Tyson Fury figures he’ll fight Oleksandr Usyk next if Fury defeats Dereck Chisora on December 3 in London.
A showdown with Uysk would afford Fury, the WBC champ, and Usyk, who owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts, the opportunity to become boxing’s first fully unified heavyweight champion of the four-belt era. Bob Arum and Frank Warren, Fury’s co-promoters, have told BoxingScene.com and other outlets that they don’t see any obstacles that would prevent Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) from fighting Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) either late in February or early in March, assuming he conquers Chisora for the third time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
If Fury-Usyk isn’t put together next, however, Fury wants to fight another huge, unbeaten Brit in London.
“If Usyk don’t want no smoke in February, then let’s do [Joe] Joyce at Wembley,” Fury told host Dev Sahni in a video posted to Queensberry Promotions’ YouTube channel Tuesday. “You heard it here first. Joe, get your skates on, get fit, moosh, because if the middleweight don’t want no smoke, you’re in. Because I’m fighting three times next year, and you can be one of ‘em.”
London’s Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) is not ranked among the WBC’s contenders for Fury’s belt because he won the WBO interim championship in his last fight, an 11th-round knockout of former WBO champ Joseph Parker on September 24 at AO Arena in Manchester, England. The 37-year-old Joyce is the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s WBO championship, but a fight with Manchester’s Fury would do big business in the United Kingdom.
Fury watched from a ringside seat when Joyce blasted Parker, Fury’s friend and sparring partner, with a left hook that abruptly halted their scheduled 12-rounder early in the 11th round. Joyce, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, became the first fighter to knock out New Zealand’s Parker in 33 professional fights (30-3, 21 KOs).
The 34-year-old Fury took to social media a few days later to praise Joyce’s performance.
“I’ve had a lovely day of watching boxing, watching all the big fights and studying all the heavyweights,” Fury said in a video that was posted to his Instagram and Twitter accounts late in September. “And I’ve gotta say that big Joe Joyce is the second-best heavyweight in the world, behind me self. And on his day, given his moment, who knows if he could beat me or not? I think we’ll have to find out one of the days.”
Warren’s Queensberry Promotions also represents Joyce, who doesn’t have a fight scheduled.
The 6-foot-9, 265-pound Fury, meanwhile, is listed by most sportsbooks as at least a 25-1 favorite to defeat Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs). Fury has already beaten Chisora twice – by 12-round unanimous decision in July 2011 and again by technical knockout after 10 largely one-sided rounds in November 2014.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.