Anthony Joshua remains ready to let Tyson Fury fight Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed world heavyweight championship if multi-million-pound contracts, including his challenge to the winner, can be finalised tonight.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Joshua will still consider the multiple deals despite Fury declaring that he has tired of the endless negotiations and will defend his WBC title against Dillian Whyte in a UK homecoming fight on March 26.
Fury accused Joshua and Hearn of being ‘the worst businessmen in the world’ for not concluding a step-aside deal worth up to £20million to AJ. Then he threatened to “obliterate that bum Whyte”.
“You never know what he wants from one day to the next but at the moment he is insisting on a warm up fight with his mandatory challenger Whyte which would delay everything.
“AJ can’t wait around all year while Fury goes on to meet Usyk in late summer. He would need contracted cast-iron guarantees that he would get his chance of becoming the undisputed champion by December at the latest.”
Hearn affirms that step-aside money totalling more than £20m between Joshua and Whyte “is on the table” to free up Fury v Usyk for a mega fight in Saudi Arabia in May.
Unless the impasse is broken quickly the Fury v Whyte fight will go to purse bids in Mexico City at 6pm London time today and Joshua will proceed to his spring rematch with Usyk, whose upset victory stripped him of his WBA, IBF and WBO titles in London before Christmas.
Hearn says: “We have lodged the fee and notice of our bid on Dillian’s behalf.
“Frank Warren and Bob Arum may seek yet another extension in that bidding and we would agree if it looks as if we really can reach a deal in advance.”
Fury took to Twitter on Thursday to post a poster of himself going toe-to-toe with Whyte, with the Gypsy King seemingly with his mind set on taking on the Bodysnatcher next.