back in December 2022, Usyk climbed on to the ring apron and the two shared a fiery face-off – from that moment fans believed the fight was inevitable.
The initial date promised came and went, and talks moved from behind the scenes to the stages of Twitter and Instagram. Despite some hope when Usyk accepted just 30% of the purse, a fight didn’t materialise.
In the midst of it all, Fury’s trainer, SugarHill Steward told media that he wasn’t in training camp with Fury.
This, ‘AJ’ believes was a clear sign his countryman didn’t want the fight.
“What happened with the champ [Fury] saying ‘I’m training for Usyk, then his coach comes out and says ‘I’m not training for him’. You’ve got to call him out.
If that was me what would people say?
I’m going to start holding people accountable. Yes Usyk didn’t duck, Fury did.”
Joshua took on Usyk as his mandatory challenger back in 2021, losing on the cards and doing the same again one year later.
‘The Gypsy King’ is adamant that it was Usyk who was ‘scared’ to fight. The theories of who wants what should be proven soon as the pair are set to re-enter negotiations towards the end of the year – that’s if Usyk successfully defends his belts against Daniel Dubois on August 12.
Fury is rumoured to be facing MMA star, Francis Ngannou in the interim – but it’s unlikely that bout will be a threat to future plans.