By: Sean Crose
If there’s anything that sums up contemporary boxing, it may be the recent circus surrounding a potential December mega fight between WBC and undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former multi-titlist Anthony Joshua. It’s nothing if not an appealing matchup. These two have been circling each other for years, after all. Sadly, however, it looks like the highly anticipated throwdown may not happen – at least not in December. Both fighters appear to want the fight, by the way. Alas, the galaxy brain aspect of the modern fight game appears to be preventing a December bout from becoming a reality.
Gareth Davies, one of the sport’s better journalists has perhaps more knowledge of this frustrating scenario than anyone. Speaking Friday with iFL TV the ubiquitous fight reporter expressed a degree of frustration over the fact team Fury and team Joshua can’t seem to come to an agreement. “I think it’s that situation where gloves are up, they’re about to meet, and then they decide to back off, but facing each other,” Davies said. Ah well, maybe it was always too good to be true. Still, the situation serves as a sad commentary on the modern fight game. “There are details within the commercial value of Anthony Joshua,” Davies said of one reported reason why the fight hasn’t been signed, “where his commercial partners…can’t get what they want.”
That’s all well and good, of course. Boxing is a business and a major fight means major money. Still, Davies clearly feels a potential match of this magnitude shouldn’t suffer death from a thousand cuts in the negation stages. “Just do it, you know?” he asks rhetorically. In truth, the whole affair has had a rather abrupt start. Shortly after losing a rematch to Oleksandr Usyk late last summer, Joshua was offered a fight with Fury that included a 60/40 split. Although wary, Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn said the promise of a 60/40 cut was legitimate. As of press time, however, the fight has not been agreed to…and looks like it may not be. Then again, one never knows.
“It feels like one of the biggest teases we’ve ever had,” says Davies. Of course many feel as if the entire matter has been a ruse. A quick look at “Boxing Twitter” will show comments suggesting – or outright stating – that Fury never had any intention of fighting Joshua. Otherwise, the argument appears to go, why push for a fight as soon as December? Both sides have certainly been talking, though, which means the matter has always been at least somewhat serious.
Which makes the state of things right now all the more frustrating.
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