Joshua left-red faced as Usyk vs Fury ‘plans’ come to light

Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou: Tale of the tape

There are reportedly no plans to stage a blockbuster double bill featuring Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury despite AJ’s recent insistence that the Saudis are exploring the possibility. Joshua is expected to face Wilder in either March or April of next year after negotiations stalled for a 2023 date.

Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn previously stated that “everything had been agreed”, however, the contracts still haven’t been signed. In the interim, Joshua is expected to return to the ring at the back end of the year, most likely December, while he awaits the final paperwork for a date with Wilder.

Usyk and Fury, meanwhile, have put pen to paper on a lucrative deal for an undisputed heavyweight championship fight in Saudi Arabia. The bout is expected to take place on December 23 or sometime in January but Joshua believes the turnaround will be too tight for the Gypsy King, who faces Francis Ngannou in a money-spinning crossover clash this weekend.

AJ anticipates it will happen around the same time as his long-awaited collision with Wilder, opening the door for a spectacular double bill. “They want to put Usyk-Fury, Joshua-Wilder on the same night. That might not happen until April,” Joshua told assembled media at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

“When Fury gets through Ngannou, it is going to be late October, early November, so I doubt he will now prepare for Usyk and fight in December, it’s too short. So the next window will probably be in March-April, so that’s probably when the undisputed fight will potentially happen.

“Then obviously what we are being told is they want to make it a mega card and they like the sound of Joshua v Wilder on the same card as well.” 

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Rumours of the sizzling doubleheader were floated earlier in the year but multiple reports have since put them to bed for good it seems. Shortly after Joshua’s quotes began to circulate, several key players in the boxing landscape came out and confirmed that there no plans for Joshua and Wilder to be added to the Fury vs Usyk undercard – which could take place as early as December.

Joshua recently returned to Dallas, Texas to start his camp for his next fight with head trainer Derrick James. No opponent nor date has been confirmed as of yet although December 17 at Wembley Arena was teased by Hearn earlier this month.

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