Not long ago, Anthony Joshua was on the brink of an undisputed heavyweight title fight. During that time, there were talks of stepping aside to make this happen. Would you be willing to wait your turn for history to be made?
Joshua is scheduled to face Oleksandr Usyk this spring in a rematch for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, wants to meet the winner. There may also be a chance that Fury will face Dillian Whyte. Top Rank’s Bob Arum is willing to do whatever it takes to make the undisputed fight happen. He believes that the situation is a disaster that can be resolved.
“It’s total chaos,” Arum said. talkSPORT. “What’s happening is just promises coming out of the Middle East about doing a unified fight with Usyk and Fury, and Dillian Whyte will step aside. And people who have absolutely no contractual ties, like Frank Warren’s Queensberry and our Top Rank, are getting involved.
“It’s a typical terrible situation, but I hope it will be resolved and it will probably be resolved with an auction on Friday.”
Fury, a lineal heavyweight champion, defeated Deontay Wilder in February 2020 for the WBC title. He beat Wilder in a knockout rematch in October to retain the title. There have been issues regarding purse deals between him and Whyte, with the latter wanting a 55/45 purse split after an initial 80/20 split was announced.
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, beat Joshua in his third heavyweight fight in September. Joshua’s management team told talkSPORT that Eddie Hearn, Joshua and others turned down an option to step aside.
“In all honesty, Eddie and I have had conversations with Freddie [Cunningham, Joshua’s manager] and some of the other guys,” David KD Ghana said. “The day we actually brought it up a little bit, they shut us down, it was a complete shutdown. AJ knows that as a management team we are going to explore all options for him. But the main thing is that he is focused on fixing what he needs.”
Hearn, however, has he told social boxing that there may be a chance that further negotiations will result in the undisputed title fight first. The portfolio offer for Fury-Whyte is scheduled for Friday and Hearn is keen to see how it goes. His main statement was to wait and see and “expect the unexpected”, meaning anything is possible.
At one point, Joshua and Fury agreed in principle to fight each other in 2021 for the undisputed titles. Mandatory challengers in Usyk and Wilder halted those plans following an arbitrator’s ruling.