Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua: "I don't believe fight happens this summer," affirms John Fury
Last night at the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar, one of Matchroom Sport's top heavyweights, Dillian Whyte, stopped former Olympic gold medalist and perennial contender Alexander Povetkin in just four rounds of action.
Although Dillian "exacting his revenge" was the big story of the evening, media members in attendance couldn't resist inquiring about "Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua" and it's current status.
Promoter Eddie Hearn had a very positive response, concerning the biggest fight in boxing
"We go away next week for a number of meetings," stated Hearn during an interview with Boxing Social. "Ongoing conversations with sites, Top Rank and everybody this week. We were never going to be short of an offer for this fight, so we just have to marry it together, make sure the fighters are happy and get it done."
"Fans should get an announcement in about three weeks with the official date and venue."
Despite having contracts signed by both competing fighters, fans and industry insiders have been skeptical that the event will actually take place this summer. Primarily because the big fight is still without a supporting site fee or host venue. One of Hearn's most vocal critics had this to say about the current situation.
"I don't think they can get it together," stated Big John Fury during the most recent BT Sport Broadcast.
"What have they signed? They've signed nothing in my eyes. They've got no date, no venue, no nothing."
Tyson's father believes his son should temporarily move on and search for another opponent if the venue hasn't been secured within the next three weeks.
"Tyson needs to fight twice this year, with or without AJ. It's a business to Tyson, and we need to move on...sharpen his tools and keep him sharp in case that big night eventually does come."
Although Mr. Fury has been judgmental in the past, regarding Joshua and Hearn's willingness to make the fight with his son a reality, Big John understands that more serious and unavoidable factors may be responsible this time.
"What does it really mean if you can't get a date or a venue? What does it mean if nobody's willing to put the money up? I don't think they can get it together."
"The fight may be too big for what's happening in the world at the moment. I just don't think the time is right for a fight of that magnitude. We're in the middle of a pandemic...the world may never been the same as we knew it ever again. I'm pretty sure it won't be."
"So we've got to make some major adjustments, because I don't think boxing is on the forefront of anyone's mind at the moment."
One of the adjustments being mentioned is a reduction in the fighters' purses. For the health of the sport, combatants may not have a choice but to accept a paycut if they want to compete consistently. Without the huge site fee, live gate or proceeds from closed circuit, it's impossible to maximize an event's earning potential.
Fury was offered the opportunity to compete in December of 2020, but didn't want to take the massive pay cut from promoter Top Rank. As a result, Fury has been absent from the ring since February of last year.
According to Hearn, fighters shouldn't have to take a pay cut for their efforts in the "hurt business". So finding the right benefactor to support this event has become a financial and moral imperative.
Unfortunately, time is indeed of the essence, and the first of two fights absolutely must take place this summer. Eddie claims that his fighter is already busy preparing for a Summertime event as a result.
"Because both fighters want to compete for the undisputed heavyweight championship, the fight has to take place this summer," claims the managing director of Matchroom Sport. "The WBO won't wait till November or December, and so only the first fight will be undisputed. That's why the fight must take place this summer. That's why the first fight IS taking place this summer."
"For this reason, I can confirm that Anthony Joshua is already in camp for a fight in June or July."
Fans will discover the truth sometime in April.