Joshua vs. Wilder will be WBC final eliminator to Fury’s belt

By Michael Collins - 09/10/2023 - Comments

The WBC has updated their rankings, positioning Deontay Wilder at the top spot at #1 and Anthony Joshua a slot below him at #2, which makes their fight an eliminator to fight heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

At this point, it’s unclear whether Fury will fight the Wilder-Joshua winner, even if ordered by the World Boxing Council, because his attitude seems to be one of a fighter who has lost interest in the sport and just hanging around to make easy money against MMA fighters and journeymen boxers [Derek Chisora & Dillian Whyte].

Fury looked terribly out of shape this week for his press conference for his fight with Francis Ngannou on October 28th and made it clear when asked about fighting Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk & Wilder he has no intention of doing so.

The condition that Fury is in right now is on par for when he ballooned up after his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, and it took him eight months to lose it all.

Fury said he’s being given a bunch of money that will put him on the Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes, and he wants to fight Ngannou & Jon Jones in the cage.

It could be that those are fights the Saudis want from Fury, and he’s willing to oblige. For the kind of money they can pay him, Fury would likely do anything.

Joshua could fight somebody else

“According to Shane Fury, the Saudis aren’t doing the Wilder-Joshua fight. From our point of view, we’ve agreed terms, we’ve agreed the money, we’ve agreed to date, we’ve done everything,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV.

“As you can see, politically, there’s a shift in movement in boxing in Saudi Arabia, and we just await news. We won’t wait forever. If Saudi doesn’t want to do that fight, we’ll look at other site fees for that, but we had an agreement and long conversations to do it there, and we’d love to work with whoever it’s going to be that’s promoting that show.

“As I understand it, they still want to do AJ against Wilder and Fury against Usyk. Maybe they just do Fury against AJ. I don’t know, but from AJ’s point of view, we’re looking to move in the next couple of weeks to decide what we want to do because if we’re not going to fight Wilder in January, he’ll fight again, probably in December. So we’ll see what’s next.

“All of our conversations have been with Prince Khalid and Skills Challenge, and we’ll speak to whoever we need to speak to. They’ve done a great job yesterday.

“Whether it’s fighting Tyson Fury, whether it’s fighting Deontay Wilder, happy to have those conversations. If not, we’ll look for another fight, and I’m sure we’ll work together down the line.

“So, has Prince Khalid kind of moved on from Saudi boxing now? I don’t know. It’s for them, obviously,” said Hearn when asked if Prince Khalid has moved on from Saudi Boxing.

“Originally, it was Skills Challenge hosting boxing in Saudi. Obviously, that’s changed now with the Fury-Ngannou fight, and I don’t know the ins and outs.

“Tyson said that he won’t fight AJ, and he’s not interested in Usyk. He’s not interested in undisputed. He only wants the big boys, but I don’t know who the big boys are outside of Usyk & AJ,” said Hearn.

Does Fury care anymore?

“If Fury doesn’t care about undisputed, if he doesn’t care about legacy, if he doesn’t want to be the greatest fighter or one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, he ain’t going to fight him, and it’s up to him,” said Hearn.

“I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, it’s terrible, I can’t believe it.’ I get the Ngannou fight. It’s a great event, but I just know if I’m Tyson Fury, if I’m working with him, maybe he’s unbeatable, and if he is.

“There’s so much money in the AJ. I mean, there’s much more money in the AJ fight than there is in the Usyk fight, but in the Usyk fight, there’s a lot of money in that as well, and it’s for Undisputed.

“It kind of kills two birds with one stone, but I’ve been watching at home ‘With a Furys,’ and I’m trying to figure him out, but I can’t yet.

So, I’ll leave him to his own devices. He’s a great entertainer and a great fighter, and if he doesn’t want to fight the best in the division, it’s up to him.

“Of course, it’s disappointing for us, it’s disappointing for boxing, it’s disappointing for British fight fans, but Tyson Fury is going to do whatever he wants to do, and I don’t blame him. He’s making a lot of money to fight a guy who’s never boxed before.

“It’s not bad business, is it? But it depends on what you want, and if you want legacy, if you want to be the best and go down in history, then you’ll take those fights, and if not, you’ll continue to do what he’s doing,” said Hearn.

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Last Updated on 09/10/2023