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Tyson Fury Says Anthony Joshua Fight Is Off After Contract Deadline Passes

Doric SamSeptember 26, 2022

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Tyson Fury reacts prior to the Vacant WBO Interim World Heavyweight Championship fight between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker at AO Arena on September 24, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Boxing fans have been hoping to see a matchup between heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for quite some time, but it doesn't appear that the all-English fight will happen anytime soon.

Fury announced on Instagram that the fight is off after a self-imposed deadline passed Monday without receiving a signed contract from Joshua for a proposed Dec. 3 fight in Cardiff, Wales.

Michael Benson @MichaelBensonn

‼️ Tyson Fury has now declared that he will NOT be fighting Anthony Joshua next because AJ has not signed the contract today… <br><br>[πŸ“½οΈ <a href="https://twitter.com/Tyson_Fury?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tyson_Fury</a>] <a href="https://t.co/WpwWDAUnv2">pic.twitter.com/WpwWDAUnv2</a>

"Well, guys, it's official. D-day has come and gone. It's gone past 5 o'clock Monday. No contract has been signed," Fury said in the video.

While Fury seems to be adamant that the fight won't happen, it could be another negotiating tactic. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who is Joshua's promoter, told ESPN's Mike Coppinger that talks are still ongoing.

"There were various positive calls today between promoters and broadcasters who are all working hard to finalize the fight," Hearn said Monday. "There has been no talk of a deadline between the parties, but we are moving at pace to try and conclude the deal."

While the two sides have reportedly been engaged in talks for weeks, some are wondering if Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) was ever truly serious about a fight against Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs). Joshua is coming off consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, most recently losing last month.

Coppinger noted that many expected Fury to fight Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship after ending his short-lived retirement. However, Fury has expressed a desire to fight before the end of the year, while Usyk said he won't be ready to return to the ring until the spring.

Fury, who still holds the WBC heavyweight title, said on Instagram that he would fight against Manuel Charr (33-4, 19 KO) if the fight against Joshua didn't materialize. Charr wouldn't present nearly the challenge Joshua would, so Hearn believes that was the fight Fury was chasing all along.

A fight against Charr would likely be a confidence-building win for Fury as he waits for Usyk to be ready. Joshua could look for a similar matchup to bounce back from his latest setbacks before turning his attention to a bigger fight.

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