Boxing insider and journalist, Gareth A Davies, has had his say on the now-fizzling negotiations for a Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua fight in Cardiff on December 3.
Talks started off in a very public way, more akin to WWE than WBC. But it worked, and for a moment there it looked like we may just get one of the biggest British heavyweight fights of all time.
Then came the deadlines from Fury’s side, the issues in the contract from Joshua’s and, ultimately, it looks to be unlikely that it can be made in time. According to ‘The Gypsy King’, he’s moved on to a potential fight with Mahmoud Charr – a man who has fought twice in five years and is ranked number 19. Eddie Hearn, ‘AJ’s promoter, did say there was still hope, but that they wouldn’t be keeping to Fury’s timetable.
Speaking to IFL TV, boxing writer Gareth A Davies thinks we’re seeing the beginning of the end of negotiations.
“I’m not using the word ‘excuses’ for not making the fight, but it looks like they’re backing out of it. I do understand Eddie Hearn’s comments that it takes a long time to get a deal over the line properly and everything signed. He said, she said, contracts back and forth – all of that, fair enough they are doing that. There’s no question.”
“I don’t know – I feel like there’s a backing out process going on here. Those of us insiders, if you like, were always sceptical that it would get over the line. It feels like one of the biggest teases we’ve ever had.”
When pushed on what side were backing out, Davies pondered for a moment before settling on his answer.
“I think maybe neither side want to lose face at this point, and it’s [about] who loses face the most in the public [eye].
I do understand that both broadcasters, BT Sport and DAZN, were onboard for it. Who’s backing out? I think if anyone, knowing boxing and knowing where we stand with the two fighters, I think it’s more likely that Joshua and Eddie are backing out.
Even though we’ve heard from Anthony that he wants the fight and he’s happy to sign, but the conditions have got to be right. I think we’ve probably got AJ backing out at this point because they’re not happy with the terms and they can’t get the terms that they want. Or, it’s an excuse about the commercial value.”
Fans and pundits will likely be split down the middle in terms of whose fault it was that talks began to crumble, but the key takeaway should still be that – no matter which side is to blame – we’re close to missing out on a legendary heavyweight fight, perhaps for good.