Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua knocked back opportunity to face Tyson Fury in September, says...

Anthony Joshua knocked back opportunity to face Tyson Fury in September, says co-promoter

Tyson Fury with Frank Warren, Andy Lee and SugarHill Steward. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

The co-promoter of Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) says Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) refused the opportunity to face the WBC heavyweight champion in September.

Former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua is planning a tune-up fight in August before a likely fight against former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia in December.

Earlier this month Fury claimed on social media that he had sent a draft contract to Joshua for a September bout. His co-promoter Frank Warren sought to clarify that state of negotiations this week.

“Let me clarify what has actually happened. Last week, a written proposal was sent to Matchroom for AJ to fight Tyson in September,” the Queensberry Promotions boss told talkSPORT.

“Eddie Hearn came back and spoke to my son George, who said it will take a couple of days to see where they are with it. Couple of days went by and George met yesterday with AJ’s management company. They confirmed that AJ is fighting in Dubai in December, that is his preferred route. There is a space open in August but they basically do not want to do the fight [with Fury].

“That is what happened. When Tyson said there was a draft contract, what happened is we had prepared a draft contract the last time we had negotiations. So there was nothing really to be concerned about in terms of negotiations it was just if they wanted the fight or not. So the situation is, Tyson is desperate to make the fight happen, as he was against [Oleksandr] Usyk. But AJ has chosen not to take the fight and that is where we are at.

“The terms were agreed over a fight to take place but the only reason it didn’t take place is because Frank Smith of Matchroom said that the fight would never have happened anyway because AJ wasn’t ready. And more importantly, he didn’t have a trainer. So that is where we are.

“I don’t know why AJ can’t fight in September and then go and fight Wilder in Dubai afterwards. If AJ gets beat by Wilder in December, I don’t think [the fight will happen] because he’d have got beaten by a person Fury has beaten three times. This is the time to make the fight, this is what we should all be focusing on.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn all but confirmed Warren’s version of events on The DAZN Boxing Show.

“No, no truth in that at all,” the Matchroom Boxing chief said. “He didn’t send a contract to us, 258 [Management], Anthony Joshua. What happened was George Warren sent us an email to say, ‘Look, we’d like to talk about the fight in September.’ Same terms as last time. We had some positive conversations. What do you think?’ I called him straight up and I said, ‘Look, we’re planning our fight in August and we’re planning on fighting Deontay Wilder in December.’

“It’s very difficult for me to – I mean, I spoke to AJ about it. He said, ‘Isn’t [Fury] fighting Jai Opetaia or Demsey McKean or Jon Jones?’ He’s been fighting three guys the last four days. So, AJ said, ‘Look, I can’t put my trust in canceling my August and December fights to fight this guy in September, when we just don’t know. Like, do you trust him?’ I said, ‘I know they would like to discuss the fight. My job is to go through that process with George Warren and see the legitimacy of it.

“Obviously, we see what happens in Saudi this week. They want the Deontay Wilder fight. AJ’s got that in his head. It’s a huge fight, huge money fight. And he’s got the fight in August, which will develop and ready him for that fight with [new trainer] Derrick James.

“So, that’s our plan and we’re not gonna deviate from that plan on the basis of some Instagram hope. But it’s also my job to go through the process, see how real that opportunity is. And if August and particularly the Deontay Wilder fight doesn’t materialise, absolutely he’ll fight Tyson Fury next.”