No matter the belts on the line or the losses on the records, UK fans will always want to see Anthony Joshua face Tyson Fury.
The pair have been on a frustrating, obstacle-laden collision course for years now and, despite coming close, there’s no end in sight.
Fury is moving towards a legacy-defining undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk. A win there would make him the division’s first sole champion since Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis.
The man he has to face to make it happen has the belts courtesy of ‘AJ’. Usyk beat him twice in two years to win and retain the WBA, WBO, and IBF belts.
With Joshua out of the title picture, Fury-Usyk really is the only fight to make in the division. And yet, it still isn’t signed. Despite some positive updates that it may be headed to Wembley Stadium, Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, believes the domestic scrap could still happen next.
He told iFL TV it wouldn’t be a shock if Fury faced his fighter this summer.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Usyk [vs Fury] thing, he may fight Fury next.
We would be open for that fight. If Usyk doesn’t fight Fury, AJ will fight Fury next in the summer if he gets through Franklin. How about that. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it – he will.
I have no idea whether Fury-Usyk is going to happen I can only give you my opinion, but I’m telling you if that fight doesn’t happen we will take the Fury fight. He [Joshua] will take that fight, he will take the Wilder fight he’d take them all.
Don’t be surprised to see that fight [AJ vs Fury] in the summer if the other one don’t happen, because that’s much bigger than the Usyk fight, much bigger.
So just something I’ve been thinking about lately, might be a little tinkle to George Warren, but we’ll see.”
The pair were involved in very public negotiations at the tail-end of last year. Deadlines introduced by Fury and some sponsorship disputes caused things to crumble, with both sides blaming one another.
Joshua is scheduled to fight American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin on April 1. Should he win that as expected, his team will look to make a summer stadium fight.
Fury is reportedly facing Usyk on April 29 with contracts set to be signed this week, but, until they are, it looks like all routes remain open.
Having said that, fans can’t be blamed for frustration at the constant talk without substance.