Tyson Fury has issued Anthony Joshua an ultimatum after throwing him a lifeline in the form of a shot at the WBC title. He’s provided two fight dates for AJ to pick from – neither of which are December 17.
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) had originally planned to take on Oleksandr Usyk for every title in the sport’s premier division, but the Ukrainian opted against fighting this side of Christmas, saying he needed a break after his win over ‘AJ’ last month. That led to the champion sensationally called out his fellow Brit earlier this week.
Joshua was offered purse terms of 60-40 and Eddie Hearn – who has promoted Joshua since he turned professional back in October 2013 following Olympic success a year earlier at London 2012 – revealed that the offer had been accepted and the only sticking point was the venue and date.
Today in an interview with talkSPORT, ‘The Gypsy King’ clarified some previously unknown details about a fight that could well go down in the history books as one of the biggest in the sport, regardless of the number of belts at stake.
He started off by questioning why AJ needed until the end of December.
“[Joshua] only had a sparring contest [against Usyk], didn’t he? He’s 12-round match fit, coming off a training camp.
“However, I have seen that they are trying to wriggle a little bit with the date.”
December 17 was originally earmarked for the fight, which is the earliest Joshua’s camp say he can be ready, but the written offer from Queensbury detailed that it was to take place on November 12. Fury went on to clear up the talk of dates – providing two potential options.
“We had Manchester United football ground [Old Trafford] booked for November 12, but they’re saying that’s too short, so what I have got, even better than that, is Wembley Stadium booked for November 26.
If he doesn’t want to go to Wembley at the end of November, I even have a December date for him, the third of December at Cardiff – so take your little pick dossser!”
Fury sold out Wembley Stadium in his last fight against Dillian Whyte back in April when he stopped his mandatory challenger inside six rounds, exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office. It’s a night he’ll be keen to recreate. Finally, he gave AJ an ultimatum.
“They’re the two dates [that we are prepared to offer], both dates are available and I’ve agreed to both of them.
“If they’re no good [to Joshua or his team] then he does not want this fight.
“I would prefer the capital stadium in November, but either date works for me. If Joshua doesn’t want either of those dates, I have another date booked in November that I will be fighting on.”