Frank Warren wants Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua.
Fury’s co-promoter stands to make plenty of money from their heavyweight showdown, which has been billed as the biggest fight in British boxing history. But beyond Fury and Joshua having to win respective fights against Deontay Wilder and Kubrat Pulev, and then potentially fulfilling other obligations, Warren wants fans to understand that there isn’t an actual agreement in place for Fury-Joshua.
Warren acknowledged that they’ve agreed to a 50-50 financial split and an immediate rematch, important parts of the framework for a two-fight deal. Other than that, though, Warren cautioned during an interview with Sky Sports that plenty of work must be completed prior to considering it a done deal.
“You say it’s agreed, but nothing is agreed,” Warren said. “All that’s agreed is a 50-50 split. There is a mountain of stuff, and I’m not wanting it not to happen. The way forward is to get everybody to get together, get everyone around the table and sort it out, and that’s how it will be done.”
Many of the issues are minor compared to financial splits, but Warren knows how complications can arise when egos get involved.
“Who walks first? What side of the poster? Just toss a coin,” Warren said. “Let’s make a list. Here’s the 10 points. Spin a coin. Whoever wins, you’ve got the first one, he’s got the second one. Get it on. Stop putting obstacles in the way. There are no obstacles in the way of this fight.”
Daniel Kinahan, Fury’s controversial adviser, reportedly will no longer negotiate on Fury’s behalf. Bob Arum, Fury’s other co-promoter, has stated that he’ll handle all Fury-Joshua negotiations moving forward with Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, because of all the negative attention Kinahan’s involvement has drawn (https://www.boxingscene.com/fury-arum-decide-remove-kinahan-not-involved-future-fight-talks--149729).
Hearn and Warren, bitter British rivals, have long had a contentious relationship. Both promoters insist, though, that their prior problems won’t prevent Fury-Joshua from happening if they continue winning.
“I will negotiate with whoever Team Fury ask me to, to make this fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “They have made it clear Bob Arum is leading all negotiations now around this fight, and I will be speaking to him this week.”
Negotiations notwithstanding, there are various obstacles to overcome before Fury and Joshua could fight.
Fury (30-0-1, 20 KOs) is contractually committed to a third fight with Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), whom Fury stopped in the seventh round of their WBC championship rematch February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Their third bout has been postponed twice, but it will be rescheduled either for late this year or early in 2021.
The bout between Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and Bulgaria’s Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, also has been postponed indefinitely.
Even if Fury and Joshua win those bouts, they would have mandatory defenses due against Dillian Whyte and Oleksandr Usyk, respectively.
England’s Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) is the mandatory challenger for Fury’s WBC belt. Ukraine’s Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) is the WBO’s mandatory challenger for one of four titles Joshua owns.
Whyte will have to beat Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on August 22 in Essex, England, to maintain his position. They’ll fight for Whyte’s WBC interim title in the main event of a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view event.
Usyk does not have a fight scheduled.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.