Their summer shenanigans in 2021 were enough to have fight fans around the globe tearing out their hair in frustration.
But finally, it seems as though the much-anticipated heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua WILL go ahead, with terms on a December 3 date reportedly agreed.
A venue is yet to be revealed, although it’s notable that Wembley Arena is free on that date just a few weeks shy of Christmas. Cardiff’s Principality Stadium has also been hinted at, while Eddie Hearn’s willingness to accept Saudi Arabian money suggests the Middle Eastern country could also be a contender.
The pair have, according to media reports, agreed on a purse that will be split 60-40 in Fury’s favour, with a rumoured £75 million thought to be on the table that will latterly be boosted by pay-per-view buys and ticket sales.
The fight was confirmed on Twitter by Joshua’s management team 258MGT, who called upon Fury’s promoter Frank Warren to present a contract. He replied by confirming that the papers would be written up ‘very soon’.
Due to the Queen’s passing, it was agreed to halt all communication.
We are awaiting a response.
— 258MGT (@258mgt) September 13, 2022
The fight would bring closure to one of the longest-running farces in boxing, and one that has continually threatened to derail what will be one of the biggest grossing bouts in British history. The pair were originally scheduled to clash in the summer of 2021, before court action brought by Deontay Wilder saw him jump ahead of AJ in the queue to tackle the Gypsy King.
This would appear to confirm Fury’s U-turn on plans to retire from the sport following his victory over Dillian Whyte, while Joshua – fresh from a pair of defeats to Oleksandr Usyk – will be given the chance to get his career back on track by becoming the first to defeat the 34-year-old.
It’s thought that a rematch clause has also been included in the contract, although the likelihood of that happening will presumably depend upon the result. Fury, should he prevail, will surely be eyeing an undisputed heavyweight clash with WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO strap-holder Usyk in 2023.
The Ukrainian was provisionally offered the December date, but confirmed that a series of niggling injuries meant that he wouldn’t be ready until next year.
It’s been suggested that the pair could target a date that coincides with Super Bowl weekend in February – an occasions watched by tens of million around the world, and for which coveted advertising spots during the half-time show can be used to boost sales exponentially.
Such timing could be used to bolster the PPV buys for Fury vs Usyk, with the Ukrainian not a household name around the globe despite his undoubted class in the ring.