Tyson Fury Says He'd Fight Anthony Joshua for Free, with Free Tickets, TV for Fans

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2022

Britain's Tyson Fury, center, celebrates after beating Britain's Dillian Whyte during their WBC heavyweight title boxing fight at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
AP Photo/Ian Walton

Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury said Wednesday the only reason he'll come out of retirement is for a free fight against fellow British star Anthony Joshua.

Fury made the declaration on Instagram (h/t ESPN's Mike Coppinger), making an offer for what he described as the "biggest fight in boxing history."

"That's how the fight happens, I'll sign the contract today. The fight's got to be for free," Fury said. "Free-to-air television and all tickets go for free. No money is to be made out of this British historic fight if it happens. There's the terms, I'm in the driving seat, take it or effing leave it. The ball is in your court, guys. ... Either way, I don't give a damn."

The "Gypsy King" secured a sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte in April to retain the WBC heavyweight title and improve his career record to 32-0-1.

After the fight, which took place at London's Wembley Stadium, he announced his retirement.

"I've been in this game 20 years. I'm 34 in a few months. I said the third Wilder fight would be my last, but I felt I owed the fans one last homecoming," Fury said. "This is definitely the end of the Gypsy King, and I went out with a bang. Tonight was amazing, but this is the end."

Retirement is a word often thrown around in the fight game, but it's rarely a firm end date, especially for those at the top of the sport. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has retired three times, and he continues to do exhibition bouts.

Offering to do a long-awaited, high-profile fight for free is a unique twist on the story, though.

Fury and Joshua have been rumored as potential opponents on numerous occasions in recent years, but the bout has never come to fruition. While the hype took a hit after Joshua lost to Oleksandr Usyk, a win over Usyk in the August rematch could reinvigorate interest.

The idea of a free viewing opportunity for fans would obviously help, but it's a stark contrast from what Fury told Simon Jordan of TalkSport in June.

"I'd probably want half a billi to come out of retirement," Fury said. "I'm telling you the truth; if you want me out of retirement, it's gonna cost half a billi."

How his demands have gone from £500 million ($598 million) to nothing in a month isn't clear, but it's sure to create some buzz, particularly if Joshua wins his fight next month.

Ultimately, expect plenty more twists and turns in the story before a contract for Fury vs. Joshua is potentially signed.