By Tris Dixon
Anthony Joshua was driving to the Bank of Wembley to withdraw another multi-million pound sum when he heard some noise.
A few screams, some shouting, a freshly-cooked and incredulously-chucked chicken and a boozy rendition of Sweet Home Alabama later and a truck pulled out.
Two large men – both around the 6ft 8ins mark – stepped out and nicked AJ’s vehicle.
They hurried to the bank to make their own substantial withdrawal leaving some for AJ, but not as much as he was counting on.
Whether or not the newly-signed bout between WBC heavyweight champion Wilder and lineal champion Fury does put a dent in Joshua’s September date with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, either at the gate or on pay-per-view, remains to be seen.
But what it does do is make a three-belt championship contest in front of an estimated 90,000 oddly insignificant.
“Small potatoes,” is what promoter Bob Arum called that one.
And it is not just that we are getting used to the AJ phenomenon, nor are we taking it for granted. It is just that Wilder-Fury is everything that Joshua-Povetkin isn’t.
It is unpredictable. It is wild. It is bonkers. It is loud and in your face. The winner will not be an overwhelming favourite beforehand.
It is the Vegas hooker under the neon lights to Joshua’s registry office wedding. It is a smash and grab, a heist. It is not a building block to the next fight or the one after and for plenty of people it will result in a divisional number one that is not Joshua.
The premise of Wilder-Fury is so enticing that Francesco Pianeta was little more than an extra with a walk-on part as Tyson banked 10 more comeback rounds at a pace of his choosing as the rain teemed down in Belfast last night.
We had been led to believe that Fury would have several warm-up outings as he eased himself back into the big time but here we are. After the crude dismantling of Sefer Seferi in June and having coasted over the line against Pianeta he is right back in amongst it, on arguably the biggest stage imaginable.
Sure, he is several fights ahead of schedule but Wilder-Fury is already huge. Usually a megafight needs – or is afforded – a massive build-up. But with unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua fighting Povetkin next month and perhaps rematching Dillian Whyte in April, why not strike while the iron is hot?
Neither side wants to play ball with Joshua or his promoter Eddie Hearn but without both Fury and Wilder camps boasting such a mutual disdain for the Essex-based promotional powerhouse would the Las Vegas heavyweight fight be happening at all, let alone this quickly?
Already some are forecasting heavyweight fireworks. Some feel Wilder has come too soon for this incarnation of the Gypsy King and he will walk through the English giant while others can see the unorthodox cult hero bamboozling the American in much the same way he did Wladimir Klitschko.
What if he does scalp Wilder in the USA having toppled Klitschko in Germany? What does that mean for his legacy? And would that bring a Joshua fight closer or move it further away? And what if Wilder-Fury is close or controversial and there are calls for a rematch? Will that leave AJ on an island of mandatories, with old foes Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale and Matchroom stablemate Jarrell Miller?
Or would a Joshua-Fury fight be so big that Sky and BT Sport would work together, as Showtime and HBO in the US did for Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao?
Because there is now another major player in UK boxing with the announcement of BT Sport’s new pay-per-view arm. Last night it was revealed that it would screen Wilder-Fury, Gennady Golovkin-Saul Alvarez and Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton before the end of the year.
Yes, it’s another channel fans will have to fork out for in a sport that now has more platforms that Grand Central Station.
But make no mistake, Wilder-Fury is a curiously brilliant heavyweight attraction. Las Vegas seems to be a fitting destination and the build-up will likely be as chaotic as the mainstream hopes and veteran fight scribes say they deplore but will secretly thrive in.
Sure, neither are now attempting to rob the Joshua bank but they’ve somehow managed to hijack the truck with the loot and intrigue in.
The go-slow on the Fury comeback roller coaster has broken, the accelerator has come off in someone’s hand and now the ride is headed for the precipice. Will he hit the summit again, or will he plummet at the Alabama man’s rock like fists?
We are passengers on this wild ride. The safety harnesses are over our heads and have been fastened. Some will watch through their fingers, some are wave their hands in the air, flying along with happy screams while promotional and broadcasting competitors might be reaching for the sick bags. But they’re still watching. We all are. We all will be.
There is one seat at the top table and Wilder and Fury are jostling for it, elbowing one another to get to the head of the queue. We hope that it leads to a conclusive winner and to Joshua, but the latter seems increasingly unlikely.
Call it a heist but these two could be serial robbers and they could yet find themselves many more vaults to plunder while Joshua keeps banking cheques.