Tyson Fury has insisted that he still intends to fight Anthony Joshua this year despite committing to a trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder in July.
Only last weekend, Fury announced that his much-anticipated heavyweight showdown with Joshua would take place in Saudi Arabia in August. Soon afterwards, however, Wilder won an arbitration hearing which ruled that Fury was contractually obliged to fight him for a third time.
Fury’s first bout against Wilder came in December 2018 and ended in a controversial draw. In the rematch last year, the self-styled Gypsy King stopped his opponent in round seven to win the WBC heavyweight and Ring magazine titles.
A planned trilogy fight was initially postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, before disputes over the rescheduling saw Fury declare that he’d “moved on”. With much of the boxing world clamouring for him to face Joshua, it seemed like a mega-fight was on the cards.
Wilder’s arbitration success has put paid to that idea, with Fury signing a contract for a third fight while in attendance at Josh Taylor’s historic victory against Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas on Saturday evening. Joshua is now set to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
Nonetheless, Fury has claimed that the Joshua fight will still take place in 2021 while also promising to dish out further punishment to Wilder. “It’s been a whirlwind of a last few months, I’ve been over here [in the USA] enjoying life, training hard and waiting for a fight, because it’s been a long, long time,” he told ESPN.
“I’m happy that I’m fighting back in the home city of the Gypsy King. This is my town, Las Vegas is mine… I think [Wilder] is going to give it a good roll of the dice, this is his last hurrah.
“I’ve got his heart, his soul, his mojo. Any bit of substance of Deontay Wilder, I’ve got it right here in my pocket. I’ve carried it around with me for the last 18 months.
“The guy’s a glutton for punishment, he’s an idiot. He got absolutely dismantled and smashed to bits in our last fight and he wants that all over again.
“He was telling people that I’d cracked his skull, I’d injured his shoulder, I’d done his bicep, and yet he wants to get in there with me again. He’s either one of two things, absolutely crazy or a sucker for punishment.
“Obviously I’ve got to beat up Deontay Wilder a bit better than I did last time, because he didn’t get a good enough hiding last time. This time I’m going to really double, double, treble smash him.
“100 percent [I’ll fight Joshua down the line]. AJ’s got a big mouth and no substance. He says I’m the one that does all the talking but if I didn’t talk boxing would be stone dead because I’m the only character alive left in it.
“Let’s say that for a fact. [The Joshua fight] happens this year. I’m gonna deal with this mug, Deontay Wilder, I’m knocking him out cold, and then I’m going to deal with the other guy straightaway.”