Talks began on Monday over an undisputed clash that many believe would be the biggest fight in British boxing history worth an eye-watering £200million, with the Far East considered as a possible alternative venue to the Middle East for what would be the first of a pair of high-profile contests.
Eddie Hearn has now suggested that the first fight between WBC title-holder Fury and WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO champion Joshua could take place in May, though the WBO could pose a real threat to the fight’s “undisputed” status as they insist that Joshua must first fulfil his mandatory obligations against no1 contender Oleksandr Usyk after brutally knocking out IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round of his first fight in 12 months at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday night.
There is also the added complication of Deontay Wilder heading to the courts in a bid to force a third meeting with Fury after his comprehensive rematch defeat in Las Vegas in February.
Addressing the fight with Joshua on Monday, Fury continued to goad his rival and repeated his prediction that he would secure a stoppage inside the opening rounds to – WBO issues not withstanding – become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis.
“Grow a pair and sign the contract, big boy!,” Fury said during an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain Programme. “I’m aiming to take him out inside four rounds. I said it about Deontay Wilder, not many people listened… Anthony’s standing in my way of total supremacy in my era. He’s the only one left I haven’t beaten. Immortality awaits – I’m one win away from it.”
On Joshua’s win over Pulev and his subsequent social media teasing, Fury said: “I watched the fight, I was very impressed with what he did. It came to the end of the fight when they did the interview, the public heard that he wanted to fight me and he avoided the question, which was a bit disappointing as it’s been building up over the years.
“He avoided the question like he didn’t want the fight, so I had to get straight on social media and make everyone know I’m willing to take the fight.”